If you or a loved one has ever struggled with overcoming addiction, you may have asked yourself, “Why can’t I (or they) just STOP?”. It can be difficult to understand why the habit is so persistent; even more so when the addict has a stable life and support system. What we often fail to recognise is that addiction is a disease which has hijacked the user’s thought processes and altered the brain’s chemistry.

The cycle of substance abuse is such that once a person becomes addicted, their ‘hijacked mind’ influences their behaviour. This can include:

  • Lying about their whereabouts
  • Denial of their problem
  • Manipulating others by convincing them there is no problem
  • Manipulating others into giving them money
  • Stealing money and other objects
  • Justifying their substance use

Common Myths About Substance Abuse Addiction

  • ‘Addiction only affects thugs and street-level criminals’-

Addiction affects those from all backgrounds, races, statuses, income-levels and creeds. It does not discriminate.

  • ‘Once an addict, always an addict’-

This phrase is usually used to imply that an addict can never change their ways. Addiction is a disease, meaning it can be treated. With the right kind of programme specifically formulated to comprehensively tackle the physical and psychosocial needs of the user, addicts can not only control cravings, but thrive in their lifelong recovery.

  • ‘They can stop if they really wanted to’-

Always remember that no one plans to become an addict. Over time, their dependency on substances has disrupted their brain structure to the extent that they may go to great lengths to satisfy their craving. This is why an addict simply cannot, “just stop” without getting help.

At, A.R.C.A., we strive to understand substance abuse in a holistic manner; taking into consideration an individual’s physiological, psychological, social and emotional needs.