Has I am sure you have heard, actor Nicholas Brendon, best known for his role as Xander on the cult hit television show ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ has recently entered rehab. While this may have shocked some, celebrities battling addiction isn’t an uncommon occurrence. In fact, it seems like a new celebrity of some sort is entering a treatment centers in Missouri or another area in the United States every week. And they are not the only ones having a difficult time with addiction. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, approximately 23.5 million people suffer from alcohol or illicit drug abuse. Because of this staggering number, there has been an influx in rehabilitation treatment centers and programs available, as well as myths that bear little resemblance to the truth. That is why we have separated fact from fiction and compiled the top myths about substance abuse treatment to better help our readers who may be themselves or now someone who is dealing with drug and alcohol abuse.
Myth #1: Rehab can cure addiction.
Too often, people assume that spending some time in rehab can completely cure the addict of their addiction. And this couldn’t be further from the truth. Addiction is a chemical dependency, which is permanent and will require a lifelong battle to stay clean and sober. That is why former addicts who don’t use are said to be in recovery and not recovered. If the former addict drinks or does drugs even once, they will experience serious consequences.
Myth #2: Addicts have to hit rock bottom before they can begin treatment.
This way of thinking could be keeping someone from receiving treatment when they are ready. While it’s true that most addicts don’t seek help until they have reached rock bottom, that doesn’t mean they have to wait to achieve this devastating milestone before entering an outpatient treatment program. Study after study has shown that addicts who get treatment as soon as possible have a higher chance of staying clean. With that said, trying to talk the abuser into entering a treatment program is not an easy task no matter what stage of the disease they are at. However, the sooner you can get them help the better.
Myth #3: Addict have to want to go to rehab in order for it to work.
While in most cases, the addict must agree to go to rehab, they don’t have to want to go. The counselors at the treatment facility are experts and know how to handle all the denial that resistant patients can throw at them. Because of this, you won’t see varying rates of recovery between abusers who are forced into a treatment center and the ones who go on their own.
Myth #4: Seeking help for addiction is a sign of weakness.
This myth is beyond ridiculous. The truth is, it takes strength, a lot of it, for abusers to seek help for their addiction. Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious disease that actually results in physiological changes to the user’s brain. Because of this, willpower alone is not strong enough to conquer the demons. Any addict who seeks professional help is showing bravery, not weakness, in the face of their disease.
Myth #5: Addicts can get over their chemical dependency quickly if they really want to.
Shortcuts for recovery do not exist and those who like to spread this myth are doing an injustice to everyone. Research has shown that patients who are in treatment for an entire year are more likely to stay sober and clean than those addicts who go for a shorter treatment time frame.
Myth #6: A former addict who has a release has to start all over again.
Relapse is not uncommon on the road to recovery and slip ups do happen. That doesn’t mean, however, that the addict has to start back at square one. For those people who give up the alcohol or drugs without professional help is less prepared to handle any potential relapses that could happen. The right treatment program will help the relapsed addict get back on track and move forward with their recovery.
Myth #7: An abuser who goes into a treatment facility will lose their job.
There are actually two federal legislation’s that help guarantee that if an alcohol or illicit drug abuser goes into a rehab facility their employer has to give them the time off for the treatment without the possibility of losing their job. In layman terms, employers must “save” the job for the addict as long as they are undergoing treatment.