It’s unfortunate but true that about one in ten adults will become addicted to a harmful substance at some point in their life. Even if the problem isn’t related to a harmful substance, the chances are that you are or can become addicted to something in the next few months or years. It’s even possible to become addicted to television, social media, and fast food restaurants.

Many other people live with less severe addictions in the form of addictive habits. Activities like nail biting, shopping, collecting, eating, and even work can be extremely harmful over time if it gets out of control. Excessive shopping is becoming a major problem in many countries as it’s now possible to do all of your shopping from the comfort of your own home via your tablet or smartphone. This can cause obvious budgetary problems, and many people don’t even realise that they are addicted to this shopping habit. Eating can cause health problems, nail biting can cause social problems, and collecting can cause financial problems.

It’s obvious that addiction is dangerous, and it’s certainly most dangerous when a harmful substance is involved. However, it’s amazing how many dangerous misconceptions surround this subject. Below are a few dangerous myths to which addicts are now being exposed. These myths are threatening as they prevent progress towards the goal of quitting.

Addicts Can Quit If They Want

While there are certainly extraordinary exceptions where people have been able to stop smoking, drinking, or gambling in an instant, never to return to the habit, this is generally not possible. Becoming addicted to a substance makes this even rarer as it may involve chemicals that can create further problems. Being addicted to a substance, a habit, or a food involves more than most realise, and the process of addiction actually happens inside of the brain. A brain that is addicted to a substance becomes chemically altered, and this can cause an individual to become physiologically dependent on the substance in question. Quitting in an instant could actually cause physical or psychological harm to the substance abuser, so the idea that anyone can quit in an instant is actually quite dangerous, and this idea should not continue to be perpetuated by concerned family members.

Addicts Must Have Serious Problems Before They Can Get Better

There are many out there who believe that people cannot truly understand the need to change until their substance abuse creates serious problems in their life. It’s common to hear people saying that someone has to “hit rock bottom” before he or she can start to change. This is also dangerous as many people get themselves into very serious trouble from which they cannot recover. A dangerous substance could cause irreversible health, social, financial, or legal problems. While some do change their ways after a tragic life event, that’s not always true, nor is it necessary. Getting help sooner rather than later is always a better choice. In serious cases, professional help and social programs that are designed specifically to deal with substance abuse are the best ways to help.