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Understanding Truths and Myths – About Addiction

Home » Blog » Understanding Truths and Myths – About Addiction

Addiction is a complex and often misunderstood condition. To better understand it, it’s crucial to separate the truths from the myths that surround this chronic disease. Here’s a deeper look at what addiction is—and what it isn’t.

Truth: Addiction Is Not Caused by Poor Morals or Willpower 

In the 1930s, researchers believed that addiction was due to moral flaws or a lack of willpower. Those suffering from addiction were often punished or told to simply overcome their habits through sheer force of will. This perspective has significantly shifted. Today, addiction is recognized as a chronic disease that alters both the structure and function of the brain. Initially triggered by the recognition of pleasure, addiction can ultimately lead to compulsive behaviors as the brain undergoes a series of changes. This advanced understanding has led to improved diagnoses and treatments for substance use disorders (SUDs).

Truth: Addiction Is Not a Choice That Someone Can Just Get Over or Stop Doing 

The view that addiction is a deliberate choice is another myth that persists. This misconception stems from a lack of understanding about the nature of addiction, which is a serious illness, not a voluntary condition. Stigma, misconceptions, and hurtful language can discourage those affected from seeking the help they need. As knowledge of SUDs grows, these barriers are starting to crumble, encouraging more individuals to seek and receive treatment.

Truth: Addiction Is Treatable 

Contrary to some beliefs, addiction is treatable. A variety of safe, effective, and often inexpensive treatments are available to those suffering from this condition. Treatment options vary depending on the type of SUD but may include medications for disorders like alcohol, opioid, or nicotine dependence. Typically, these medications are used in conjunction with psychosocial treatments. Effective treatment can be accessed at any stage of addiction and can be customized to the individual’s specific needs. 

Understanding these truths about addiction is essential in fostering a more compassionate and effective approach to treatment and recovery. As we continue to dispel myths and learn more about the condition, we can better support those in need of help.


Myth: Addiction Is Simply a Lack of Self-Control  

One common myth is that addiction is merely a failure of self-discipline or self-control. This oversimplification ignores the complex interplay of factors contributing to addiction, including genetics, environmental influences, and brain chemistry. Addiction involves much more than just making poor choices; it’s a medical condition that requires professional treatment.

Myth: Addiction Only Affects Certain Types of People 

Another myth is that addiction is limited to certain demographics or social statuses. In reality, addiction does not discriminate. It can affect individuals of any age, socioeconomic status, race, or gender. The belief that only certain groups are affected by addiction can lead to stigma and shame, which can deter individuals from seeking the help they need.

Myth: Overcoming Addiction Is Just a Matter of Going to Rehab 

Many believe that simply attending a rehab program is enough to overcome addiction. While rehabilitation centers play a crucial role in the recovery process, overcoming addiction often requires long-term commitment and a comprehensive treatment plan that includes ongoing support. Recovery can be a lifelong journey with ups and downs, requiring continuous management and support.

Myth: Prescription Medications Are Not Addictive

There is a misconception that medications prescribed by a doctor are not addictive. However, many prescription drugs, particularly opioids, benzodiazepines, and stimulants, can be highly addictive. Recognizing the potential for addiction even with prescribed medications is important for preventing misuse and managing prescriptions responsibly.

Myth: Relapse Means Treatment Has Failed  

Finally, a common misconception is that if a person relapses, it means their treatment has failed. Relapse should be seen not as a failure but as a part of the recovery journey. It indicates that treatment needs to be adjusted or that additional support is necessary. Understanding relapse as a potential step in the recovery process can help in maintaining commitment to long-term recovery goals. 

Addressing these myths is crucial in changing how society views and treats addiction, moving towards a more informed and compassionate approach.

Choosing the right rehabilitation program is critical and should be tailored to the individual’s specific needs, the available therapeutic options, and the overall environment of the facility. Effective rehabilitation can profoundly alter lives, equipping individuals with the tools and strategies needed to manage their addiction and achieve a meaningful life. 

Hathaway Recovery, recognized for its comprehensive and holistic approach to treatment, stands as a beacon of hope for those committed to overcoming their addictions and starting anew. For individuals ready to embark on a transformative journey, Hathaway Recovery’s Admissions Department provides a compassionate and structured pathway to recovery. They can be reached confidentially at (909) 971-3333. 

With informed choices and supportive environments like Hathaway Recovery, individuals facing addiction can find the help they need to navigate the complexities of recovery and move towards a healthier, more fulfilling life. This underscores the importance of choosing a rehabilitation program that not only addresses the medical aspects of addiction but also fosters personal growth and healing.


  • Excellent treatment center. Hathaway put on the road to recovery, I been sober 2 years today! Thank you Dena and staff members!

    Mike M.
  • Hathaway has saved my family. Before we found Hathaway my daughter was suffering with addiction however once we came to this facility the staff took her in and she felt comfortable and by a couple months she was ready to come back home fully recovered. Thank you Hathaway Recovery for saving her and thank you for the wonderful staff.

