It takes strength to turn away from addiction. It takes courage, resourcefulness, and a sincere desire to change. Every day, countless people make the difficult transition from addict to recovery—a triumph deserving of celebration.
But others don’t always join in that celebration. Addiction occurs for a variety of reasons. Everyone has a deeply personal story attached to their own—few people are cartoon villains, twiddling their moustaches as they decide to be bad for bad’s sake. Some come from places of unimaginable pain, their souls grown so calloused that the only way to experience happiness is to inject it. Others hail from places of incredible boredom and lack of opportunity, and end up snorting their excitement.
Wherever the motivation for addiction comes from, it is certainly destructive, and the worst results of addiction are what most people think of when they think of addicts—the gaunt faces, violent tirades, theft, domestic abuse and mental illness-like symptoms that often accompany substance abuse.
But focusing only on stereotypes leads to misconceptions and discrimination, and impedes recovery when the addict’s support system doesn’t truly believe in them. To dispel some of these stereotypes, take a look at these 8 things that recovering addicts wish you knew.