According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 20.3 million Americans aged 12 or older struggled with a substance abuse disorder in 2018.

However, according to the same study, only about 3.7 of those people received treatment for their addiction.

So there’s a huge contrast between the number of people who need help and the number of people who actually get it.

But why is that? Why aren’t people seeking for help when addiction is such a common issue?

Well, a big reason why is that there are countless myths associated with rehab. Many people have a distorted view of what treatment actually is and that makes them give up on the opportunity to recover.

Keep reading as we debunk nine of these common misconceptions!

Have you been struggling with addiction? Have you looked into addiction programs like Alcoholics Anonymous?

If you have, you’ve likely come across information about the 12-step program. The 12-step program can be off-putting to some at first, especially those who are non-religious. The truth, though, is that just about anyone can benefit from working through those steps.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of the 12-step program for addicts, even those who aren’t religious.

Myth #1: You Should Only Go to Rehab When You Hit Rock Bottom

No matter which stage of the addiction you’re in, you can (and should) always seek out for help. 

The common misconception that you should only go to rehab once your substance abuse problem as completely ruined your life is nothing but dangerous. After all, the more you delay treatment, the more your life will be controlled by the substance and the harder it’ll be to break the addiction cycle.

So if you believe you’re developing an unhealthy need for any type of substance, don’t think twice about looking for treatment.

Myth #2: Rehab Is Only for the Rich and Famous

We understand why you might think this way. After all, there’s no shortage of news online and on TV of celebrities who have been to rehab.

But in 2017 alone, over 1 million people enrolled in a treatment program and, as you can imagine, most of them weren’t famous or rich whatsoever.

There are many rehab centers that are perfectly affordable for us common human beings. It’s all a matter of looking up one that fits your needs and possibilities.

Myth #3: You’ll Have to Quit Overnight

Rehab centers are full of professionals who’ve been dealing with all sorts of patients with all sorts of substance use disorders for a long time.

If there’s one thing these professionals know is that going cold turkey is often not the best choice for addicts.

As such, these specialists will work alongside you and figure out what’s the best way to go about your problem in order to minimize withdrawal symptoms and achieve long-term results.

Myth #4: You’ll Lose Your Job

If you’ve been putting off going to rehab because you can’t afford to be fired, we have good news for you: that won’t necessarily happen, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This law will provide you with protection, given that you’re struggling with addiction but can still do your job safely.

Otherwise, your workplace might offer employee assistance programs.

Either way, our advice is that you speak honestly with your boss about this issue.

Myth #5: There’s No Point in Going If You Don’t Feel Highly Motivated 

Not all rehab patients start their treatment willingly. If we had to guess, we’d say most don’t feel 100% motivated from the get-go.

But that doesn’t mean their time in rehab won’t be successful.

The professionals at the center know what they’re doing. They’re aware that not everyone who walks into the center will be thrilled about treatment and they have methods to entice discouraged patients.

All you truly need to start your recovery process is that one moment of courage to say the words, “I need help”.

Myth #6: All Rehab Centers Are the Same

Going to rehab once and not being able to get off a substance is demotivating, we understand.

If it didn’t work the first time, why would it work the second?

Well, the answer is simple: not every rehab is the same. Different facilities have different approaches and methods. The thing is, you just haven’t found the ones that work best for you.

Myth #7: Rehab Is Just a Quick Fix for Your Addiction

Behind every addiction, there’s a deeper issue.

In rehab, you don’t just put a band-aid on your wound. Rather, you work with specialists towards understanding why the wound is there in the first place.

This means that treatment might be lengthy and tiresome at times.

However, once you start reaching conclusions, it becomes much easier to tackle the reason behind your addiction and to find coping mechanisms that’ll help you stay clean in the long run.

Myth #8: You’ll Have to Put Your Whole Life on Hold

Asking every single rehab patient to put their life on hold is simply unrealistic. All of us, addicted or not, have responsibilities that we can’t just ignore.

So how can you be in rehab but still live your regular life?

Once again, by choosing a program that fits your needs:

  • Inpatient treatment, if you can afford to be absent for a while;
  • Outpatient treatment, if you need to live at home while undergoing the treatment.

Myth #9: Going Back to Rehab Means You’re a Failure

40% to 60% of people who get treatment for substance abuse disorders end up relapsing.

If this happens to you, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure, nor does it mean the rehab wasn’t effective. Here’s the thing: going to rehab will greatly reduce your risk of start using the substance again, but there’s never a 100% guarantee.

It’s important that you grasp the responsibility that’s in your hands, of applying the coping mechanisms you learn once you’re back in the “real world”.

However, it’s also crucial not to see relapse as the end of the world. Going back to rehab is a sign of self-awareness and self-love, way more than it is of failure.

Recovery Is Easier with the Right People by Your Side

As cliché as it might sound, things get better. Recovery is always possible but it’s a lot easier to begin and sustain when you have a good support system, including rehab professionals.

So forget about everything you believed to be true about rehab and just ask for help.

We’d be more than happy to help you get your life back. Reach out today!

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