Generally, family members think that rehabs are going to ‘cure’ their loved one and often expect this because of the treatment costs. It all seems unfair that as a family you have had to put up with lots of emotional turbulence and yet have to continue putting out addiction related ‘fires’ while loved one’s are seemingly having fun in rehab! This is why families must get involved in the recovery process and learn to appreciate that recovery is a tough life changing journey and not a short holiday!
Another general misconception about rehabs is that the whole process is simply of little use and a waste of time and money. Treatment is worth every cent. Addiction in any form is a VERY serious matter and needs to be handled by professionals. Too many family members put their head in the sand and hope that the problem will simply go away; naïve at best!
Some people believe that treatment will not be positive if the client is unwilling and that anyone who is sent to rehab without their consent does not get treated the same way as willing participants! This is ridiculous and simply untrue. If you want to wait until the addict is ‘ready’ for rehab you could be in for a very, very long wait and the addict may well never actually get to rehab! If you cannot take charge of the situation then employ an interventionist to help the family.
The fourth common belief is that a person suffering with an addiction disorder should only consider admitting themselves to rehab once they are at their worst point. Very strange concept if you think about it, as how can anyone possibly define what the ‘worst point’ actually is – death presumably! Yes, some addicts experience losing everything before possibly allowing any help but this is not a prerequisite, simply
another myth created by irresponsible family members who do not have the ability to recognize the severity of the situation. Both the addict and the families of addicts adopt denial based thinking such as ‘the situation is not that bad really’ and of course nothing could be further from the truth! Denial on this scale kills many addicts.
The last myth about rehabs is that all rehab centres are the same, and that choosing one is like choosing any other. This is not true at all; there are many types of rehabs available which offer different approaches and treatments for their clients which often sound wonderful over the phone.
Ask around and ask a lot of questions before deciding which rehab to use. Expensive certainly does not mean the best rehab, not by a long way and a long stay at a cheap rehab is not necessarily productive either. Make sure that the centre has the capacity to meet the needs of the diagnosis. Unfortunately, desperate parents are easily led into believing that the first or second rehab they call is the best option. Shop around and collect information. Referral agents are not necessarily a good option either as they persuade people to send their loved ones to rehabs that are simply offering the agent a financial reward for the referral!
Yes, it is a minefield but check the rehabs credentials; are they registered with the proper governing bodies, do they have a psychologist, are the staff experienced/qualified, maybe speak to a client that is a resident at the centre. Go to the centre if you can and get a ‘feel’ for the place. Time may well be of the essence in arranging rehab for a loved one but hasty decisions often creates more stress further down the line for all concerned.
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process