What are the biggest misconceptions about going to rehab?

The rehab experience is rich with misconceptions. Some of these misconceptions are created by the media, and many more are created merely because rehab is viewed as a foreign and largely unfamiliar experience. We tend to fear the unknown, and it’s this fear that’s bread many of the misconceptions surrounding the rehab experience.

If you asked a person on the street about what the rehab process entails, you are likely to be met with a blank face. Some may recognise that rehab is geared towards helping people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction, but it’s unlikely most people will be able to offer any more insight into what actually occurs within a rehab clinic.

Below, we discuss some of the more common misconceptions that apply to modern day rehab clinics.

Misconception #1: Rehab is only for the rich and famous

Given the vast number of celebrities that check into rehab, it’s no wonder that many people feel that going to rehab is the reserve of the rich and famous. This belief simply is not true. There are many rehab options, and whilst it is true that ‘luxury’ rehabs do exist, many rehabs are highly affordable and well within reach of your average person.

Misconception #2: Rehab is only for hardcore drug users

If you are processing this thought, then you really need to take a step back and re-evaluate what’s a hardcore drug and what’s not. If you don’t see yourself as a ‘hardcore’ drug user, it’s likely you are merely an alcoholic. Take a minute to pat yourself on the back for being addicted to a ‘non-hardcore’ drug that just happens to claim around 2-million lives each year.

The notion that alcohol isn’t a hardcore drug is a concept that’s pushed upon us by social conditioning. In reality, alcohol causes more damage than heroin, cocaine and any other ‘hardcore’ drug combined.

We urge you to eliminate the notion of ‘hardcore’ drug from your vocabulary. Instead, view rehab as a place that’s designed to help sick people get better.

Rehabs treat a variety of addictions. At any one time, at least 80% of clients will be seeking treatment for alcoholism, and not for addiction to illicit substances, so the notion that rehabs are mostly catering to those addicted to illicit drugs simply is not true.

Misconception #3: I can’t afford to go to rehab

This is perhaps the common misconception applying to rehab. People assume that because celebrities are well-known for going to rehab, going to rehab is only for the rich and famous.

This assumption is clearly false. Whilst some rehabs are described as ‘luxury’, the vast majority of rehabs are not within this category, and their pricing structure reflects this fact. Some rehabs may charge £25,000 for a 28-day programme, but many rehabs charge as little as £4,000 for the same amount of time.

Opting for a more affordable rehab may mean you will go without gold taps and four-poster beds, but the quality of treatment is not compromised upon. And it’s the quality of treatment that ultimately matters, not the trimmings.

Misconception #4: Rehab is only for criminals and the mentally ill

Court-ordered rehab is rare in the UK. This is perhaps a misconception that has roots in the US where drug courts routinely order people to attend rehab as an alternative to a custodial sentence.

The notion that rehab is only for the mentally ill is rather insulting to the mentally ill. After all, addiction itself is a mental illness. However, mental illness manifests itself in many different ways. The vast majority of people attending rehab could be said to suffer from mild to moderate mental health issues. This means you will not be mixing with people who are battling severe mental health conditions such as psychosis or schizophrenia.

Misconception #5: Rehab is boring

At Rehab 4 Alcoholism, we’ve visited many rehabs in the United Kingdom and we are yet to locate a rehab that you could describe as boring. To ensure boredom doesn’t occur, most rehabs offer a lot of variety in terms of their treatment.

Each day is never the same. You will benefit from many different therapies, workshops and tasks. You will benefit from a variety of holistic therapies such as mindfulness, yoga, massage, reiki, acupuncture, art therapy and music therapy. Rehab clinics also book a number of guest speakers who routinely come into the rehab to offer highly motivational speeches that are designed to inspire your recovery.

Misconception #6: Rehabs force their religious beliefs on you

Whilst some rehabs definitely push a religious agenda, this is still relatively rare. Before you sign up for a rehab that focusing on religion, you will be made aware of this fact. This will give you the opportunity to start your treatment elsewhere.

The vast majority of rehabs in the UK push a secular agenda that’s absolutely free of any religion or creed. This is because the vast majority of rehabs offer modern and scientifically proven treatment methods. Some rehabs will focus on the ’12-steps’, and these rehabs tend to require a belief in a ‘higher-power’, although this higher-power does not necessarily equate to a belief in God.

Misconception #7: I’ll have to sleep in a room with 15 other people

Whilst some rehabs do offer dorm style rooms, many also offer private rooms. It’s absolutely understandable that you will pay less to stay in a dorm room, so if you are not too bothered about sharing your room with 2-3 other people, then it may make sense to sleep in a dorm room. However, if this does not appeal to you, you may simply select a rehab clinic that offers the option to sleep in a private room.

Misconception #8: I’ll be forced to go cold turkey

This misconception is positively absurd. The central benefit of going to rehab is that you will benefit from a medically assisted detox. This process involves giving clients medication that reduces withdrawal symptoms. Because these medications mimic the effects of addictive drugs, this cannot be considered ‘going cold turkey’.