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What Do You Wish People Understood About Addiction?

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Addiction is like no other condition out there. It’s such a complex disease of the brain that we don’t have all the answers even decades after discovering it. But, it’s precisely this lack of understanding about the condition that leaves addicts facing all sorts of misinterpretations and stereotypical assumptions. We took the question “What do you wish people understood about addiction?” to our Quora channel to hear firsthand what recovering addicts wish others knew about addiction.

Shedding Light on Addiction

That it is a multifaceted condition and not contingent upon chemical dependency, addiction has behavioral, psychological, physical, and, for those who respect the validity of the following term, spiritual facets. Addiction warps the entirety of the person who suffers from it, and the effect laid upon each facet must be addressed if the sufferer is to recover.

But I suppose the most important thing that I wish non-addicts knew about addiction is that it is not the result of personal failing in self-discipline or morality. — Jared Flanders


It’s sneaky. It uses your own intelligence against you, so no matter how your luck was when they handed out brains, addiction is right there at your level, speaking your language, and often make more sense in many ways, than the people who care about you and are trying to tell you that you’re headed for a ditch.

If you aren’t constantly observing your own thoughts as would an objective observer, and just run with the flow of your thoughts as if your personality were really “you,” then addiction will have its way with you until the level of disruption it creates in your life is too much, you bottom out and decide to go back towards a better life. Or for some people, until they die. –Cheyenne Young


That it is a mental illness, it doesn’t matter what substance you use to treat the addiction. The consequences are usually the same, all bad. — Karen Gardinier


I wish people better understood how convoluted the process of becoming addicted actually is before experiencing it firsthand. It’s something you only genuinely comprehend after the fact looking back on the process, and by then, you have a serious issue on your hands. I wouldn’t wish a severe drug or alcohol addiction on my worst enemy. — Dan Meyer

Finding Help Near Me

In the end, we still don’t know much about addiction. People will continue to have misconceptions about the disease, but it’s our duty to share the truth. For many, addiction is a choice. While we know very well it’s indeed a disease of the brain.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please seek help. Be kind to those around you struggling with addiction. Come from a place of compassion rather than a place of stereotypes. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our addiction treatment programs can help you find the comprehensive help you need to win this battle. With personalized treatment programs, licensed addiction specialists, and our accredited treatment programs, you’ll be one step closer to long-lasting recovery.

Want to share your thoughts? Answer this question in our Quora profile.