Addiction Treatment: Myths and Reality


This world can be cruel, specially to those who are different from others in one way or the other. People often have an urge to spread misinformation, myths, untruths, and superstitions. They have no concern about how the individual may feel for whom these misconceptions are relating. Similar is the case with substance abuse and addiction, due to which addicts avoid going to rehabs as they also feel judged and ridiculed by authorities. There must come an end to anything that is not fulfilling the purpose of humanity, which is why we will be busting some common myths about addiction in this article.

1) Myth

Substance abuse and addiction are synonyms.


Substance abuse refers to an individual’s dependence on a particular drug or alcohol and consumes it dangerously. On the other hand, addiction is the chemical or psychological dependence of a person on drugs. Substance abuse can exist without addiction and is less damaging than addiction because it is easily overcome. Addicts find it extremely difficult to leave their addiction even after the worst of consequences start appearing, and would benefit from professional help to stop drinking or taking drugs. 

2) Myth 

Rehab is very expensive.


It is common for a treatment center to accept insurance, and some also have flexible pricing structures. It is not entirely a misconception, but people are commonly unaware that there is a way out of this problem. In actuality, a treatment center accepts the insurance under which a significant part of your treatment expense is covered. Moreover, there are such rehabs that offer specialized programs and scholarships to people suffering from addiction.

3) Myth 

Addicts are morally failed people.


Addiction is a condition that does not come into play due to just one factor. A series of elements like genetics, physical and mental dependencies are associated with it. It is easy to promote the misconception that addicts are morally down people and they have no willpower.

The truth is that addiction is not that simple as drugs change the processing of rewards in the brain. They release chemicals like dopamine which makes you feel good, and gradually your brain acquires the habit of experiencing that reward without any effort but by taking drugs. Due to this fact, it takes a lot more than just willpower to overcome addiction.

4) Myth 

Uncontrolled consumption of prescription drugs is safe.


The worst part about addiction is when an individual does not consider it one. Ineffective use of prescription drugs is as harmful as any other drug. Taking them according to the doctor’s instructions and in the prescribed quantities helps recover from diseases. Once you start taking these drugs for non-medical reasons, they become dangerous. According to a research report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, misuse of prescription drugs is most common among young adults (aged 18 to 25), where 14.4% of medications used are non-medical.

5) Myth

If my company finds out about me going to rehab, I will get fired.


In many states, it is not just unethical but against the constitution to fire an employee for seeking treatment for substance abuse. As much as your employer may want to fire you for going to rehab, they legally cannot. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, an employer cannot fire, refuse to hire or discriminate against an employee for seeking addiction treatment. This rule is applicable for all state and private firms with a headcount of at least 15 employees. Moreover, under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, you may get paid leaves for 12 months while in rehab. Feel free to seek help from your HR department related to medical leaves and other concerns regarding your job.

6) Myth 

Addicts do not function properly.


The media often showcase that an addict has no life. It is assumed that addicts are left alone by their families because of their irresponsible, careless, and threatening behavior and that they cannot perform at work. In reality, this is not the case with the majority. 

This doesn’t mean that problems don’t exist in their lives, but they can mask reality and live a lie that makes them appear normal and functional. However, this behavior can go only for a certain amount of time, after which they come to a point where handling the pressure isn’t possible anymore. Mostly it is the moment where most of them decide to go for recovery while some get further involved in more dangerous addictions.

There is a hidden reality behind every myth you hear, which is why you must do your research before believing anything anyone says. Moreover, if you or your loved one are suffering addiction and seeking treatment, remember that relapse may occur. However, it is not the failure; instead, it is a sign that you are moving towards recovery. Once you come entirely out of this condition, your life will be back to normal. Good luck on your journey!