myths about addiction treatment

Common Misconceptions and Myths About Rehab

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an estimated 20.7 million people aged 12 and older needed treatment for a substance use disorder in 2017. Out of over 20 million, only 4 million people received treatment. Drug addiction is a serious epidemic that our country is facing. It’s important to be aware of these facts so we can work towards a solution together. Whether it’s you or a loved one struggling with drug abuse, it is possible to get better. 

Addiction can begin for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the person has been struggling with a mental health disorder and is using drugs to cope with the pain. Or, someone may start using recreationally thinking that they’ll never get addicted…But then they do. Everyone’s reasons vary. However, the end goal is the same for every addict: live a sober and purpose-driven life.

Addiction will rob you and your loved ones of joy. It’ll misconstrue your perception of the world and convince you of false truths. These truths may be that you’ll never get better or that you need the substance to be happy. We’re here to tell you that addiction is also a liar. There is enormous potential in every person to quit and live a much happier life. 

Before researching treatment centers, it helps to do some homework on substance abuse first. The approach to treatment will be based upon the unique individual and the addiction itself. Recognizing the common misconceptions and myths about rehab will help clear the air and get you on the right path to recovery.

What’s a Rehab Program?

Before we get into the misconceptions, let’s start by explaining what a rehab program is. Residential rehabilitation – rehab for short – consists of a drug and/or alcohol treatment program that takes place in a residential setting. Rehabs aim to provide a sober-living community for all patients. There are different programs and levels of care one can commit to in a rehab facility. At Coastal Detox, each program is tailored to the patient.

After a thorough assessment, we’ll decide on which level of care is best suited together. Below are the levels of care our facility provides:

  • Inpatient treatment: Inpatient treatment, otherwise known as residential treatment, is the most intensive level of care. Our patients live at our comfortable facility for 28-90 days. The treatment plan will consist of a structured program that takes place seven days a week, offering around-the-clock supervision.
  • Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, is much more flexible. We work together with our patients to create a schedule for treatment that works for them. The patient will then travel to our facility a few times a week to participate in treatment. This kind of program works well with people that have outside obligations they must attend to.
  • Intensive outpatient treatment: Intensive outpatient treatment is essentially what an outpatient treatment program is. However, this treatment consists of more hours committed to treatment.
  • Partial hospitalization program: This is another type of outpatient program. With PHPs, the patient typically visits the facility five days a week. The main difference between an outpatient program and residential treatment is the requirement of residing at the facility. 
  • Aftercare program: An aftercare program helps patients transition back into their normal lives after rehab. Aftercare programs can consist of sober living homes, support groups, or even an outpatient program. 

Now that you have a better understanding of what rehab is let’s debunk these myths.

Myth 1: Treatment isn’t necessary. Addicts can stop doing drugs if they want to.

Fact: Addiction is a chronic disease of the brain, as defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Treatment programs aim to recondition a patient’s mental, physical, and emotional health to live a substance-free life. Without treatment, it’s easy to fall back into the same routine. This is especially true if you’re staying in an environment with harmful triggers and addicts around you.

This is achieved with a comprehensive program that teaches the skills and provides the tools necessary for avoiding triggers and preventing relapse. Treatment provides patients with a unique opportunity to focus on themselves while receiving professional treatment. 

Myth 2: You should never be forced into rehab. An individual would have to choose for themselves; otherwise, it won’t work. 

Fact: The majority of addicts do not want to go to treatment, even when they know they need it. Many people start their recovery journey at rehab by force, whether it’s a legally mandated court order, the result of an intervention from loved ones, or from the threat of losing their job or family. 

There’s nothing wrong with needing a bit of a push. It’s hard for us to perceive ourselves from an outside perspective sometimes. If someone who loves and cares for your dearly sees that you require help, it may be time to listen. Pushing a loved one to go into treatment can make a life or death difference in the long run. 

Myth 3: Unless you’ve hit rock bottom, there’s no point in attending rehab. 

Fact: People all have different ideas of what “rock bottom” means to them. There is no need to keep putting yourself and those around you through the pain because you’re waiting for things to get bad enough. “Rock bottom” could end in a fatal overdose.

The sooner one can attend treatment, the better. It’s important to recognize the problem and properly address it. 

Myth 4: It doesn’t matter what facility you go to. All addiction treatment programs are essentially the same. 

Fact: Most rehab facilities have different approaches to treatment. Some may emphasize holistic care, while others promote a strict daily fitness regime. Also, some treatment centers will focus on one type of addiction over the other. 

Most importantly, it is the quality of care. No matter what facility you choose, make sure that they have the core elements of a good treatment program. They need to have valid credentials and an evidence-based approach to their methods. 

Myth 5: Treatment will cure an addiction entirely. 

Fact: Rehab will not cure addiction. We must be honest with ourselves. Rehab isn’t a magic trick that will make all your problems go away. You have to put in the effort and have the commitment to make certain changes in your life. Rehab is a significant useful tool, but you must apply what you learn after you finish your treatment program

Rehab is about working together to create a better future. It’s also about patience. Most challenges aren’t resolved overnight. Things take time. In the future, problems will still arise…And that’s okay. 

There is a lot of beauty and fulfillment you have yet to feel. The pain and challenges we experience help us to appreciate the positive times that much more. Even more so, they build character. 

Myth 6: Relapse is proof that treatment doesn’t work. 

Fact: This is probably the most dangerous misconception about rehab. The recovery journey is different for everyone. The commitment to getting better is what makes the difference in the long run. If you relapse, it’s important to ask yourself: What were the triggers? How can I overcome a trigger the next time it arises? Could something improve in my treatment plan?

Relapses happen. It doesn’t mean that treatment didn’t work or that the person didn’t try hard enough. A relapse means that you need additional care. Perhaps, the patient left the program too soon. Maybe, there’s a core part of the program they need more of. 

The main point we want you to take is to keep trying. If something goes wrong, don’t give up. Although rehab is an incredible tool, you have the power in your hands to make significant changes in your life.

Myth 7: You’re just wasting time and money if you keep going back.

Fact: You may have found that there is a certain social stigma around rehab. Some may assume that it doesn’t help, or is way too big of a price to pay for sobriety. However, a lot of that is based on misguided information.

Those that haven’t experienced a severe addiction don’t understand the obstacles that come along with it. Quitting cold-turkey can result in fatal consequences. Even more so, quitting addiction in a toxic environment can feel nearly impossible.  

Rehab is a powerful tool in the recovery journey. If it takes a few tries, then it takes a few tries. The ultimate reward of a sober and happy life outweighs any obstacle on your way to recovery.  

Why Choose Coastal Detox

Client health, safety, comfort, and privacy are always our top priorities. In addition to our trained medical professionals, each client has access to a variety of services and amenities. We offer calming holistic treatment therapies and thorough clinical counseling. Our clients also enjoy nutritious meals prepared by a chef, as well as healthy snacks and juices.

At Coastal Detox, we believe in tailoring treatment for each patient. No matter where you’re at, it’s possible to get better. If you or a loved one is battling with addiction, don’t hesitate to give us a call today. You can contact us here or call us at (844) 387-1286 to begin your recovery journey today. 

References:

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2017-nsduh-annual-national-report

Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.