8 Lies that Keep People from Getting Help for Their Addiction

Have you ever considered rehab, but then thought “No way?” If so, you’re not alone.

While rehab isn’t the right solution for everyone, many have rejected the idea of rehab due to preconceptions that are completely false. To truly know whether rehab is right for you or a loved one, you need to separate fact from fiction.

Many have ruled out rehab as an option because of one or more of these 8 myths, but they just aren’t true. Here’s why:

Lie 1: I’ll lose my job if I go to treatment.

Fear of losing a career is perhaps the single greatest excuse not to go to rehab. Although a legitimate concern, chances are you are more likely to lose your job if you don’t go to rehab.

Addiction doesn’t disappear on its own, and the long term effects of addiction often lead to job loss.

Think about it: Employee turnover is costly, and most bosses would rather solve the problem than let it grow and get worse—even if it means giving a medical leave for a few months. Many companies support treatment and recovery, but they certainly won’t support poor work performance due to drug and alcohol use.

Lie 2: It isn’t that serious—only unemployed and homeless people need rehab.

It doesn’t matter how much you drink and use, if drugs and alcohol are negatively affecting your life, it’s serious.

“I remember when I first came to AA, I believed that some alcoholics aren’t as bad as other alcoholics. We tend to point out greater defects in others to justify our own concept of what we’ve become. If we persist in the illusion that we can drink like so called “normal people,” most of these things that have happened to those “worse” than us will happen to us.”
–Gene Duffy

Although statistics show a correlation between unemployment and drug abuse, they also show that addiction affects people from all walks of life. Whether someone is homeless or the CEO of a large corporation, they still need help to achieve long-term sobriety.

In 2010, only 40% of all treatment admissions for those 16 and older were unemployed. Studies show that the majority of illicit drug users and heavy drinkers are actually employed. According to data from the National Survey on Drug use and Health 2010,

  • About three fourths of binge and heavy alcohol users were employed in 2010.
  • Of the 20.2 million current illicit drug users 18 or older, 13.3 million (65.9%) were employed either full or part time.

Lie 3: I will be forced to convert to a religion.

AA and other 12 Step groups have long been criticized as being a “cult” or a religious organization. But the culture of AA is not a cult, nor are spiritual principles the same thing as a religion.

Read the 12 Steps and you will see that AA represents a culture of recovery and offers a pathway to spirituality.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking, and their purpose is to “stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.” AA is a recovery community, not a religious sect.

As one active atheist says, “The Steps aren’t commandments, they’re suggestions. Nobody’s saying they were handed down by God; they came from the experience of a group of drunks, like me. They’re a proven method for staying sober, and they work.”

Lie 4: If it didn’t work for me before it won’t work again. If it didn’t work for so and so, it won’t work for me.

This is a generalization fallacy. Every situation and every program are different. So many variables are at play when we start off in recovery—the type of program, the length of stayaftercare services, the philosophy of the rehab and personal motivation. Do not confine yourself to other people’s failures.

Addiction is a chronic disease, and sobriety is a lifelong battle. 

Relapse does not mean failure, and just because one program didn’t work doesn’t mean you should give up altogether. Even at Duffy’s, we have guests who are in rehab for the first time and guests who have been in rehab multiple times. And we have seen both groups go on to live productive, drug-free lives.

Lie 5: Rehab is too expensive for me to afford.

It’s easy to think that only celebrities can afford rehab. Yet, one little detail is missing—luxury. Celebrities usually attend luxury rehab centers that charge over $50,000 a month. There are many other more affordable treatment options, ranging from outpatient clinics to short term residential stays. Most rehab facilities also accept insurance, which helps cover the treatment costs.

Recovery is an investment in the rest of your life. 

Sustaining an addiction is often just as expensive, if not more, as paying for treatment. Drugs not only require your money, but they also take a huge toll on your health, your relationships, your job, your children and ultimately your life. In rehab, you are not just paying to “get sober,” but to get your life back.

Lie 6: I will have to quit using all substances as soon as I get there.

Each rehab center will have different rules regarding this subject. The majority of rehabs will not require you to stop taking pills that have been prescribed to you by a doctor.

For example, if you have sleeping pill prescriptions for medical reasons, many facilities will allow you to continue the pills. Many also administer medication to ease withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process more comfortable and safe.

Some facilities, such as Duffy’s, do not require smokers to quit smoking while in rehab for another substance. Although nearly all rehab centers will require complete abstinence from the drug of choice, not all will force you to quit every single drug you are taking.

Lie 7: I can stop using drugs if I have willpower.

Addiction is not an issue of willpower or self-control. Many times, addiction is a symptom of an underlying problem that needs to be addressed in treatment in order to prevent relapse or future addictions. While the initial decision to take the drug is voluntary, the brain changes that occur over time and painful withdrawal symptoms make it extremely difficult to “just stop”.

Remember, just quitting does not mean you are sober. Sobriety is much more than the mere absence of alcohol or drugs, but learning a new way of life and becoming a new person.

Lie 8: Rehab centers should have a 100% success rate.

Many of society’s criticisms on rehab assumes that 28 day or 90 day treatment is a cure for addiction. But recovery is a process, not a cure. Furthermore, success is defined differently by different people, and it is nearly impossible to accurately compare rehab centers based on the numbers alone.

Sobriety requires hard work, but positive results comes to those who are committed and who believe in the process of recovery. We can’t promise a perfect success rate, but we can guarantee that you will leave Duffy’s with the tools and plan to stay sober. We’ve treated over 36,000 guests and we’d count it a privilege to help you.

If you have more questions about Duffy’s program, or would like to learn more about how rehab works, visit our about page here or call us at 1.707.348.4874