There are many myths about addiction, such as patients do not get better, there are no treatments, treatments do not work, ‘once an alcoholic always an alcoholic’, older people cannot be drug users, and addicted parents are bad parents. Hopefully this chapter demonstrates that this is exactly what they are – myths. Substance use, misuse and dependence are commonplace in the community, as well as in clinical settings. ere are many dierent psychological and pharmacological treatments available, patients can and do improve, substance misusing parents are not necessarily poor parents, and older people are at risk of developing substance problems. Medical students
and junior doctors are very important partners in raising the prole of substance misuse issues, as well as collaborating with multidisciplinary teams in its identication and treatment. Not all addiction services are provided directly by the National Health Service (NHS) and not all of these employ psychiatrists.