Addiction is complex. And because of this complexity, there tend to be a lot of opinions, and yes, even myths surrounding it.
In my experience, I have spoken to many addicts and loved ones of addicts, and I have found the same questions come up over and over again. Unfortunately, I am also aware that these myths and questions stand in the way of many people seeking treatment.
I would like to give you some thoughts on some of these common myths about addiction:
Myth #1: I Can’t Afford Treatment
It is an absolute shame that so many people believe they can’t afford to seek help for their addictions. True, recovery can be expensive, but there are always low-cost options.
Cost of treatment typically depends on the program, and each program will have varying payment options. If you have insurance, you can always call facilities in your area to see if they accept your plan.
If you don’t have insurance, or your particular plan is not accepted, you have several recovery options:
Stabilization programs – These are low cost programs that run from between two to six weeks in an inpatient recovery facility following detox.
Self-help 12-Step programs – These are free programs that follow a 12-step holistic approach to recovery, focusing on surrender and making amends with loved ones.
Health Insurance Marketplace – State government low-cost insurance plans where coverage varies by state.
If you have any questions about recovery costs, you may contact Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to learn more.
Myth #2: I’ll Be Fired If I Go to Rehab
This is one of the most common myths. The reality is, if you have a substance abuse problem, it has more than likely become apparent to your boss and coworkers. By not getting treatment you may very well lose your job.
In my experience, management is generally supportive of an individual’s efforts to get better. Many employers even offer employee assistance programs (EAPs) for those struggling with substance abuse. Check with your boss or HR to see if this program may be available to you.
Another options is to check into the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This act provides 12 workweeks of job-protected, unpaid leave in a 12-month period for “a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job.” Qualifications for this coverage are determined by employers who will take into consideration how long you’ve worked for the company.
And finally, if you do not have access to EAPs or FMLA or discretion is very important to you, you may want to consider using vacation time for your recovery process.
Myth #3: Recovery Will be Quick
Let’s get one thing straight – there is no quick fix to substance abuse. Recovery is a process that continues even after you complete a program. Getting clean takes commitment from both you and your loved ones. In many cases, this will be the hardest thing you ever do, but doing it will be rewarding for your life and health, and the life and health of your family.
It’s important that you have some sort of aftercare in place before you leave your treatment facility. Aftercare can mean group therapy, individual therapy, a 12-step program, a sober house, or therapeutic community. Individuals who engage in aftercare programs have significantly better outcomes.
If you or a loved one is considering a treatment program, I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help you and your family.