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Debunking Myths

Anyone can help stop the stigma of substance abuse. A major obstacle to addiction recovery, stigma, is a set of negative beliefs that a group or society holds about a topic or group of people. Stigma results in prejudice, avoidance, rejection, and discrimination against people who have a socially undesirable trait such as drug abuse or addiction. In my own recovery process, I felt the stigma of substance abuse and it kept me from seeking help for many years. 
Substance abuse stigma is but one obstacle on the path to addiction recovery. Legal troubles, medical issues, psychological problems, family issues, and work-related issues make up some others. But the stigma surrounding substance abuse adds insult to injury. For some, these obstacles to addiction recovery have the power to throw a person off the path to recovery. During a time when people need love, support, and encouragement, stigma makes recovery challenging. Substance abuse stigma can be found within an addict (self-stigma) and from outside influences.
Is there an addictive personality? The most recent research involving the addictive personality concept indicates no single, addictive personality type exists (Addiction Symptoms: Signs of an Addict). However, certain groups of traits seem to indicate predisposition to addiction.
Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness (H.O.W.) are the virtues essential to my recovery from alcohol addiction. Without any one, relapse becomes a very real possibility. Anyone who relies on these virtues can stay sober. It's all that separates recovering alcoholics from alcoholics who are still struggling to get sober. Maintaining the H.O.W. virtues allows for recovery from alcohol addiction but using them as tools in sobriety is neither pleasant nor easy, but it is possible. 
Crack cocaine and powder cocaine are treated very differently in public and political conversation. So what is the difference between crack cocaine and powder cocaine? They affect your body the same way, but the main difference lies in the method of use (Cocaine Effects, Cocaine Side Effects).
Naloxone (brand name Narcan)  saves lives from opioid overdose by reversing the effects of an opioid overdose. America's problem--some say epidemic-- with heroin and prescription opioids is big news, so why is naloxone, which saves lives from opioid overdose, controversial?
There are many stereotypes about alcoholics that enable denial that developed through years of misinformation, changing research, and biased opinions. These misconceptions about alcoholism, and the people who suffer from it, are arguably the biggest barrier to individuals seeking help. Alcoholics use stereotypes to justify their drinking habits and explain why they cannot possibly be an alcoholic (Identifying and Diagnosing Alcoholism). If the stereotypes about alcoholics were debunked and known to be attributes not exclusive to alcoholics, these excuses would be harder to find. Without stereotypes about alcoholics, it would be harder to enable denial. 
Despite its health risks, hookah smoking is growing in popularity across the United States and many other countries (Treatment For Nicotine Addiction). Hookah smokers, and the general public, often believe that the practice is virtually harmless, but both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Mayo Clinic state that hookah smoking has several health risks and is not safer than cigarette smoking.
Difficulty sleeping relates to alcohol use and withdrawal. Alcohol is actually not a good sleep aid, contrary to popular belief. Sure, it helps you fall asleep more quickly, but can lead to a host of other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and sleep walking; plus, when used frequently, drinking alcohol can lead to alcohol dependence.1 In alcoholics, the effects on sleep of alcohol, or alcohol withdrawal, are much more pronounced. Here are some explanations and advice for what you can do in early sobriety to sleep more soundly. 
What kinds of summer fun can you have in sobriety now that the hot weather is here? For many people, the thought of summer also brings romanticized notions of cold beers or getting closer to nature with the help of marijuana. After eight years clean and sober, I've learned that there is nothing I did while drinking that I can't do in sobriety. Summer fun in sobriety is entirely possible.
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