#MythBustingMondays -People who can’t stop doing drugs lack willpower

It’s a common misconception and I know so many who wanted recovery more than anything and struggled to stay there.

Drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will because drugs change the structure of the brain in ways that make quitting difficult, even for the most determined.

As with other chronic health conditions, addiction requires ongoing treatment that should be adjusted based on how the person responds. Many in recovery still go to support groups like AA, NA or SMART Recovery years after they’ve maintained sobriety because it is a deadly lifetime disease.

Who becomes addicted and who doesn’t is a game of Russian Roulette. Some of us can take an opiate, for example, and have severe and unpleasant adverse side effects that make us wonder why anyone would ever touch it. The first time I was given OxyContin after brain surgery I suffered nausea and the worst nightmares ever. I wouldn’t touch it after that and I was one of the lucky ones.

When Charles was given an opiate painkiller in the hospital, he felt like a king and experienced amazing euphoria. Age of abuse also plays a part. The younger someone is, the more likely they are to become addicted and the more they struggle with maintaining recovery.

More on what happens to the brains of some of us when exposed to certain drugs.

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

One thought on “#MythBustingMondays -People who can’t stop doing drugs lack willpower”

  1. The information in the link at bottom is wonderful.
    I’m going to pass it on on my page.
    I have to be honest and tell you that I’ve been reading more and more about addiction since Jill’s death in order to understand perhaps why. I already knew it was a disease and it changes the brain but not the full extent. Doing so brings pain as well.
    At the same time as understanding, it makes me even more sad for her and that she wouldn’t reach out for help. There of course comes into play the “should ofs and what ifs of grief”. Another subject I know.
    I know finding the “right” help is important and can be difficult. And even then no guarantee. But you have to try to have a chance.
    I pray that better understanding and available treatment info will help someone. Please.

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