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The Top Addiction Myths That Are Harmful to Men

Father with child on bicycle

We know from experience that only a fraction of men who need recovery support with their addiction will ever get it. There are many reasons why. 

But one thing we know for sure is that the stigma and myths around recovery play a very significant part. 

To help set the record straight, and to help give more men a shot at moving forward, we’ve pulled together the top four myths that are harmful to men: 

Myth 1: You have such a great life—you can’t be addicted

Thanks to outdated stereotypes, many people think that addiction can only happen to people who are truly down and out. The thing is, addiction does not discriminate. 

You can have a successful job, a loving family, and even a nice home, but still be dealing with an addiction. Because some men can seemingly hold their life together on the surface, they’re often met with skepticism and lack of support when they suggest needing treatment. 

The lesson here: don’t let someone talk you out of getting professional support if you think you need it. It’s that support that will ultimately give you the strength and tools to maintain the good things in your life.

Myth 2: Men don’t let their emotions influence them

Rightly or wrongly, men have traditionally been expected to remain in control of their emotions. In fact, for generations, many have been taught to keep their feelings in and “man up” when problems arise. Because of that, men don’t always open up about their feelings. 

While those attitudes are indeed changing, the idea that “real men” don’t let their feelings stand in their way persists. 

The thing is, sustained substance use can actually change the way your brain works, which can cause you to behave almost involuntarily. 

Sometimes, admitting you’re not in control is the braver thing to do than watching your life spiral out of control.

Myth 3: A real man doesn’t need help

Confronting addiction isn’t like trying to do your taxes or moving the living room sofa. It’s extremely difficult to do on your own. In fact, in some cases, the detox and withdrawal process can be downright dangerous without supervision. 

Our best advice? Try to reframe the way you view treatment support. Instead of seeing it as a weakness, see it as a sign of strength because you’re putting the right resources and commitment to the problem that it deserves. After all, you wouldn’t try to rebuild an engine without some tools on hand, would you? 

Treatment is simply having more tools at your disposal to do the job right. 

Myth 4: It’s impossible to enjoy your life completely sober

“Letting loose” has become so normalized in our culture that even men who know they have an addiction have second thoughts about recovery. They start to think about all the Super Bowls, backyard BBQs, and family events they’ll be sober at, and they’ll start wondering if it’s possible to still enjoy their life. 

If those self-defeating thoughts start creeping into your head, just think of the countless Hollywood celebrities who are now in recovery themselves and living their best lives. If they can do it, you can too.


The good news in all of this is that with more education and more discussion, myths like these can be put to rest. Working through addiction isn’t always easy, but it is treatable. 

Don’t let misconceptions prevent you from getting the support you need.

We Can Help You

Ledgehill’s two facilities in Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, provide gender-specific treatment for men and women who need to heal in a peaceful, supportive environment free from fear or distraction. If you’d like to learn more about the addiction and mental health treatment programs provided by Ledgehill, enrol yourself in one of our programs, or refer someone else, please call us at 800-676-3393.

An Important Update About the Omicron Variant

We are open and accepting patients. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been dedicated to keeping our patients safe as they recover from addiction or mental health disorders.

As the situation continues to evolve, as do our protocols and practices at each EHN Canada facility. And recent news of the highly-infectious Omicron Variant is no different. Please know that we continue to implement the highest standards of infection prevention in accordance with our local health authority.

If you have any questions about your or a loved one’s care and the protocols we have in place for staff, patients, and visitors, please contact us at 416-644-6345 or email at [email protected] 

Thank you and stay safe,
The Healthcare Team at EHN Canada