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The Stigma Around Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorder (SUD) is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. In 2017, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that over 19 million Americans are living with substance use disorder. Despite its prevalence in our society, many myths and misunderstandings still exist about addiction. We’re here to debunk them.

Myth: Willpower is enough to beat addiction.

Substance use disorder alters the way a brain works. Signals of intense cravings and compulsion can make overcoming substance desires nearly impossible by willpower alone.

Treatment programs are intentionally designed to address these changes and equip those with SUD with tools and resources to move past cravings and toward recovery.

Myth: Addiction is lifelong.

Everyone is different, and SUD shows up differently in everyone. Some face bumps in the road for years, while others find their first attempt at treatment successful. No journey is wrong. Every path toward recovery is a path toward a better life, and that is something to celebrate.

Myth: Those with substance use disorder must hit “rock bottom” before getting help.

Recovery is possible at any time. The earlier someone receives treatment, the less changes occur in their brain and the more likely recovery will last. 

If you or someone you love is showing signs of addiction, no matter how mild, it’s time to find help. Valley Oaks Health has the resources and support needed to find a path toward recovery.

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