If you or a loved one is dealing with heroin addiction, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, over 2 million people checked into rehabilitation centers across the United States in 2009. Statistics since have been on the rise.

Despite the prevalence of addiction, it can be hard to know fact from fiction. Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of the most common misconceptions about heroin detox, as well as the correct answers.

Myth 1: Addiction is easy to overcome, it is simply a matter of willpower.

Fact: Addiction, of any kind, is nearly impossible to overcome with sole willpower. The compulsions that come from an unsatisfied drug or alcohol fix are not often under cognizant control. Neurological changes because of drug abuse and drug detox are real. The fact is, heroin detox or detoxing from any other addictive drug, without professional supervision, can be dangerous.

Myth 2: Addicts are immoral people (or mentally deficient, or mean, or insane)

Fact: The consuming power of any addictive substance is palpable. Being addicted to a substance says nothing about the morality or immorality of an individual. Addiction plays no favorites. Physical addiction can happen to anyone.

Myth 3: An addict won’t even consider heroin detox until they’ve hit “rock bottom.”

Fact: For every story of detox ending poorly, there is also a story for detox ending successfully. Addiction often gets worse before it gets better. Helping your loved one find help sooner rather than later, might be the difference between life or death.

Myth 4: Heroin detox won’t be successful if an addict doesn’t willingly enter rehab on their own.

Fact: Successful heroin detox and healing can take place in a rehabilitation center, even if the user didn’t bring themselves involuntarily.

Myth 5: Since treatment didn’t work in the past, it’s hopeless.  

Fact: There is always hope. Unfortunately, relapsing after drug detox is common.That doesn’t mean that the rehabilitation hasn’t made a difference, or that it can’t make a difference in the future.

Myth 6: Addiction is an illness that can never be cured.

Fact: An end to a lifelong addiction is possible. No one, ever, has scientifically proven that addiction is an incurable disease. Living a life, substance-free, following addiction is the story of many, and it can be the story of your loved ones, too. There is always hope for a happy ending.

Turning Point Recovery Center is Here to Help

If you are a loved one of a heroin abuser, help is within your reach. Call our hotline to receive education, resources, and support for heroin and drug detox. Your problem is our profession. If you or your loved one has been considering detoxing from heroin at home, read our “Detoxing At Home” guide. It could be the difference between life and death.

~ Paul