It is a sad reality that many Americans struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, and an even sadder fact that a large percentage of people who are addicted do not seek professional help to get their lives back on a positive path. Pervasive myths about what happens in addiction rehab, and who benefits from participating in addiction rehab programs, may be preventing these people from realizing their full potential. In this post, we are going to break down some of the most commonly held myths about addiction rehab.
Fiction: Alcohol rehab is only for people who have hit rock bottom.
One of the most common beliefs standing in the way of people who need treatment for their drug or alcohol problem is that their issue isn’t “severe enough” to merit professional help. However, just because you haven’t experienced a life-altering event – such as losing custody of your children or going to jail for a DUI – doesn’t mean you won’t undergo a crisis in the future if you allow your drug or alcohol misuse to continue unabated.
Addiction is not a one-size-fits-all disease. Not everyone who experiences addiction or co-occurring mental health issues struggles with the same problems, and even so-called “high-functioning” users will experience challenges related to their substance abuse. If you find yourself turning to drugs or alcohol whenever you are stressed, thinking about your substance of choice whenever you are not using or hiding the extent of your use to family and friends, you may need professional treatment for your addiction, no matter how smoothly things are going with other aspects of your life.
Fiction: I can quit on my own anytime I like.
While it’s true some people have managed to quit using drugs and alcohol on their own, they are in the very small minority. No matter how much willpower you think you have, successfully getting free of drugs and alcohol isn’t just about learning how to say “no.” Because of the way addictive substances change brain chemistry, most people who get hooked on drugs and alcohol cannot merely quit cold turkey.
Addiction is a combination of your body’s physical dependence on a substance and the psychological and emotional reasons that led you to begin using drugs or alcohol in the first place. Drug and alcohol rehab considers both of these issues in a phased approach. When necessary, it begins with medically assisted detox that helps you safely stop drinking or using drugs without experiencing intensely unpleasant, and sometimes even dangerous, withdrawal symptoms. Second, it includes therapy to help teach you healthy life skills and provide you with the foundation for maintaining lifelong sobriety.
Fiction: I will lose my job if I go to rehab.
Many people believe their employer will fire them if they admit they have a problem and are planning to go to rehab. The truth of the matter is, it’s much more likely your employer will dismiss you if you allow your addiction to worsen to the point where it impacts your job performance.
Review your employee handbook or speak with your human resources team to ask if there are options for you to take a temporary leave of absence while you are enrolled in an inpatient treatment facility. You may also be eligible to use the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act to protect your job while you are in treatment.
Fiction: Addiction rehab is nothing but talking.
Common media depictions of addiction treatment focus mostly on the group therapy element and nothing else. While some aspects of addiction recovery, such as 12-step meetings, do rely on discussing your challenges and feelings in a group setting, there is far more to treatment than that. While you are in recovery, you will also learn life skills and relapse prevention tools, among other things. When you choose a program that takes a holistic approach, you will even get to participate in things like yoga, meditation, equine therapy, recreation therapy and volunteer work.
Contact New Found Life Today
Is it time for you to seek professional help in overcoming your drug or alcohol addiction? Reach out to our admissions team by calling 800-635-9899. We are here for you 24/7.