There are a lot of misconceptions about attending treatment facilities for a substance use disorder (SUD). The myths can prevent a person from getting the help they need. To encourage treatment, let’s debunk some incorrect ideas about rehabilitation facilities.
The “Just Do It” Attitude
Some believe they don’t need to attend a rehabilitation facility to manage their substance use symptoms. Instead, all they need is enough willpower. This is a damaging myth because it gives the illusion that people with SUDs have more control over their substance usage than they do.
SUD is a category of mental health disorders that changes a person’s brain chemistry through the consumption of drugs or alcohol. This makes it difficult for the person to stop or decrease usage. The just-do-it attitude for SUDs is an impractical and often impossible expectation for somebody to put on themselves or others. A person might not be capable of getting through withdrawal alone, let alone staying sober.
Detoxification & Rehabilitation Are the Same
Despite what people say, detoxification and rehabilitation are not the same. Some people who enter rehabilitation facilities don’t need detoxification depending on the severity of their dependency and when they last consumed substances. Detoxification is weaning someone off an addictive substance while providing medical intervention to minimize withdrawal symptoms. This is to ensure the person is weaned off the drug safely.
Rehabilitation is care that helps improve the abilities needed to function in a person’s everyday life. Specifically for people with SUD, it’s the process of learning new behavioral skills and emotional techniques that they will continue to use post-treatment.
Rehabilitation Facilities Are the Cure
Similar to other chronic diseases, SUDs will never be cured. However, like asthma, diabetes, depression, or bipolar disorder, it can be successfully managed. Rehabilitation facilities provide people with the tools they need to manage their symptoms and live healthy and productive lives.
Switching From One Addiction to Another
This myth is regarding medicated-assisted treatment (MAT). Some people believe that using medication to treat substance use replaces one addiction with another. Many rehabilitation facilities use MAT to prevent future relapse, improve patients’ survival of withdrawal symptoms, and reverse overdoses. The drugs used in MAT are FDA-approved and safe when used as prescribed.
Relapse Is Failure
Everybody’s recovery journey will take different twists and turns. For some people, their journey might include relapse. Managing intrusive thoughts and cravings during life crises is difficult. Sometimes people won’t be able to manage them. However, relapse does not mean that treatment has failed or the person has failed in recovery. It’s an indicator in the recovery process that signifies the need to change treatment plans and lifestyles.
Relapse is a learning curve. It can help people better understand their emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. Some people’s lives change, and they need a new strategy for managing their SUD. Other people need more time to learn about themselves to manage their symptoms. Either way, it is not a failure on the person’s part.
Attending Rehabilitation Facilities Can Result in Firing
Legally, a person cannot be fired for committing to a rehabilitation program. There are legal protections for people receiving treatment for substance use under the Americans with disabilities act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). ADA protects people from being fired for having disabling mental health disorders like SUDs. The FMLA provides unpaid protected job security for a medical leave of absence.
Hitting Rock Bottom Before Attending Rehabilitation Facilities
A person doesn’t have to reach rock bottom before seeking treatment. They should seek treatment when they notice that a substance impairs their ability to function, and they can’t stop taking it. Other symptoms of a SUD to watch out for are higher tolerance, cravings, and withdrawal symptoms. When a person enters treatment earlier, it will be easier to manage their symptoms.
Rehabilitation Facilities Aren’t Necessary After Detox
Some people believe once they complete the detoxification process, they no longer need to complete the rest of the treatment. However, detox is only a small part of substance use treatment. Attending talk therapy and building skills to help a person cope with their substance use symptoms will help them continue their recovery post-treatment.
If Treatment Didn’t Work the First Time, It Won’t Work the Second
When a person enters treatment after relapsing, they enter treatment as a different person than when they originally started. Relapsing doesn’t pull a person back to square one. Instead, everything the person learned from the first time they completed treatment gives them an advantage. They can focus on what they know they need to work on. Plus, they can gravitate towards therapy, techniques, and modalities they know work for them.
All Rehabilitation Facilities Are the Same
A person should research different facilities before committing to a treatment program. Every treatment facility will have different services, atmospheres, and modalities. It may take a minute before somebody finds a program that’s a good match for them. However, they can use friends, family, and trusted mental health professionals for references.
Attending a rehabilitation facility could help you manage your substance use disorder and regain control of your life. At Restoration Recovery Center, we offer several therapy treatments and modalities. We can tailor treatment to fit your specific needs. We recognize that you are a complex person, not just a number. Our mental health professionals will work closely with you to find emotional management methods and techniques to help you reach your long-term recovery goals. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, please call (888) 290-0925 to learn how we can help you achieve long-term sobriety through treatments that focus on the body, mind, and spirit.