When initially thinking about the possibility of entering a treatment center, it is natural for something unknown to feel scary. On top of previously established stereotypes of treatment centers, addiction rehabilitation can be portrayed as daunting and intimidating. However, this is not the case. While it can be frightening to try something new, entering rehabilitation for addiction can dramatically change one’s life for the better.

To ensure the best preparation before your journey to recovery, it is important to understand the facts of the situation. There are many misconceptions about what treatment centers are actually like, and many people do not know the full reality. Here are some of the most common myths about alcohol and drug treatment and the truths behind them.

Myth: Anyone should be able to overcome addiction with willpower alone.

Addiction is a chronic disease and needs to be treated as such. Because of the way alcohol, drugs, and other addictive substances alter the brain’s chemistry, the recovery process is way more complicated than just simply quitting. Because the brain is re-wired by the chemicals, it is nearly impossible to quit on willpower alone.

An addict can mitigate and reduce cravings and eradicate the compulsion to consume the substance again through proper addiction treatment and care. The American Society of Medicine has cited many research articles that outline how people suffering from addiction require professional treatment to recover from this disease and can provide tools to help maintain physical and mental health into the future.

Myth: Treatment centers will have you quit cold turkey.

Quitting substances abruptly often does more harm than good and treatment professionals recognize this. In order to manage painful withdrawal symptoms, medical professionals can help monitor a detoxification and prescribe medications to combat any side effects of the detoxification.

For example, medications such as Naltrexone can be prescribed by a doctor to make withdrawal easier. This medication eases cravings and reduces the effects of both alcohol, opioids, and antidepressants to treat withdrawal-related depression. It is a much safer option to experience detoxification under the supervision of a medical professional than by yourself.

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Myth: An addict needs to hit rock bottom before they can begin treatment.

If someone begins the recovery process sooner rather than later, it is a much easier path to recovery. The longer an individual is addicted to a substance and the further they are along in the cycle of addiction, the more their brain is affected by it and the harder it is to repair. Seeking a drug and alcohol rehab option early on will likely increase the chances of recovery instead of waiting until it is too late.

Myth: Addiction treatment is only for celebrities.

Due to Hollywood popularizing rehab, even televising the process during shows like, “Celebrity Rehab,” many individuals assume rehab services are reserved only for the wealthy elites. However, this could not be further from the truth. Even though treatment may be expensive, there are many options to cover the cost of rehab.

To avoid paying out of pocket, your insurance provider may be able to cover the cost or you may qualify for government assistance. Receiving treatment could potentially save the life of you or a loved one, and there are programs in place to ensure this help is accessible.

Myth: Treatment didn’t work the first time, so it will not work a second time.

There is not a one-way path to recovery. Just because one method of treatment did not work does not mean that the journey is over. Recovering from addiction is a long process, and often there are bumps on the road to sobriety. A relapse should not be seen as a failure but rather a sign to get back on the right track.

Looking beyond the myths of rehab, it is clear to see that there is an extreme amount of benefits from the process, and it is not as intimidating as one may think.

Myth: People choose to become addicted.

If addiction were indeed a choice, people would not continue to consume alcohol or drugs when they know it is hurting their health and well-being. The disease of addiction tricks the brain into thinking that consuming substances will relieve its symptoms, but in reality, it leads to more issues down the road.

Often people are not aware they are becoming addicted to something. It typically does not happen overnight, and there are also many cases where you are told something is healthy or beneficial for you to consume or do, which can also lead to addiction.

Myth: Your friends and family will be disappointed in you.

Often, friends and family want what is best for you. Taking a step forward in your life and seeking help in a difficult situation is something that should be celebrated and praised.

Having people in your life who want the best for you should not look at help as a negative. Instead, it should be seen as a positive.

People in your life will not look at you differently if you seek help. Instead, they may appreciate the fact that you are taking steps to get better and ensure nothing like this happens again in the future.

Myth: Treatment facilities are expensive.

While facilities may seem costly upfront, there are options available for financial assistance to make it more affordable. There are multiple ways to receive help paying for treatment services such as insurance coverage or government-subsidized programs.

It should never be too late to start over and turn around your health just because of money issues when other avenues exist to determine how one can afford rehab services without going broke from doing so. Getting clean could save an individual’s life.

Speak with the Cardinal Recovery team today to learn more about the financial options available for you.

Myth: Treatment centers will be boring.

While treatment facilities may seem mundane at first, treatment centers have several activities scheduled every day to keep patients engaged. Oftentimes, staff and clients are working on projects together and participating in different events that will allow an individual to work through their issues while feeling accomplished for doing so.

