ʻFalse beliefʼ is when drug users start to believe that once on the drug they are invincible and can accomplish anything. This leads them to becoming reliant on the drug for that false sense of confidence. At first, the drug was used for fun and then for confidence, and from then on drug users would find a reason to use it for every emotional state experienced, be it a good or bad emotion. At this stage, drug users have developed the belief that when they experience a good emotion and they want to heighten that emotion, they need to use the drug to take them there, and if it is a bad or sad emotion the drug will numb the pain that they are experiencing.
This is called escapism, where drug users believe that they donʼt need to go through these bad emotions and also believe that the drug will remove the pain. Escapism is not being able to live up to the realities of life and to find ways to avoid the problem. But, the problem has not gone away. It has just been psychologically suppressed by the drug and once they are sober again, the problem will be back staring them in the face. When a drug addict is in recovery, one of the most difficult hurdles to clear is to learn to face the realities of life all over again, e.g. disappointments, anger management, depression, boredom and failure. Now, the frustration of not being able to overcome a problem situation could lead to a relapse; to bury the problem momentarily, the person would want to use drugs again. This veil of not seeing the reality of why they are using drugs and the object of escapism is called denial.
It is now the set up false belief that the drug is the best thing in their lives as it gives them false comfort when the world appears to be against them; it gives them the energy to go out and do things (indirectly for the drug). It also gives them the confidence to stand up to any situation (indirectly for the drug) but they will deny that they are doing this only to get money to obtain the drug and not for improving their lives. So, indirectly, they have now become slaves to the drug and they would do or say anything to get it. They see the drug as their god, parent, family and friend. It seems to be the solution to sailing through life easily. This deep black hole of denial gets deeper and deeper with the continuous use of drugs. This is why drug addiction is referred to as a disease; it slowly destroys you from within; you canʼt see it from the outside. And the deeper the drug addict is in, the longer it takes to see the light of reality and the harder it is to break away from denial into accepting how the drugs are affecting their lives. Thus, the drug brings about a personality change in the addicted person. The task at rehabilitation level is to break into and to destroy that false belief system that the user has developed and begun to depend on over the years of using. But this can only be broken and destroyed by the person who created and developed it – the drug addict himself or herself.
This break-through is a step out of denial. Therefore, recovery from drug addiction needs to start from within, and with the user.