Common Myths and Misconceptions About Rehab
Over 20 million Americans aged 12 or older struggled with substance abuse in 2018, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Of those 20 million, only about 3.7 percent received treatment for their substance use disorder.
So, why is there such a big disparity between the number of people with addictions that need treatment and the number of people that actually receive it?
One of the most common reasons why people with addiction don’t seek the medical help that they need is the countless myths and misconceptions associated with rehab and treatment centers.
Whether it’s through the media, movies, family, friends, or other avenues, many people have a distorted picture of what treatment is and what it involves. This often leads to addicts giving up on the opportunity to recover before they even start.
Let’s take a look at the most common myths and misconceptions about rehab and work through what the real scenario actually is.
1. Rehab is only for those that have hit rock bottom
Rehab, especially in mainstream media, is often portrayed as the last stop on the downward spiral of addiction. There is a common misconception that people should only seek out treatment when they have hit rock bottom and have nowhere else to go. In truth, no matter what stage of addiction a person is in, getting help is the best thing that they can do.
Think of a scenario that goes something like this: A family man with a successful career enjoys a drink in the evening. Slowly this turns into needing a drink every evening, then earlier and earlier in the day. When he drinks he becomes angry, this starts to cause his wife and children to pull away, and they eventually leave him. He starts drinking before work to function, and his boss soon notices and he’s fired. He realizes that he has hit rock bottom and goes to rehab.
Now, if this hypothetical person had gotten the treatment when he needed it, upon realizing that he needed a drink every evening, then there’s every chance that the domino effect following this would not have happened.
The earlier that someone seeks help for their addiction the better. The longer treatment is delayed, the more control a substance has and the harder it is to break the cycle of addiction.
2. Rehab is only for celebrities
Easily one of the most common misconceptions about rehab is that it is only for celebrities and child stars. This is completely understandable given that the news seems to cover these kinds of stories 24/7.
However, rehab and addiction treatment isn’t just for famous folk at all. Around 1 million people across America are admitted to rehab every single year and we can assure you that most of these people are normal, everyday people that need help – not just celebrities.
3. Rehab is unaffordable for the general public
This is another myth that stems, in part, from the point above. The media often portrays rehab as a holiday haven where the rich and famous can get clean. Pictures of ostentatious rehab centers where these millionaires can get all the help they need flash across TV screens and in the news.
The truth is that there are thousands of different rehab centers all over the country. Yes, there are centers that are probably beyond the reach of many people, but by the same token, there are plenty that are affordable. There are also different kinds of treatments to choose from that suit any budget. Addicts don’t have to be inpatients at a facility to kick their habits, and can simply receive partial hospitalization, outpatient treatment, and therapy.
Of course, there are also some medical insurance companies that see the benefit of addiction treatment and will cover some, if not all, of a person’s treatment process.
4. You have to go cold turkey
Rehab centers have trained medical professionals that help with every single patient. These professionals are aware that going cold turkey is almost always the wrong answer to a very complicated question. Most addicts will not have to give up their choice of drug overnight.
Specialists work with every individual to figure out a plan on what’s best for them and their addiction. They will oversee any sort of drug detox and use prescribed medication to help wean patients off of drugs with minimal withdrawal symptoms.
5. You will be fired
Many people believe that they will lose their job if they take the time off to go into rehab. It’s understandable that people believe they will not be given the time off to go and get treatment. The good news is that this won’t necessarily happen. The ADA (Disabilities Act) gives addicts some sort of protection if they are able to do their job safely even though they have struggled with addiction.
The best thing for people looking for treatment to do is to be open and honest with their boss and explain the situation. Many workplaces will offer employee assistance programs for just this kind of situation.
6. You will have to put your life on hold
Another misconception about rehab is that people who get treatment will have to check out of their lives for a period of time and put it on hold. Of course, rehab requires commitment, but it’s unrealistic to believe that every patient has the time and money to put their lives on hold for months.
This is where having the choice of the type of treatment program that best suits your life makes a big difference.
Inpatient treatment is the most successful treatment and is the best choice for people that can afford to leave their lives on hold for a bit. However, there’s also an option for those with responsibilities at home that they can’t put aside – even for a bit. Outpatient treatment programs allow people to continue with their treatment from the comfort of their own homes. They will still be able to take care of all the things that they were doing before they started with treatment.
7. If you come back to rehab, you’ve failed
Many people believe that if rehab didn’t work the first time and they have to go back that they have failed. However, addiction is a lifelong battle, and many people relapse, even after going through rehab.
If this does happen, it doesn’t mean they have failed or that rehab didn’t work. Rehab diminished the chance of relapsing hugely, but it doesn’t mean that it’s 100% guaranteed. The responsibility to stay sober is with the recovering addict, but taking the step back into the real world in a sober state is difficult for many that have been through rehab.
Relapsing isn’t the end of the world. Going back into rehab after relapsing shows great self-awareness and the determination that is needed to stay on the path to sobriety in the future.
8. Rehab is a quick fix for addiction
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a quick fix for addiction. If there was, many people would have used it by now. Addiction is often rooted in much deeper issues and in rehab, people will unpack these issues. They will open up, clean, and heal a wound rather than slapping a band-aid on it and calling it a day.
Treatment can be long, it can be tiresome, and it can be draining. Ultimately though, it makes the process of healing much quicker, as it helps people find the most effective coping mechanisms to stay clean in the future.
Recovery is much easier with the right support
If there’s one thing that is true about addiction and about recovery, it’s that the process of healing is much easier when you have the right support structure by your side. At Addiction Rehab Treatment, we have experienced medical professionals and specialists that are there with you every single step on the road to recovery.
Take the first step to get the help you need today.