Myths On the Matter: Opioid Abuse, Addiction and Treatment


February 22, 2021Myths on the Matter: Opioids


The opioid epidemic is a devastating national crisis with grave consequences. In 2019, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdose. With 20% of people misusing opioids originally prescribed for chronic pain, even your own friends and relatives may be at risk. If you’d like to learn more, check out these myths about opioid abuse, addiction and treatment.


Myth:
As long as opioids are taken in moderation, you cannot become addicted.

Fact:
For adolescents, sometimes all it takes is one dose. Certain people are more prone to opioid addiction than others; factors such as age, sleep pattern and substance abuse history are all taken into account. Opioids, like naloxone, hydrocodone and fentanyl, are drugs that alter the chemistry in the brain, leading to drug tolerance. Inevitably, its user will require more of the opioid to get the same effect.


Myth:
It’s counterproductive to treat addiction by replacing opioids with a different drug.

Fact:
Research has shown that medication-based treatments are among the most effective treatments out there. Opioid addiction is a legitimate mental disorder that affects the brain, falling under the same category as depression. Medications like methadone and buprenorphine help restore normal brain functioning by eliminating the “high” opioid users tend to chase. The road to recovery typically begins with a combination of medication and therapeutic counseling.

 

Myth:
It’s safer to remain addicted to opioids than to go through the withdrawal process.

Fact:

Many systems of the body are altered when someone takes opioids for an extended period of time, which is why it’s a significant adjustment when they are eliminated. A person may experience intense symptoms such as nausea, fever, sweating, vomiting and more. Opioid withdrawal is tough, and many people cannot go through it alone. Certified addiction recovery coaches (CARC) and peer-engagement specialists are available to help with the recovery process.

 

Myth:
Bleach cannot kill COVID-19.

Fact:

When used properly, bleach has the ability to kill COVID-19. While it is not suitable for consumption, it is for appropriate surfaces, such as tables or carpet. The exact bleach solution will depend on the type of surface you are disinfecting, so be sure to view the CDC’s recommendations beforehand.



If you or someone close to you needs help treating a substance use disorder, call Substance Abuse Mental Health Services’ (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP, or visit one of their treatment centers.