Treatment facilities should not feel like punishment, but rather an opportunity to grow from your past experiences and learn new skills that can be implemented into one’s life once leaving treatment services. It is also important never to underestimate the power of peer support.

Myth: Addiction treatment facilities are only for people with severe addictions.

Rehab is for anyone who has a substance problem and wants to receive services that can help them grow from this issue.

There are many different types of addiction, which means there are also various treatment options available depending on the severity of one’s issues.

Often people have an idea in their head about what rehab looks like or where they think it will take place without actually being informed as to what programs exist specifically for specific needs/issues/concerns.

It goes back to research before jumping into anything too quickly when you do not know exactly what you could be signing up for or getting yourself into if money does not allow access otherwise. 

Myth: I will lose my job if I get treatment.

Getting treatment does not have to mean quitting your job or taking time off. There are several ways someone can receive support for this issue without losing their jobs, so it is important never to overlook options for you not to take a step backward if possible.

In the United States, employers are also entitled to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)1 The FMLA helps you preserve your job if you want to take a leave of absence for medical reasons. It also allows you up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off each year without risking your work termination.

Furthermore, the FMLA requires that your employer continue to provide you with your existing group health insurance coverage during your leave. Because substance use disorder is a qualifying medical condition, under law, your employer must keep your job available to you when you take FMLA.

If you are looking for assistance finding the correct information on how to best contact or notify an employer of taking time off work in order to get treatment, contact Cardinal Recovery today and our team can help you through the process.

Myth: Withdrawal Is Going To Be Painful.

Although withdrawal symptoms can be painful, it is important not to let this fear deter you from getting treatment. Many different medications can help with these side effects, so if someone feels nervous about what might happen during their process, they should speak up and ask for guidance on how to deal with potential issues properly.

Additionally, going through withdrawal in a controlled environment surrounded by nurses and medical staff familiar with the withdrawal process is the best way to ensure minimal discomfort from withdrawals.

Whether it is certain medications or activities to keep you distracted from the discomfort, withdrawals can be managed and defeated in just a few days.

Myth: You will feel all alone in a treatment center.

While you may not be able to see your friends and family for a period of time, treatment facilities have other individuals who understand exactly what you are going through.

Other patients, staff members, and counselors will offer you support and help ease your mind about what might be happening during the process.

Also, there is always an option to reach out to loved ones if needed or wanted by phone or email, so no one needs to feel like they are entirely cut off from their life outside of treatment services.

Myth: Once I leave the center, I will fall back into the same habits as before.

Once you leave the treatment center, life becomes a new experience, and it is essential to understand that you have the opportunity to be better than before.

The key here is not quitting once everything has been complete but ensuring that you attend and commit to any aftercare services available in your area. This will ensure long-term support and success so that you can continue moving forward. The more support there is for anything continued after treatment then, the easier time someone will likely have to stay on track and avoiding relapse as possible.

Myth: I’ll have to talk about the bad things I have done.

There may be things from your active addiction that you are ashamed to discuss with anybody. This is a typical worry; nevertheless, no one will force you to discuss things you do not want to discuss in a group setting. If one feels the urge to talk but are uncomfortable doing so in a group session, you can speak openly with an individual therapist, counselor, or life coach one-on-one in a treatment center.

It is also important to remember that the treatment center should always remain judgment-free and there is no shame in talking about things you are trying to move past. Cardinal Recovery will welcome open and honest discussion, however, there is no requirement to talk about things that make you uncomfortable or that you would rather talk about in private. If you are looking for a safe personalized experience for your treatment facility, reach out to Cardinal Recovery today.

Myth: The center will force me to take medication.

This is not at all the case. Most treatment centers are looking for individuals to recover and stay sober, so if someone does want help, they will never be forced into taking drugs or medication against the patient’s wishes.

There should always be plenty of options available during each day, with many different types of therapy sessions offered along with complementary activities to ensure patients can feel comfortable throughout their time in care. However, this doesn’t mean every patient will enjoy every activity; Instead, there are enough choices for everyone to find something they like within a treatment center setting.

Myth: All treatment centers are the same.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to addiction treatments. Everyone will feel differently about what they need during their time in care, so it is important that there are many different types of facilities available for everyone’s individual needs.

Some people might respond better to more intense residential programs while others benefit best from outpatient services where they can live at home and receive therapy over a shorter period of time.

Talking with Cardinal Recovery will ensure that you are in the right treatment center for your personal needs. The staff is open and honest, and the intention is to ensure you are in the proper situation to succeed. Contact Cardinal recovery today to start your road to recovery.


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