    Gabby H.
  • First I’ll start by saying that, this facility is absolutely beautiful! A couple years ago my husband Tony attended Hathaway Recovery in Claremont Ca. While Tony was in residential he received every care needed for a successful recovery. Also, he was able to enjoy the home gym at the beautiful Hathaway home, it’s basketball court, pool and etc. which made his stay even more pleasant. I am forever grateful for the man Tony has become ever since his completion. He has two years clean under his belt and many more to come because of the amazing facility. Thanks again Hathaway Recovery and Staff, Keep Continuing Changing Lives, God Bless Diane and Tony

    Diane K.
  • I came to Hathaway Recovery on court orders stemming from charges due to not taking medications for my mental health. I was fearful of what my future held and what that would look like. I have never been to a dual diagnosis treatment program before, and I didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t think I had a substance abuse problem but after about 3-4 weeks of group therapy and the counselors here at this facility, I finally realized substance abuse influenced me to not be able to take care of my mental health. With the help of Hathaway Recovery’s team, I was able to build a strong foundation for my recovery that is vital to me and my family. The clinical staff, therapist, case managers, and counselors included, were honest, caring, and really helped me gain the knowledge I needed to build this recovery program and lifestyle. I am forever grateful for the treatment at Hathaway Recovery.

    Transition A.
  • My brother has been addicted for years. All our family gave up on him. Recently, he completed an inpatient residential program at Hathaway Recovery. This place is blessed and so helpful. It’s very luxurious, you feel like you are on vacation at a beautiful resort. Hathaway Recovery staff is very helpful, understanding and supportive. They all helped him to recover and to become a human again and enjoy his life. This place also supports family members and teaches them how to deal with aftercare to prevent relapse. Hathaway Recovery is the place for those who are struggling with addiction. Thank you for everything!

    Beauty D.
  • As a Trauma Informed Therapist I was contracted by Dina , the Owner to provide additional Trauma Informed Counseling. She indicated that she was seeking additional clinical services because her client population were enthusiastic about their recovery and she wanted to provide quality care. Working with Hathaway has been magical. This program does not separate addiction and mental health trauma into separate treatments, This program blends together the understanding that addicts have childhood trauma and have habitually used drugs or alcohol to dull their inner pain., Hathaway Recovery provides highly individual services for each client, including bilingual counseling. This is a program that I am proud to be a part of. Susan Pennington, LCSW – Trauma Informed Counseling Services.

    Susan P.
  • Hathaway Recovery Center is the real deal. They helped me find myself when I was completely lost. After I lost the mother of my child due to a tragic accident. The therapists and counselors truly cared. We made a relationship with each other that was unbreakable. The other clients were awesome roommates and true to me. The house managers were great and the living situations were awesome. If I ever even think about slipping up I’ll be returning. Today I have over one year clean.

    Jimmie R.
  • After searching many rehabs and after spending so much money to useless facilities we finally found Hathaway . From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank all the staff and all the residents that made my sons recovery easier from beginning to end.

    Gayane A.
  • Hathaway truly saved my life. I am so grateful to have had an opportunity to go there. I came in at absolute rock bottom, 9 rehabs later and countless sober livings. I can tell you that this treatment center is different then every other one I’ve ever been to.

    Justin J.
  • After running into some trouble with the law, a substance abuse counselor suggested that I check myself into Hathaway Recovery. Hathaway Recovery helped me get my life back together one step at a time. Through discipline, routine, and structure, I can honestly say that this treatment center has helped me tremendously! The staff are very helpful and caring to each person’s needs, and helped me to realize the beauty of living a sober life.

    Josh M.
  • Hathaway Recovery stuff saw potential In me when I couldn’t. They showed me a new way of life, a better life. Coming to Hathaway recovery is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m beyond grateful for everything the program has done for me!

    Gilberto F.
  • Finally, Hathaway is a Treatment Center that offers a holistic approach to addiction. This center offers a safe place, community and a network to grow with throughout your recovery process. They make you feel that you are NOT alone. The leadership has been in your shoes!!! Hathaway Recovery is more than just a temporary fix, it is a foundation, a movement, a family to be a part of.

    Anthony P.
  • One of the best places I have been too! They really know how to treat you and very professional!

    Ashley A.
  • Hathaway Recovery and their staff have been nothing but supportive and understanding throughout our family member’s journey. I truly appreciate all the staff and their hard work. The communication has been great and has provided us a really positive experience. I would highly recommend this facility to anyone looking for a rehabilitation center for themselves or a loved one. Thank you Hathaway Recovery!

    Lilit H.
  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • Hathaway is a warm caring treatment oriented environment to receive help from various addictions and behavioral problematic issues. The location itself is serene and safe.. I enjoyed the both staff/professional’s and patient’s… It has many services available, a very unique place… I recommend anyone to come and receive long-term treatment here at Hathaway…

  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • “There was no longer any doubt in my mind that I was in the right place for my drug abuse treatment, “Of all the rehabs I could have chosen, I am glad I picked The Hathaway Recovery Support hope respect and care is what i was offered thanks for everything Hathaway recovery you are the best

  • Hathaway Recovery is an awesome place the whole staff has been so helpful they are very professional and very nice Hathaway recovery is a great place to get your addiction treated my brother is doing very well there and we are so glad they were very understanding and willing to help him.

  • A very welcoming environment and kind hearted staff that really took care of my relative and cleaned him up. Thanks Hathaway recovery.

  • When your loved one is sick and needs help you look for the best and I found the best for my son thank you for everything you did for him.


    Hathaway Recovery is an exclusive addiction rehab treatment center in California offering healing recovery from all substances. We’re proud to provide a great combination for drug, alcohol, psychiatric and psychological recovery treatment backed by experts in the addiction treatment field. Our drug and alcohol rehab is built on the cornerstone of care and compassion and accommodates clients and their families from all backgrounds to educate, inform, and create change around substance use disorder. In a secluded mountain hill luxury resort, our facility offers a therapeutic environment and array of clinical modalities to help individuals and their families. Our staff are also multilingual to address the needs of clients from anywhere in the world.

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