Myths and facts about drug rehabilitation

The world of drug addiction is a mystery to most people. Few understand addiction – many don’t want to – and drug rehabilitation is a topic that many avoid. This means that there are many myths surrounding rehabilitation. Some of these are outlined here so that you can separate fact from fiction.

Addicts must want to be treated

There is a common misconception that addicts must want to submit to drug rehabilitation for it to be effective. The fact is that a majority of drug addicts are forced into treatment by pressure from family, friends or the judiciary, rather than wanting it themselves. It is often only after treatment has started to have some affect that they come to accept it.

Drug rehabilitation is a waste of time

Nothing could be further from the truth. Rehabilitation treatment is a lengthy process involving many professionals including doctors, therapists and counsellors and although patients do relapse, eventually some 40% to 60% break free from the habit. This has huge benefits for the health and welfare of the patient and a major social impact in reduced levels of drug-related crime and pressure on medical services.

Rehabilitation can cure addiction

The simple fact is that drug dependency is a permanent condition that cannot be cured; it can only be put into remission and controlled. Drug abusers will always be at risk, even after treatment and even if they have been ‘clean’ for years – one minor relapse and they are once again on a very slippery slope. Hence they are usually described as being ‘in recovery’ as opposed to being ‘recovered’.

One relapse and it’s back to square one

The fact is that relapse is a common aspect of recovery. Abusers who are in a proper recovery programme, especially those at rehab centres, have guidance counsellors who will help them through the crisis of relapse and give them the tools to cope long after formal treatment has finished. A relapse will set them back but not all the way to square one. Addicts trying to treat themselves, however, do not have the support they need and are, therefore, more susceptible to serious relapses.

All treatment is the same

There is no universal approach to drug rehabilitation treatment. Every addict is different not only with regard to degree of addiction but also with regard to health, personal circumstances and the factors that led to addiction. While there may be common aspects to treatment, therefore, each course of treatment is tailored to meet the needs of the individual addict.

Addicts must be at rock bottom to want treatment

In most cases addicts have to be persuaded, pressured or forced to accept drug rehabilitation treatment. Very few will seek treatment of their own accord – denial, pride and fear all conspire to keep them away. To seek help themselves, they are often at their lowest point. However, they can be persuaded to seek treatment before reaching that stage and, in fact, the earlier they get treatment the greater the prospects for success.

All rehab centres are the same

There might be common aspects to the drug rehabilitation treatment they use, but rehab centres are definitely not the same. Many have unique approaches to treatment and also have different facilities, different staff and a different outlook.