Life in rehab is a world unto itself, having its own culture and language. Here, for your enlightenment, are 12 words that have a completely different meaning in rehab.
The word “rehab” itself has a specific meaning in the field of addiction treatment. It refers to a treatment facility where people receive therapies to address their substance abuse and addiction issues. In the outside world, people often refer to recovery from a surgery or injury as ‘rehab,’
as in physical rehab.
Outside of the rehab arena, people who hear the term “tech” immediately think of all-things-computer-related. In rehab, though, the word “Tech” is short for “Behavioral Health Technician,” which is a job position that involves probably the most contact with patients.
This term is a general one that can refer to several types of treatment. People not familiar with rehab may initially think of physical therapy upon hearing this term. Those involved in the addictions field, including the patients, generally refer to “talk” therapy, also known as psychotherapy, as simply therapy.
#4. Thanks for sharing
In the “real” world, this is usually said with an air of sarcasm, however, in rehab, when someone is courageous enough to talk about their experiences with addiction, the others will say this as a way of recognizing that courage.
People in rehab who are able to sneak away from the prying eyes of the Techs engage in this activity. Basically, it’s a slang term for having sex. (As opposed to #11)
#6. Taking a break
In rehab, this specifically means having a short period of downtime during which you smoke as many cigarettes as possible.
Anyone else using this term is referring to the quad and academic buildings at a college or university. In rehab, however, “campus” is used to refer to the building or buildings that house the treatment rooms where the patients will be all day, participating in group and individual therapy.
#8. Going to school
In some rehabs, the patients refer to the act of going to the “campus” for group as ‘going to school.’
People in rehab know this vehicle as the druggie buggy, which is what transports them to the campus and to meetings.
#10. Where are you from?
Anywhere else in conversation, this would be synonymous with “Where did you grow up?” But, in rehab, asking this is a thinly-veiled way to finding out what someone’s DOC (drug office) is. That’s because you can usually tell by region/state what it is the person was using, i.e. New Jersey = heroin.
#11. Having a fling
This is a cute one. In the outside world, having a fling with someone means having a brief, usually sexual, relationship with another person. When it comes to life in a rehab, this term refers to a “relationship” insofar as someone you secretly pass notes to.
This doesn’t necessarily mean someone who has served in the armed forces. In rehab, a ‘veteran’ is someone who has been through rehab programs more than a few times.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.