A recent survey in Bangladesh refutes mistaken ideas about drug users and shows the error in believing misconceptions. Consequently, reports on the internet, TV, radio, and newspapers often create a picture that lacks proof, accuracy, or authenticity. Many of them focus on alcohol and drugs as targets to misrepresent. However, the myths about drug addiction tend to convince even more people. Negative rumors about any group can damage reputations and hurt feelings. Even more importantly, misconceptions become incredibly hurtful when they discourage attempts to become sober.
Understanding the Meaning of a Misconception
Wrong impressions can get a head start when people have limited information as a basis for decision-making. A misconception can occur when people who believe it do not know how to investigate the facts. Observation of one drug addict whose ventures failed can create a wrong impression that contributes to a stereotype.
Getting to the Truth
While a misconception may incorrectly depict drug users as poor and uneducated, friendless, and in trouble with the law, research reveals the truth. False information indicates poor family relationships and a preference to live alone. Perhaps the most hurtful promotes the idea of an inability to stop using. The facts from the Bangladesh survey of 63 males and nine females aged 22 to 35 show the opposite. For accuracy and validity, the study’s results do not include anyone who never abused prescription drugs.
Undergraduate students comprised most of the study drug users, in which 45 respondents had earned a Higher Secondary Certificate (H.S.C/A). The achievement means about the same as England’s GCE A level or the third and fourth years in U.S. high schools. Seven indicated pursuit of postgraduate degree programs at the Master of Science or doctoral level.
About one-third of respondents lived at home, with 48 occupying a residence with family and relatives. Of the group, 24 lived elsewhere and had an address of their own.
Involvement with Law Enforcement
Statistics show that most respondents never had any encounters with law enforcement, and 57 percent seemed less likely to anticipate any. Forty-four of the group had no conflicts, while 28 indicated a positive response. While the most significant percentage of respondents did not have any troubles with the authorities, 12 reported having a case in court. The opposite measure represents 60 who had no encounters with law enforcement.
The influence of peer pressure led more than 50 percent of survey participants to do drugs, persuading 33 to experiment. Most respondents in the survey said that they did drugs because of social pressures. Depression, feelings of inferiority, and guilt led 17 users to cite them as reasons for using drugs.
Contrary to misconceptions that portray drug users as alone most of the time, the statistic applied to only 11 of the survey group. With 53 reporting a preference to spend the most time with friends and eight more with family and relatives, the mistaken idea of outcasts has no merit.
Thoughts of Suicide
With almost twice as many respondents saying they did not have suicidal thoughts, drug users’ misconception as highly suicidal does not hold up. Of 72 responses, 46 replied in the negative, while 26 said they did have such thoughts. In the United States, Psychology Today states that about one-third of suicides involve drugs such as heroin, oxycodone, or alcohol.
With only nine respondents reporting a communication gap, all others described their involvement in a typical family relationship as satisfactory (23) or average (40).
Evidence that defies the misconception of drug users as having low income, the data shows that the financials of families prove otherwise. Responses that describe families as solvent came from 18 participants, and 37 represented the income level as a medium. Other respondents (11) chose rich or strong as the income level, and fewer (6) called it poor or weak.
Family History of Addiction
While many people fail to understand how or why addiction occurs, the tendency to imagine reasons continues to exist. Some think that drug users have no moral principles or willpower. The misconception fails to include the effects of drugs on the brain that makes quitting extremely challenging even for users who try very hard. Similar wrong opinions support the idea that addiction runs in families, but the Bangladesh study shows the opposite. Survey results include a negative response by 42 participants who have no addicted family member, and another 14 had no evidence of it. A smaller group of respondents indicated that 16 did have addiction in the family.
Circles of Friends
As opposed to the misconception of drug users as loners, the study shows remarkably positive results. Medical News Today cites psychologists who emphasize the importance of meeting people face-to-face. As a countermeasure against stress factors, it triggers healthy responses in the brain. The respondents in the survey who had more than five friends (55) greatly outnumbered those who had few (14) or none (3).
Good Social Life
The survey indicated a willingness to stay overnight at a friend’s house by 35 who said they sometimes do. Another 29 reported doing so often, and only eight said they never do. A report from the University College Dublin points out that socializing with friends can help relieve symptoms of depression, a condition that may lead to substance abuse.
The study did not show a correlation to workplace satisfaction with evenly split responses. Participants who expressed satisfaction (36) matched those who expressed dissatisfaction (36) at the workplace. The National Safety Council reports that a typical worker may average about three weeks a year for illness and injury. Additionally, those who have substance abuse issues may miss about five weeks. However, workers who receive substance use treatment without relapse miss only two workweeks a year.
Sharing Living Space with a Drug User
A majority (43) of survey participants reported living with drug users, and 25 did not share a residence. Not sure of whether they did or not, four respondents replied neither yes nor no. Sharing a space with others exposed participants and their companions to the drug nicotine in tobacco. Only two stated not smoking, but the statistics for everyone else show a much higher level of tobacco use. In response to a survey question on smoking every day, 60 said yes. Another ten said they smoked occasionally. The National Institutes of Health states that tobacco nicotine can lead to addiction, making it difficult to quit.
Controlling Drug Use
A Harvard Medical School doctor and researcher found evidence that some drug users successfully controlled it and did not become addicted. The Bangladesh study seemed to replicate the findings, with 83.33 percent confirming the ability to control their drug use. However, they did not claim an easy path to avoidance. The majority (51) stated their opinion that the possibility existed, but 21 disagreed.
Frequency of Drug Use
An almost equal number of participants comprised one group that used drugs once or twice a week and another that used them occasionally. With descriptions that have close meanings, the apparent similarity produced nearly the same results. Once or twice a week, usage got positive replies from 27 respondents, and the occasional use category received 30. The survey included 15 regular users and none who reported any other response.
Summarizing the Symptoms
Addiction creates cravings, a reliable symptom of problematic use. At the same time, substance abuse may produce different symptoms according to influences such as family history, type of substance, and individual circumstances. However, three main categories of substance abuse provide accurate descriptions.
Changes in behavior can signal the presence of substance abuse as users try to protect a habit. Protection of a stash or reliable supply becomes a priority, even if it means economizing on essential items. The cost of acquiring a drug can make people drop out of activities that require funds, and a desire for secrecy and solitude can occur as well. Denial of addiction represents a consistent symptom that users may employ.
Dependence on substances often makes users face challenges in stopping. Some may develop an obsession with obtaining a supply, and many take risks that endanger health, safety, and financial stability.
Withdrawal creates noticeable symptoms, most of which present unpleasant effects. Cravings, seizures, sweating, and insomnia make every day hard to endure. The increasing tolerance of continued use requires bigger doses to achieve the desired effect.
Relying on Fact and Rejecting Misconception
A body of knowledge exists about the symptoms of addiction, and it provides reliable scientific information. With access to authoritative data on psychological, social, and physical symptoms, anyone can recognize a need for treatment when necessary. A false description of people who have substance abuse creates the wrong idea about addiction when they can erase any misconception.
If you are suffering from Addiction and use disorder, please do not go it alone, please find addiction treatment help. The first step is to seek treatment for you and your loved ones. Please contact us if you need help in recommending good treatment programs to get help.