Despite people being better informed around addiction rehabilitation and what actually happens in drug addiction treatment centres, many myths abound.
Dangerously, these myths are used as rational justifications by drug addicted people to not even explore treatment wouldn’t work for them. We hope this article on the top ten myths about drug addiction treatment will dispel some common misconceptions.
Here are the top ten myths:
1. The addict has to want treatment for it to work.
Few addicts enter treatment voluntarily. The majority of users enter treatment through family pressure, as a legal requirement or even due to an employer’s willingness to offer support. However, studies reveal that the ‘why’ someone enters a rehabilitation centre bears little relation to a successful outcome from addiction treatment.
2. You have to get ‘religion’.
Well, you might increase some awareness around spirituality, but you don’t have to. Many drug addiction treatment centres incorporate the 12 Step fellowship model of recovery in their therapy. Spirituality, rather than religion, could be an integral part of your recovery should you choose it to be.
3. Don’t bother entering treatment until you hit your rock bottom.
Everybody has a different rock bottom and only they know when they hit it. It could be a spouse leaving, public embarrassment, or losing one’s drivers license that awakens the drug addict or alcoholic to their problem. It is a complete myth that you have to end up in a gutter to benefit from drug addiction treatment.
4. Going to rehab is like a prison sentence.
A common myth. There are guidelines and timetables in drug addiction rehabs that patients adhere to whilst in treatment. For a drug addict following routines can feel alien after the chaos of their using days. If there are ‘guards’ it is other members of the therapy group in treatment as the group work together towards recovery.
Most addiction rehabs feel more like small boutique hotels, serve good food and have a friendly, nurturing environment. If you don’t get a sense of warm professionalism perhaps you need to be asking whether you’re in a quality drug rehab or not.
5. If you relapse after treatment you’re a hopeless case.
Not everybody remains clean on leaving treatment.. Drug addiction is a chronic disease and relapse happens at rates similar to the relapse rates of other well-known chronic medical illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and asthma.
In treatment drug addicts get a better sense of the severity of their addiction and it’s myriad consequences, learn about themselves and how to cope with living clean and sober in the outside world and what it’ll take to stay in addiction recovery. This knowledge won’t disappear with a relapse. People can still get clean after a relapse and practise what they have learned in an addiction treatment centre.
6. All treatments for drug addiction are the same.
Speak to an accredited addictions counsellor for advice on choosing an effective rehabilitation centre. There are many options including outpatient and inpatient care. Also the length of treatment is important. Studies show that severe drug addictions need longer stays in treatment to increase people’s chances of long term recovery.
7. Rehabs are businesses, they’re not really concerned about me.
The clinical team will work with patients to develop an individual treatment plan. Most patients addicted to drugs need pharmacological help during the detoxification phase of their treatment, some may need extra psychotherapy, and some may need help with life skills. Also, if you really feel nobody is concerned about you, you can learn how to say this in rehab.
8. There are recovery fellowships like NA, so why go to rehab?
Not everyone can get clean through the meetings in fellowships like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). Some addicts need time and space away from their familiar using patterns and triggers to start their recovery. This is not a weakness.
9. I’ll be surrounded by drug addicts and dealers in treatment!
Once over their denial people realise that the disease of addiction affects people of all classes and changes people’s moral codes and actions. In treatment and addiction recovery everyone is equal no matter where they are from or what they have done.
10. I’ll lose my personality in treatment.
This is a common myth that reflects the addict’s fear of change. Their life may be chaotic and unmanageable but it is what they know, and the drugs are who they are and this may well contribute to their ‘personality’. However, once treatment and living clean begins in addiction rehabilitation people get an opportunity to discover their true self behind the using drugs.
For expert and independent advice that will help dispel the top ten myths about drug addiction treatment please contact one of our treatment coordinators. We’re waiting for your call and can arrange immediate access to the best rehabilitation centres.