Professionals with drug and alcohol problems

Drug & alcohol problems at work

Addiction myths

Myth: I’m a bad person.

You are not bad, even though you may have done some unpleasant or unkind things while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Addiction is a disease, but one that is treatable. Recovery is possible through organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous or through residential treatment.

Myth: I want treatment for my cocaine addiction and when I’ve finished I can go home and drink alcohol and smoke cannabis.

Your primary addiction is cocaine, however, using other drugs including alcohol or cannabis will lead to cocaine relapse.

Myth: I’m not like these “drug addicts” I only use alcohol.

You may not have used heroin or cocaine, but alcohol is also a mind-altering, addictive drug that causes problems in people's lives and families. Alcoholism is a progressive and harmful disease, just like drug addiction.

Myth: Cannabis isn't addictive.

Smoking cannabis can lead to addiction. Cannabis dependency is a serious problem, as serious as with any other drug.

Myth: My family say I don't have any willpower.

Addiction is a disease of the brain, and family and friends also need to learn about this disease so they can support their loved one. Recovery isn't a matter of just using willpower, most addicts will have tried many times to stop drinking or using.

Myth: I should be able to go home after detox. 

Detox is just the first stage of addiction treatment. After that it's about personal change, looking at attitudes, behaviours and lifestyle connected to the addiction, as well as examining any underlying causes of the addiction and learning relapse prevention skills.

Myth: I can’t do my job well unless I have a drink or take drugs.

It might feel daunting to return to work without the 'help' of drugs, but treatment shows people how to function again and socialise without the use of drugs and alcohol.

Myth: When I leave treatment I'll be pressurised into drinking again.

You can’t change the fact that other people drink. It’s true that you will end up in situations where everyone around you is having a drink, you may even find some thoughtless people encourage you to have 'just one'. But relapse prevention skills learned in treatment will help you to deal with these situations. Attending regular AA meetings and aftercare and build up a network of sober friends will help you to stay sober.