Addiction is defined by the inability to abstain from a drug craving or unhealthy behavior, which results in biological and psychological manifestations that ultimately cause self harm and even harm to others. Addiction is often treated in professional settings known as rehabilitation. Approximately 2.5 million people in the United States entered a substance abuse rehabilitation center, which is less than three percent of the total population who needed treatment for illicit drug and alcohol abuse. Individuals who struggle with addiction often have underlying severe stressors or mental health disorders and their addiction is used to self-medicate or self cope with these stressful life events. Unfortunately in today’s society there is a lot of stigma associated with addiction and rehabilitation resulting in many misperceptions and myths that can potentially keep individuals from seeking treatment for their addiction. The following are common myths and facts about addiction rehab.
Myth#1: Addiction treatment centers use only one type of treatment
Fact: Addiction treatment is not a one-size fits all approach. Addiction treatment at a reputable treatment program should be an individualized approach and should treat the individual not the disease, meaning that treatment should be tailored to the specific underlying triggers and stressors associated with the addiction. There are many different forms of psychotherapy, behavior modification techniques and pharmacological treatment options.
Myth#2: Addiction is a matter of choice and individuals can stop whenever they want.
Fact: Addiction is a disease and it is nearly impossible to stop without the support of professionals. Addiction is triggered by underlying stressors, environmental and biological factors and is often associated with a mental health illness such as depression or anxiety. Addiction rewires the brain and impairs the balance of neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine and serotonin. As a result, involved psychotherapy and medication management is necessary and although there is no cure for addiction, it is possible to control cravings and unhealthy thought and behavior with the appropriate professional treatment.
Myth #3: All addiction treatment centers are the same.
Fact: All addiction treatment centers differ from each other. Each addiction treatment center has their own unique treatment team, credentials, specific therapies and programs, specialized treatment tracts, different morals and standards and structures. Some addiction treatment centers may specialize in specific types of addiction and it is important to thoroughly research various treatment centers.
Myth #4: Legal drugs are not dangerous.
Fact: Prescription drugs are the main cause of overdoses in the United States, especially opioids. Painkillers are often given after a trauma or surgery and many people become addicted accidentally overtime. Additionally many people seek out prescription painkillers to get high. Legal drugs are just as dangerous as illegal drugs and also require the same level of professional addiction treatment.
Myth#5: Drug rehabilitation treatment is unaffordable.
Fact: Although some private treatment centers are very expensive, most private insurances will cover all or some of the costs at reputable licensed treatment centers. There are also scholarship programs, state sponsored treatment centers and financial services available to help those enroll in a treatment center.