Debunking Myths About Rehab

By The Fix staff 09/17/18

This recovery month, it’s time to discuss the truth about treatment.

Smiling woman in lab coat with stethoscope.

In some circles, the recovery industry has a bad reputation. While it’s true that people sometimes relapse after recovery, rehab centers are set up to give people the best possible chance at long-term, sustained sobriety. This is especially important for teens struggling with substance use disorder, like those treated at Safe Landing, which offers inpatient and outpatient treatment for adolescents in Miami, Florida.

September is National Recovery Month, which makes it the perfect time to debunk some common myths about going to rehab:

Myth: Rehab centers only care about your money.

Reality: Facilities are staffed by people who are have a passion for helping.

People who work in the recovery industry have often chosen it because they have a real chance to make a difference in the lives of the people they work with. 

Niznik Behavioral Health facilities are staffed by compassionate addiction recovery specialists who dedicate themselves to each client's individual journey. In fact, often people in recovery return as counselors and other supporting staff members to help give others the same opportunities for healing. Because of this, they are able to understand the patients’ struggles and relate their own challenges and victories. This allows the staff to provide support and guidance from a unique, personal perspective that lets clients see firsthand what life in long-term recovery can look like.

Myth: You only need support for detox.

Reality: Detox is just the first step of treatment.

Detox is the process by which your body rids itself of the substances you have been abusing. Detox can be agonizing, but it only addresses the physical aspects of addiction. Once a substance clears a person’s system, they will still need to conquer cravings and address the underlying issues that led them to abuse substances in the first place.

Getting support during detox is a great idea, but it’s only the first step to long-term recovery. Having support to address all aspects of your addiction is critical to staying sober. Detox treatment addresses the physical symptoms of substance use disorder, but it is not where the recovery journey ends.

Myth: Detox is not worth the pain.

Reality: Medically supervised detox can ease the pain of withdrawal.

Detox brings a host of uncomfortable physical symptoms, from vomiting to shakiness and lightheadedness. Many people with addictions live their lives trying to avoid being “dope-sick,” or experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal. Because of this, willingly opting to detox can be frightening.

However, choosing a treatment facility that provides medically-supervised detox can help ease the fear. In medical detox, doctors use medications that ease the pain of withdrawal and manage symptoms, allowing each client to enter treatment in the best possible frame of mind, rather than reeling from the physical trauma of detox. In addition, clinically supervised detox helps to safeguard against misuse of medication and the development of new addictions.

Myth: Medically-assisted treatment is just trading one drug for another.

Reality: Medications allow you to safety manage chronic conditions.

For a long time the treatment and recovery industries have focused on total abstinence. However, that is changing as medical professionals and everyday people realize the advantages of using medications to manage long-term chronic illnesses, including addiction and mental illness.

Undergoing medically-assisted treatment is entirely different from misuse and abuse of illicit substances. During medically-assisted treatment, patients are overseen by medical staff who closely monitor the doses and duration of the medications used. This helps protect against new dependency issues.

Medications can help manage opioid use disorder or alcoholism. Patients with dual diagnoses of mental illness and substance use disorder may be prescribed medication to help correct neuro-chemical imbalances. After these patients have been stabilized, they can benefit from therapeutic interventions and are able to develop stress management skills and positive coping mechanisms.

Myth: Addiction recovery is all about willpower.

Reality: Making wise decisions about sobriety is better than trying to power through challenges.

Addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. Because of that, relying only on willpower to stay sober can unintentionally lead to relapse. Long-term success in sobriety is about mindfulness and conscious commitment to keeping one's recovery as a priority and making decisions which will not put that commitment in jeopardy. This approach means avoiding triggering situations rather than attempting to power through them, choosing to surround one's self with supportive people instead of returning to toxic friendships and relationships, and so on. It also means finding a treatment center that can connect you with the tools that will help you stay clean and sober for life.

Safe Landing is a recovery center for adolescents in Miami. Learn more by calling 1-877-624-1030 or emailing [email protected].

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