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Drug Rehab: Here Are 7 Myths and Realities About Drug Rehabilitation

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Today, I’ll be exploring a topic most people don’t really like talking about, drug addiction and rehab. When it comes to the issue of drug addiction, it’s evident that our taste for addictive psychoactive substances can be traced back millions of years ago to the early human civilization. Many in the past believed that alcoholism (alcohol use disorder) developed as a result of moral failings, not until Benjamin Rush, one of the founders of America, discovered that the unwillingness to quit alcohol abuse wasn’t because of a lack of willpower but a problem with the alcohol itself.

This further led to the progressive treatment of alcoholism as a disease and not a spiritual problem or a problem with the affected person’s personality. This illustrates the common misconceptions people have about drug addiction and rehabilitation in general, and this article aims to debunk some of these myths by shedding light on the truth behind them.



While drug addicts are being encouraged to seek out rehabilitation, several myths about the rehabilitation process have held so many people back from making the all-important decision. That’s why we’ve decided to debunk the 7 popular rehab myths in the world today.

1. Myth: You Have To Hit Rock Bottom First Before Going To Rehab.

Reality. The belief that you have to wait until you’ve lost everything positive in your life, and you’re at the very brink of losing your mind before seeking help through rehab is totally wrong. On the other side of things, it’s commonly known that people whose conditions are worse are the ones seen getting rehabilitation. But you don’t have to wait until you find yourself dwindling in debt, disowned by your family members, homeless, or out of a job before seeking professional help.

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2. Myth: You Don’t Need Rehab. Willpower And Prayers Will Do Just Fine.

Reality: This is probably the biggest addiction myth that comes as a misunderstanding of what addiction truly is, and it plagues the traditional African community to date. It’s very important to know that drug addiction is not purely a result of moral failings and something you can overcome by willpower, prayers, and determination. According to the National Institute for Drug Addiction, “Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.

3. Myth: You Can’t Force Someone To Go Into Rehab.

Reality: While a drug addict should make the personal life-changing decision to seek professional help through rehabilitation, the myth that a person needs to decide to go to rehab on their own for it to be effective is entirely false. The belief that it’ll be ineffective when a person is forced into rehab either by family or by court order is not factual. According to research by the National Institute of Drug abuse (NIDA),  it has been proven that even people forced into rehab can become sober.


4. Myth: When You Relapse, The Treatment Failed And It’s All Over.

Reality: It’s important to understand that addiction to psychoactive substances is a disease and it has a significant risk of relapse. Just like other chronic diseases like bipolar disorder, asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, drug addiction has a significantly high relapse rate. Relapse can often cause the patients to feel great disappointment in themselves and the treatment methods that it seems like the treatment was never working in the first place. That idea is entirely wrong and should be done away with. Psychological stress from family problems, work, wrong association with friends, and living in a wrong environment could all trigger relapse. When going through the rehabilitation process, you learn a lot about the underlying issues that caused your substance abuse in the first place. You also learn healthy ways to cope with cravings, stress, and some key relapse prevention strategies. Recovery is a long process that usually requires multiple treatment attempts and strategies to achieve consistent and complete sobriety.

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5. Myth: You Only Need Rehab When Addicted To Illegal Drugs.

Reality: A lot of attention has been given to hard and illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine because they are hazardous substances. It’s important to note that a lot of people die each year from abusing over the counter prescription drugs and alcohol overdose (legal drugs). These legal substances are so much easier to obtain, and according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, over 88,000 people die as a result of alcohol-related deaths each year. This figure is way higher in comparison to the 11,000 deaths from heroin overdose in 2014.

6. Myth: Drug Rehab Is Unaffordable And Meant For Only Celebrities.

Reality: There is a wrong notion that rehab is solely for celebrities just because they’re rich, and we see a lot of their extravagant lifestyle and drug use on TV. Even though some treatment centers can be pricey, there are cheaper options that won’t leave your bank account in the red. Special insurance plans cover some or all of the costs of treatment, so don’t let money stand in your way.


7. Myth: You Can Recover On Your Own.

Reality: Sure, there’s a sense of responsibility that comes with taking that first step to getting sober. Although the desire to quit is an integral part of the rehabilitation process, there’s absolutely no way you can achieve complete freedom from addiction on your own because willpower isn’t enough. It’s very important to seek professional help via treatment, expert advice, and support from friends and family as these people can help you through accountability, support, and structure to help you reduce the risk of relapse.


Although the stigma that comes with drug rehab is sometimes challenging to deal with, it is important to know that, “It’s going to get harder before it gets easier, but it will get better. First, you just have to make it through the hard stuff.”

Read more: 10 Surprising Addictions & Strange Things You May Be Addicted To

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