Substance abuse and addiction are major challenges facing countless individuals and families in the US today. While there’s a growing awareness of these issues, misconceptions surrounding treatment options are still the biggest roadblocks to seeking help.

In an effort to provide a more realistic image of how things work with treatment centers, this article will discuss and debunk 10 of the most common treatment center myths many people believe despite not being true.

This will help you make informed decisions on the path to addiction recovery while also introducing valuable information about the treatment programs offered along the way. Let’s dive right in!

Myth #1: Addiction Isn’t a Disease to Require Treatment

Let’s start with one of the most significant barriers that prevents many individuals from seeking the help they need. A lot of people as well as concerned families think that addiction is simply a matter of lacking willpower or morals.

However, addiction is a well-established and heavily documented medical condition that goes by the scientific term Substance Use Disorder within the medical community.

In fact, there is tons of extensive research done in that regard to show that addiction simply takes over the brain’s chemical balance, completely hijacking its decision-making and reward systems.

Although the nature of addiction is yet to be fully understood, scientific research has already documented some of its common causes, risk factors, complications, and even treatment methods, but more about that in the following sections.

It’s true that some behavioral and psychological issues could lead to developing addiction, such as peer pressure, enabling, lack of supervision, etc. Yet, there are plenty of documented addiction cases that didn’t suffer such issues.

Myth #2: Quitting Cold Turkey at Home Will Do

The idea of quitting an addiction cold turkey at home might seem appealing in its simplicity. You simply stay at home, cease to use any drugs altogether, and power through the urge to reuse.

Unfortunately, as straightforward as it might seem, this approach isn’t only a recipe for relapsing, but it can be an extremely risky gamble.

As you probably know, reducing or ceasing to use an addictive drug usually triggers withdrawal symptoms.

While some symptoms like headaches can be fairly tolerated, others can be quite brutal, ranging from insomnia and severe anxiety to chills and potentially life-threatening seizures (especially in alcohol addiction).

On the other hand, rehab centers always involve professional treatment and medical supervision in the process.

For instance, addiction treatment programs always start with a detoxification (detox) phase. This usually includes medication-assisted treatment where supportive treatments can be used to reduce the impact of withdrawal symptoms.

Severe drug abuse cases may also benefit from the tapering process where medical professionals gradually reduce the dosage to minimize the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

Myth #3: Mild Addiction Doesn’t Require Treatment Centers

Another common myth is that drug addiction exists on a spectrum, with only “severe” cases that hit rock bottom needing professional help. This simply isn’t true, and there are various reasons why this theory doesn’t hold water.

Firstly, addiction is a highly progressive disease, so if it’s left untreated, even the mildest of cases can become much worse over time.

Also just because the addiction itself is mild, doesn’t mean that the underlying conditions are also mild.

In that case, even if quitting the drug at home works, recovered individuals may not be able to deal with the root causes behind addiction. As a result, the risk of relapsing becomes much higher.

The good news here is that treatment centers will also address the patient’s mental health and use several evidence-based approaches to help them develop coping mechanisms to avoid triggers and potential relapses.

Myth #4: Addiction Treatment is a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Addiction is a unique condition because each patient has its own causes, risk factors, and triggers.

Combine that with the varying intensities of addiction and personal differences, and you’ll find that each individual case is unique, and what works with one may not necessarily work with others.

Drug use treatment centers perfectly understand that statement, and it’s common for most reputable rehab facilities to prepare a customized and highly personal treatment plan based on each patient’s needs and challenges.

The following are some of the most popular approaches that some high-end rehab centers might offer:

  • Inpatient Treatment: A highly intensive treatment program that involves 24/7 care and supervision in a residential setting. Ideal for patients with severe addiction who need a complete break from their environment to focus on recovery.
  • Outpatient Treatment: This flexible program allows individuals to live at home while attending therapy sessions. Perfect for milder cases with a strong support system at home.
  • Individual Counseling: Tailored therapy sessions to address the underlying causes of addiction.
  • Group Therapy: Incorporates patients in a group setting to share their experiences with individuals who’ll understand the struggle. This helps overcome the sense of isolation associated with addiction and therapy.
  • Sober Living Homes: A transitional controlled environment to prepare recently recovered patients to return back to their daily lives after treatment.
  • Supportive Treatment: A combination of various relaxing and healthy approaches that address the well-being of patients to ensure a long-term recovery.

Myth #5: Rehab Is Expensive and Uncovered By Insurance

It’s true that treatment can be rather expensive and rehab centers can vary in expense depending on the nature of the addiction.

That being said, many treatment centers offer payment plans and accept health insurance with addiction coverage.

In fact, the Affordable Care Act mandates coverage for substance use disorder treatment by most insurance plans.

Check with your insurance provider or explore financial assistance options at treatment centers, as many offer facilitated plans and long-term payment options.

Myth #6: Treatment Centers Use Strictly Religious Methods

Treatment centers cater to a diverse clientele with varying spiritual beliefs. While many individuals do find faith-based treatment methods highly effective, others may prefer a more secular approach during recovery.

Many rehab centers out there can also offer both treatment approaches to provide the optimum recovery plan for patients.

For instance, besides faith-based treatments, they would also include evidence-based approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy.

Myth #7: You Will Lose Your Job If They Find Out

The choice to go to rehab actually shows immense strength and courage. When an individual fights the urge to keep on using addictive drugs and chooses to go to rehab, they’re trying to retake control of their life and seek help to overcome that difficult challenge.

Of course, there might be some stigmatization about going to rehab due to a lack of awareness in many communities about the struggles of addiction.

Similarly, some individuals might be worried that by going to rehab they might lose their job. However, this is also a common misconception, and there are several reasons to debunk this myth.

For instance, you should keep in mind that addiction, while diverse in causes, has some common signs and symptoms. Among the most common of them is the preoccupation with obtaining and using the addicted drugs.

As a result, as addiction progresses, it becomes much harder for individuals to keep up with their professional and social responsibilities, which leads to job loss and financial ruin.

Luckily, however, there are various legislations and regulations that prevent employers from terminating their employees for going to rehab. On the other hand, they’re allowed to terminate employees who show up to work under the influence of drugs.

Myth #8: Rehab Treats You Like a Prisoner

Rehab offers a structured environment, but it’s not in any way a prison. Of course, there will be rules and boundaries, but they are in place to support your recovery journey, not to punish you.

The restrictive environment provides stability and reduces the risk of relapse by limiting access to triggers that might jeopardize your progress. Also, reputable rehab centers will offer plenty of activities and amenities to keep your mind at ease.

Myth #9: Treatment Centers Are Only for Certain Age or Background

Addiction can strike anyone regardless of age, social/economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, or profession.

Treatment centers understand this and many even offer programs designed to meet the unique needs of different individuals to accommodate their situations while helping them achieve recovery.

Myth #10: All Treatment Centers Are the Same

Lastly, you should know that every treatment center will vary significantly depending on the approach and methods used, the level of services and care offered, qualifications, and even luxury levels.

Make sure that you do extensive research in your region to find the best rehab center for your needs, and always prioritize qualifications and expertise to minimize the risk of relapsing.

Finding the Best Treatment Center in New York

There you have it! 10 common myths and misconceptions about addiction treatment centers busted to help you find out whether it’s the best approach for you.

If you or your loved ones are struggling with addiction or substance abuse in New York, Long Island Interventions can offer a highly individualized treatment plan to help you start your path to recovery.


Published on: 2024-06-11
Updated on: 2024-06-20