Getting Past Gambling

A place to come and share experiences, to find support and strength, for those of us who are putting gambling behind us and finding new exciting and happier ways to live our lives.
" You never achieve real success unless you like what you are doing."
*Dale Carnegie {1888-1955 American Author & Achievement Expert}

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Myths and Facts

How can we change public opinion and get rid of the stigma surrounding addiction? We can start by learning the difference between the real facts and common myths about addiction:

Myth: A person addicted to drugs or gambling can stop whenever he or she wants.
Fact: Addiction is a chronic brain disease that has little to do with willpower. Research shows that long-term alcohol, substance use or gambling changes a person’s brain function, which makes them crave the substance even more. As a result, most people with an alcohol, substance use, or gambling problem need help at one time or another. People are able to cut down or stop their problematic use in many ways including through the use of formal treatment, counseling, self-help groups, support of others and their faith.

Myth: Treatment of addiction doesn’t work and is too expensive.
Fact: Treatment works for the addicted person and it works for society. Different types of addiction treatment are successful between 40 and 60 percent of the time. This success rate is similar to the treatment success rate for other conditions like asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes. For those involved in the criminal justice system, addiction treatment has been shown to decrease criminal activity after treatment. Many studies show for every $1 spent on addiction treatment as much as $7 is saved in healthcare, welfare, criminal justice and other public costs.

Myth: A person can’t be helped until they’ve “hit bottom.”
Fact: Many people with substance use or gambling problems can get help before they’ve developed a full blown addiction or “hit bottom.” This is why early screening and intervention services are so important. Family members, friends, healthcare providers or employers can play a role by sharing concerns and asking someone with a problem to seek treatment.

Myth: There should be one treatment program for all addictions.
Fact: Not every treatment method works for everyone. The most effective programs take into account the individual needs of each person and make thorough assessments about someone’s current circumstances and level of addiction.

Myth: If a person is motivated to stop, they should be able to complete drug abuse treatment in a short period of time.
Fact: Studies show for many a successful road to recovery includes follow-up supervision and support long after the treatment program is completed. People who remain in treatment programs for at least 90 days are more likely to remain substance-free than those who do not.

Myth: Relapse equals failure.
Fact: Recovery is a long process and sometimes relapse is a very real part of that process. Many things can trigger a relapse: stress at work or home, taking part in a social function that includes substance use, or even smells or familiar people and objects associated with the addiction. But people who relapse can and do recover.


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