Myth #1: Recovery Is a Matter of Willpower.
Addiction is a chronic disease; it is not a matter of willpower. The truth is, if beating an addiction were easy, then all of the institutions offering professional help to nix addiction wouldn’t exist. The point at which many cross over from substance abuse to addiction is the point at which they cannot quit using on their own. To complicate matters, an undiagnosed illness like bipolar disorder or depression will make the recovery process that much more challenging. For most patients with mental health problems, beating their addiction is nearly impossible without also treating their illness. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 45.6 million American citizens had a mental illness in the year 2011.
Myth #2: Treatment Has to Be Voluntary to Work.
Another common misconception about drug and alcohol rehab is that the patient has to want to get clean and sober in order to be able to do it. Simply put, it’s not true. Plenty of patients enter treatment every day at the urging of their employer or their family, or due to court orders in lieu of jail time, and many of them have no desire to stop using drugs or booze. Treatment will often change the addict, whether they’re willing to accept help or not. For many, their mindset changes, and they become more open to accepting help after they’ve gotten through detoxification and started the recovery process.
Myth #3: Rehab Is Too Expensive.
A common worry when it comes to substance abuse treatment is how to pay for it. Who wouldn’t worry about that? For those fortunate enough to have insurance, it is likely that your carrier provides coverage for substance abuse treatment. For those without insurance, more problems exist, but accessing treatment is still possible. There are facilities that offer free coverage, and some treatment centers will work with a patient’s family to find a solution.
Likewise, not every facility has extraordinary entry fees either; some are affordable and may be covered by savings and pooling money from friends and family. A poll of addicts who were able to seek treatment resulted in 48.4 percent noting they paid for it themselves, according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Recent updates to policies under the Affordable Care Act also allow for substance abuse coverage — a feat that is expected to open treatment doors to many who would otherwise not have been able to get help. ACA plans exist for the coverage of treatment for mental health disorders. The government also pays for a significant majority of drug treatment across the United States, with 77 percent of treatment fees being covered by government sources, including Medicaid and Medicare, per the Drug War Facts.
Myth #4: Relapse Is Inevitable.
Many addicts look at drug and alcohol treatment as a lost cause, noting the number of people who have sought treatment and ended up right back in the clutches of addiction. Every year, an approximate 2.6 million people receive treatment in America for substance abuse, according to Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York. Among those who accept treatment, an approximate 40 to 60 percent will relapse, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
While many addicts relapse on their journey to sobriety, it doesn’t mean that relapse is inevitable. Many addicts proceed to long-term sobriety without relapsing or after relapsing. And for those who do relapse, it shouldn’t be seen as a failure. Relapse can even reinforce a person’s commitment to their recovery, reaffirming the reasons why they are in recovery to begin with.