Rehab Myths That May or May Not Be True

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The idea of walking into a treatment center to get professional help for a drug or alcohol addiction can be numbing for some people. The desire to get better may be overwhelmed by the “what if’s” and other questions as they grapple with the unknown. And it doesn’t help that the battle going on in their minds may be fueled by beliefs or ideas they may have heard from others about what it’s like to go to a treatment center.

Below are a few rehab myths that top the lists of reasons people think about backing out of addiction treatment before they even start. Some are grounded in fiction while others are rooted in fear. But all of them must be ignored if one wishes to gain the strength to go through with the call for help that can change their life for the better.

rock bottom drug recoveryMyth: You Have to Hit ‘Rock Bottom’ First Before You Start Treatment.

Truth: Not necessarily. The myth of “hitting rock bottom” promotes the idea that people who abuse drugs and/or alcohol must hit a dramatic, devastating low in which they lose everything and everyone before they are motivated to seek help for their addiction and achieve real transformation. While this is a romanticized story of the addict or alcoholic, the idea that one must risk it all before they can live life sober is not true.

Everyone’s “rock bottom,” if they ever reach it, will look and feel different. The idea of waiting until things get really rough doesn’t help anyone, including family members and friends who see their loved one headed down a dangerous path. Hitting “rock bottom” discourages people from seeking the help they need when they need it, and their loved ones may unknowingly contribute to the feeling of powerlessness that addiction brings. This is one of the top rehab myths that keeps many from making the call, but there’s no need to wait until things fall apart.

Myth: If You’ve Tried One Treatment Center, You’ve Tried Them All.

rehab mythsTruth: Not all centers use a one-size-fits-all approach to drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Each person who enters treatment will require different things to get the most out of their experience. Research the treatment center to find out what methods and practices are available there.

Some places use holistic therapies and faith-based programs while others offer traditional hospital inpatient programs. Find out who its clientele is, what methods are used to treat substance abuse, and what that center’s philosophy is in treating people in active addiction as well as those who enter an aftercare program. It is a possibility, however, that a person may have to try more than one treatment center before finding one that offers the right care and aftercare to ensure a person stays on the path to recovery.

Myth: Treatment Will Cure Your Addiction.

Addiction, a chronic disease that affects the brain and behavior, is treatable, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse, but treatment will not cure it.

“Treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on their brain and behavior and regain control of their lives,” NIDA says.

While it is not guaranteed to be curable, addiction can be managed successfully, according to the agency. Aftercare programs as well as alumni recovery groups, which can provide long-term support, are some ways to reinforce the commitment to living drug- and alcohol-free. Whether one seeks help from a treatment center or opts to do it own their own, the motivation to change and stick with the program to end dependence on substances must be present.

Myth: Rehab is Like Jail: There’s No Freedom There.

Truth: This is a popular misconception that may be rooted in people’s personal experiences with rehab centers. Some treatment centers may be stricter than others, but keep in mind that rules are put in place to keep clients safe and to ensure that everyone gets the most out of their experience.

Before entering treatment, it is important to research what it is like to complete treatment there, if possible, and find out how the daily routine is structured. Palm Beach Institute welcomes clients into its warm and inviting family-style environment, where people can relax and focus on getting well.

There are guidelines in place, but PBI focuses on keeping the day running smoothly so everyone gets what they need out of the experience. Family members are encouraged to be a part of their loved one’s recovery so everyone can learn about the disease of addiction and work on healing together.

Myth: Treatment Centers Are Expensive.

Truth: Rehab facilities can be pricey, but the price tag depends on several factors, including where one decides to complete their treatment program. Some things to consider are:

  • Location of the rehab center (will it be near the beach, in the city, in a remote area?)
  • Whether the person will be in an inpatient program, which costs more because the person will be living on-site, or an outpatient program
  • Program length (30-day, 60-day, 90-day, or longer)
  • Treatment services offered (detox, therapy groups, aftercare programs)
  • Program size, amenities, etc.

Finances can be a major hurdle to pursuing addiction treatment, but getting help should be the main concern. The Palm Beach Institute is ready to help prospective clients explore their insurance options to make programs as affordable as possible.

Myth: If You Relapse After Treatment, Then Treatment Was a Waste of Time.

Truth: This is not true. According to NIDA, the chronic nature of addiction makes it possible, or even likely, that relapse will happen and that relapse rates for people with addiction are similar to relapse rates for other chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Entering treatment for addiction is still your best shot at overcoming addiction. Relapse, the act of returning to drug or alcohol use after a period of abstaining from using it, is not a personal failure and treatment is not a waste of time. NIDA says relapse just means something needs to change. It writes, “Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and relapse does not mean treatment has failed. For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted or that another treatment should be tried.”

Don’t Let Rehab Myths Keep You Out of Treatment

palm beach instituteIf you, or someone you know, have a parent, spouse or other family member or friend who is battling addiction, call 855-960-5456 now to speak with one of our Palm Beach Institute specialists.

They can help you find a treatment program tailored to your specific needs today. They are standing by around-the-clock, waiting for your call.



Elysia Richardson
Digital Content Editor

Elysia L. Richardson is a content writer and editor who covers addiction and substance abuse for Delphi Behavioral Health Group. Previously a writer and editor for various digital and print publications, she enjoys researching news in the recovery field and finding engaging ways to share information that helps improve people’s lives.

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