Walking the Path to Wholeness
If you are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is easy to feel completely trapped. As we have learned at Eternal Awakenings, the lack of power in addicts’ lives makes their situations seem foundationally hopeless. There are many routes to this hopelessness, but there are routes out of it, as well. Our local Texas rehab center is here to be the path out for you. Our loving Christian rehab center serves those with addictions to alcohol, cocaine, and beyond.
Feeling reluctant to consider rehab?
The courage required to consider rehab can be quickly squashed by doubts, worries, and untrue facts. These “facts” are myths that act as blockades between people who are hurting and the care they need. They aren’t true, but they can hold a lot of power over people who are too embattled to know which way is up anymore. We want to take some time and clear away several myths that prevent people from reaching out for help and finding success.
Don’t Fall for These Common Myths About Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Many of the things we believe to be true are backed by experience and emotion, but not facts. The thing is, it can be extremely difficult to tell the difference! Here are several dangerous myths that can seem like absolute fact.
MYTH: I shouldn’t go to rehab unless I’m at rock-bottom.
Many people see rehab as “the last hope of a desperate man.” It does act as the last hope for many people, but fundamentally, it is a place for people who want to get better. Getting better can happen at any point in your life. And, just as with any illness, the sooner you get help for it, the easier healing becomes. If you’re waiting on a low point you’ve chosen in your imagination, it’s important to realize that you cannot depend on it. You might reach your low point and realize that life can go even deeper. This situation will only reinforce your perceived lack of control and make you feel more hopeless. Instead of waiting on some imaginary prompt, choose to start living the life you want now.
Maybe your job, family, or the court system is forcing you to go to rehab. That is okay. Studies have actually shown that this type of situation leads to higher success rates. Even if you think you aren’t low enough or that rehab won’t help you, you cannot know until you try. That’s a simple fact.
MYTH: I can’t afford rehab.
Money can be one of the most stressful barriers to those who could benefit from rehab. Many times, addictions damage a person’s ability to earn a living, and you may feel like you’re barely scraping by. The thought of paying more for rehab can seem completely ludicrous at this point. However, the situation is likely not nearly as dire as it may seem.
Here’s the thing: rehab centers know that the people who need them the most likely have financial struggles. That is why a majority of them are willing to sit down with you and figure out a unique payment plan. Loans, sliding payment scales, and financing can all open the door to rehab for you.
At the end of the day, the cost of addiction to you and your loved ones is far greater than the financial cost of rehab. Exploring your options is worth it. You may be pleasantly surprised.
MYTH: Rehab will cure me.
Addiction is a complex thing, often more complex than we think. It has a lot of influencing factors, a major one being your genetics. Studies have shown that there are a bunch of significant factors beyond your genetics, including the following:
- Having grown up in an environment that featured substance abuse
- A history of trauma
- Changes to your brain caused by drug use (the most common being sensations of motivation and reward)
- Living with mental illness
- A deficit of supportive and healthy relationships
As you can see, many different factors play into addiction, and each factor is complex in its own way. That means that rehab alone cannot make your addiction go away. Instead, rehab can teach you to deal with triggers and cravings, equipping you to proactively manage your addiction. When you have skills for managing addiction and you use them regularly, problematic parts of your life gain space to heal and improve, which in turn makes it easier to manage your addiction. It’s a positive spiral, and it can save your life.
Rehab is designed to equip you to stay sober in the long-term. There are several proven tools and processes that can get you there.
- You need your body as an ally if you’re going to manage addiction. Detox gives your body a chance by letting it clear itself of the influence of drugs or alcohol in a safe, controlled environment. Depending on the influence you’re fighting, you may be prescribed some medications that will make the process easier.
- Once the body has been given the chance to stabilize, it’s a good time to work on the brain. Counseling provides a safe place where you can learn to rethink drugs or alcohol, questioning the substance’s usefulness and taking the time to be honest about its effects on your life. Counseling also is a great opportunity to learn coping skills that can support you when the going gets rough.
- It can be hard to get your compass straight when your body is crying out for the substance you’ve been abusing. Combined with therapy, medications can quiet your cravings and give you a leg up on staying sober. Medications can also address underlying and unaddressed mental illnesses or physical troubles that are making your recovery more difficult.
- Once you have tools for making your life better, it’s good to have a plan for what will happen as you get into the real world and start using them. There are several ways to ensure you have backup support when you need it, including recovery housing, outpatient therapy, and integration with nearby recovery groups. Everyone needs someone on their six, and full recovery isn’t possible without it, so don’t write off these resources when they come your way.
MYTH: Going to rehab will get me fired.
Do you ever feel as if life doesn’t provide any space for you to be “down?” If you have kids, you have to be there for them. If you have a job, you have to show up. Otherwise, things will fall apart. This can create a desperate, trapped situation for people who need help. They see what a break in “normalcy” could do to their stability and decide to keep going without getting help. As a result, they fall into deeper trouble. This isolated, trapped situation can be especially sharp at work, where people don’t want to be seen as the “weak link,” and going into rehab can seem like the biggest weakness of all.
Here’s the thing: the situation is likely much better than you think.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees from being fired for attending drug addiction treatment, as long as the employees work for a company bigger than 15 people or for the government. If you work for a company with federal funding, the Rehabilitation Act provides the same protection. That being said, if you go through rehab and return to work only to test positive for drugs again or fail to safely perform your job, your employment can be terminated.
- The situation gets better: a majority of companies have Employee Assistance Programs. These programs provide a great range of services to boost employees, and helping with addiction treatment is one of them. You can get referrals to rehab centers and support groups as well as get short-term counseling at your workplace.
- Lastly, you may have the option of taking unpaid leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This act allows you to take up to 12 months of unpaid leave (without being fired) for a serious illness. Under certain conditions, substance abuse does count as a serious illness. In order to achieve FMLA coverage, you have to meet the following criteria:
- You must have worked for your current employer for no fewer than 12 months before you take leave. During those months, you must have worked at least 1250 hours.
- Your company must have at least 50 employees working onsite or working within 75 miles.
- You must use the leave for treatment purposes only.
When you’re in a place where you need rehab, the small print can be discouraging and confusing. Turn to your employer’s human resources department for help. They will be able to help you navigate your options and get your ducks in a row.
MYTH: It isn’t worth going to rehab again.
Going to rehab and relapsing afterward can be heartbreaking. It can greatly diminish your willingness to invest in rehab again. After all, why set yourself up for another letdown?
It’s important to realize that the train of thought above is generally a symptom of your state, not a representation of reality. In reality, having gone to rehab before gives you a head-start on recovery. Going back to rehab gives you a chance to build on your skills and increase your ability to manage your addiction. Remember addiction is both a chronic and relapsing condition. It’s frustrating to relapse, but it’s also normal.
If you feel powerless, guilty, and frustrated about relapsing, it can help to be objective. Here are some angles you can take when you’re pushing back against the discouragement:
You’re dealing with a chronic illness.
- Let’s look at other chronic illnesses. Among people with Type 1 diabetes, there’s a 30-50 percent relapse rate. Among those with asthma, relapse rates go as high as 70 percent. To compare, addiction relapse rates are around 40 to 50 percent.
The length of treatment must be fine-tuned.
- Your previous treatment may not have been exactly what you needed. In fact, chances are good it wasn’t. It’s rare to get it right on the first try. You may need a longer treatment than before.
There’s a certain combination of services and aftercare that will work uniquely for you.
- To follow off the previous point, you may need a different program. New treatment can be added, like family therapy, a 12-step program, job training, medication, and more. Remember, the support you receive after rehab is just as important as the care you receive during rehab.