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Gender vs. Race vs. Class: 4 Myths about Abuse and Addiction
When it comes to substance abuse and addiction, many misconceptions and stereotypes exist regarding the people who suffer from these illnesses. It is important to understand that addiction can affect anyone, although some people may find themselves in circumstances and lifestyles that are more prone to drive them to addiction.
MYTH 1: Addicts Are Usually Homeless or they are Criminals
This may seem like a common stereotype, but it is far from the truth. According to NCBI, substance abuse is prevalent in the middle class, which makes up a large portion of American citizens. Poverty or financial burdens are not the only triggers that drive someone to use drugs, so the accumulation of stress, emotional or mental issues, family troubles, and any other number of triggers can drive an individual to substance abuse.
The idea that only the homeless or criminal class of America are drug users is vastly mistaken, as a number of students and parents also struggle with this illness.
MYTH 2: The Drive Towards Substance Abuse is the Same for Men and Women
A report by NIDA shows that this is not the case. There are difference between genders in how they approach substance abuse, and even the different hormones between the sexes, as well as women’s menstrual cycles, make a difference in drug use and the severity of cravings.
Reports show that women describe their reasons for substance abuse as varying from what men typically turn to drugs for, and many of these reasons evolve from social pressure to control weight, deal with stress, and self-diagnose their health problems.
Studies show that the side effects of addiction also vary from men to women, and that women may be more likely to go to the emergency room or even die from overdose. Don’t let this happen to you or a loved one, but instead call 800-721-8114 to find a path of recovery today.
MYTH 3: Ethnicity Does Not Play a Role in Addiction
While this is a myth that many would like to believe, studies have proven the truth to be otherwise. One study reported by NCBI showed that drug use problems were more relevant among the Hispanic and White students that they observed, in comparison to their African-American and Asian peers.
Much speculation can be offered as to the reasons behind this, and whether it is more of a class issue or even a pressure to embody a stereotype. The fact remains, however, that drug addiction has a much greater impact on single ethnicities rather than effecting all ethnicities equally.
MYTH 4: The Wealthy are the Only Ones Who Can Afford Drugs
Another common myth about class that is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the belief that all addicts are homeless, is the belief that only those in the upper class can even afford enough drugs to become addicted.
This is not the case, as drugs have become increasingly more available in schools and lower-class populations. It also does not take a great amount of drugs to become addicted, and depending on the individual and the particular drug, one may even become addicted after a couple uses.