Getting the help needed to overcome can be a scary concept, especially when we come to terms with something like substance abuse or addiction but we are afraid of what we don’t know about the rehabilitation process. For most people just that word ‘rehab’ may draw up a good deal of anxiety and assumptions, particularly if you have never been to one, and there are plenty of misconceptions about treatment facilities and the rehab process that keep people from seeking treatment for addiction at all. I know I had quite a few beliefs that were proven to be baseless after arriving to rehab myself, so here we will look at the 4 most common fears about going to rehab.
- Detox is terrible and painful…
FEAR- For anyone who has struggled with substance abuse for any length of time there is always the fear that the detoxification of the body is going to be a terrible and painful part of rehab.
FACT- This is not the case. In rehab the detox process is made easy, with a trained medical staff that does everything possible to make you comfortable and support you through that transition. Detoxing at home can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous, and may lead most people to give up on recovery all together. Any necessary medications to assist with withdrawal symptoms are provided and monitored in a rehab facility to assure that you are able to ease out of physical dependency from the substances without the additional stress.
- It’s like a prison/hospital…
FEAR- I know personally when I came to treatment I did not expect it to be anything like what I found. I thought it would be like a hospital or prison, with guards and barred windows.
FACT- In reality, the rehab experience I had was nothing like a prison lock-down or hospital. There was a nursing staff on site to assist with any medical needs, and it was a comfortable and relaxed environment. No shackles, no solitary confinement, no watch-tower. Instead there was a residential community with plenty of conveniences of home, even recreational areas and a team of holistic and health professionals who encouraged freedom and expression.
- People will know you’re in rehab…
FEAR- Another common fear is that other people will know you are in rehab. Sometimes people are worried their employer or co-workers may find out they sought treatment. They may worry their extended families or just other people in the community may find out, anyone who they are trying to avoid having to explain the situation to, and they could be judged.
FACT- One extremely important part about substance abuse and addiction treatment is each individual’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Going to rehab is not something to be ashamed of, but it is not necessarily something we want announced to everyone in our lives, especially in regards to our careers. A certified and professional rehab facility will do everything necessary to keep your personal information as a patient confidential. Any and all medical records and therapy or treatment plans will be protected. In rehab information policies will be upheld to the highest standards to ethically and effectively help you get back to the life you want and the future you are building for yourself.
- People there are criminals…
FEAR- Some of us who struggle with substance abuse or addiction have a fear that when we go to rehab we will be surrounded by people who are violent, hateful or degenerate criminals, and that we will be stuck with them for an extended time. Now no one is perfect, and we all have our faults, but this assumption as well is not true.
FACT- In my experience I met some of the most intelligent, talented, and kind people in rehab. Most people who end up in rehab are regular people, not hardened criminals. They are decent and hardworking individuals or young adults who are dealing with a similar problem as you are, and have also committed to changing it. There are people from all walks of life and social status who struggle with substance abuse. Addiction has no bias or prejudice, and some forms of therapy in rehab are designed to bring people together to defeat that common enemy.
The fears about treatment can also expand from these general ideas, and I’m quite sure there are plenty other anxieties that people have felt before looking into treatment, or committing to rehabilitation. I can definitely say I had plenty of my own doubts, and my expectations of what rehab would be were all completely fictional. I was greeted at the door with support and understanding, my detox was handled with an abundance of care and turned out to be painless, and my residential treatment program was filled with inspirational classes, accepting therapists, and a community of peers who became close friends in the recovery process.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135