Welcome to The Council on Alcohol and Drugs' Georgia Prevention Resource Center. This searchable website is populated with research-based resources to help education administrators, teachers, community leaders, parents, students and others to implement changes across the entire community which are necessary to prevent substance abuse and to promote healthy living.
UNDERSTANDING SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Anyone can abuse alcohol or other drugs and no one is immune to addiction. Learning the ‘5 Steps to Addiction’ is key to preventing substance abuse and addiction.
PRIME For Life. (2004). Prevention Research Institute.
FIVE QUICK MYTHS ABOUT
SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND ADDICTION
Myth 1: Overcoming addiction is simply a matter of willpower. You can stop using drugs if you really want.
Fact: Prolonged exposure to drugs alters the brain in ways that result in powerful cravings and a compulsion to use. These brain changes make it extremely difficult to quit by sheer force of will.
Myth 2: Addiction is a disease; there’s nothing that can be done about it.
Fact: Most experts agree that addiction is a disease that affects the brain, but that doesn’t mean anyone is a helpless victim. The brain changes associated with addiction can be treated and reversed through therapy, medication, exercise, and other treatments.
Myth 3: Addicts have to hit rock bottom before they can get better.
Fact: Recovery can begin at any point in the addiction process—and the earlier, the better. The longer drug abuse continues, the stronger the addiction becomes and the harder it is to treat. Don’t wait to intervene until the addict has lost everything.
Myth 4: You can’t force someone into treatment; they have to want help.
Fact: Treatment doesn’t have to be voluntary to be successful. People who are pressured into treatment by their family, employer, or the legal system are just as likely to benefit as those who choose to enter treatment on their own. As they sober up and their thinking clears, many formerly resistant addicts decide they want to change.
Myth 5: Treatment didn’t work before, so there’s no point trying again.
Fact: Recovery from drug addiction is a long process that often involves setbacks. Relapse doesn’t mean that treatment has failed or that sobriety is a lost cause. Rather, it’s a signal to get back on track, either by going back to treatment or adjusting the treatment approach.