Acera Health

Rehab: Myth vs. Fact

Rehab: Myth vs. Fact

A residential treatment program is a place where someone struggling with a mental health disorder can go for around-the-clock care. This type of program is different from other kinds of treatment plans because the patient lives in the mental health facility for a set amount of time. For those that are struggling with addiction as a result of substance abuse disorder (SUD) or a dual diagnosis, this type of program can also be known as “rehab.”

Rehab is often used to treat people who struggle with addiction because the patient can relax away from the normal stress of everyday life and focus on their healing in a safe environment. Some facilities offer after-treatment programs that help their patients prepare for normal daily life again. Because of these important programs, many people can recover from their addiction and resume a healthy and happy life.

However, society, especially the media, tends to stigmatize this life-saving treatment program. They make it seem as though it is a dark and scary place where people are locked away for the crime of having a disorder that they cannot control. Movies are full of the “evil asylum” trope, making it seem like bad things will always happen to those who go to get help. It’s quite unfair to demonize a group of people who need help, but people are afraid of what they don’t understand.

To help alleviate the stigma, here are some truths to put some common rehab myths to rest.

Myth: You Are Treated Terribly in Rehab

The truth is that many rehab centers are very nice. Science has proven that people recover faster with less stress in their lives, so many treatment centers are doing their best to eliminate stress where they can. Many centers have outdoor areas where patients can relax in the fresh air and greenery. Patients have access to entertainment and ways to keep up with their hobbies. It’s considered standard to treat patients with compassion, and many mental health professionals working there will go out of their way to help people in their recovery. Some centers even have voluntary classes to help their patients learn new skills and give themselves something positive to do after they “graduate” from the center. 

There are rehab centers that can even be classified as luxury resorts, with swimming pools and expansive wilderness to give their patients the peace they need to recover. When people go to rehab, they are not thrown into prison. It would be like locking someone up for having cancer. A patient is a patient, regardless of ailment, and can expect to be treated professionally. There are no putting people in cells, and no cruel treatments are awaiting those that arrive in rehab. 

Myth: You Have Absolutely No Control Over What Happens to You

The truth is that a patient has more rights than people might realize. One that may be well known to most people is HIPAA, the right to keep your medical information private. Patients also have a bill of rights regarding their treatment. The wording varies among different treatment centers, but the general rights a mental health patient has are:

  • To be free from all forms of abuse, including restraints and seclusion
  • To choose when, where, and how they want treatment
  • To be truthfully informed of all treatment options available in a way they can understand
  • To be offered the best treatments and be informed of new ones when available
  • To be given professional care free of discrimination
  • To have questions answered truthfully by professionals in that field
  • To choose the treatments and to stop or change treatment at any time
  • To understand exactly what happens in the treatment and how to measure personal progress in it
  • To choose the provider they want
  • To be treated with respect and care
  • To report poor care and mistreatment without threats of retaliation
  • To have control over know knows your medical information (HIPAA)

These rights are designed to protect those going into rehab, as well as other types of treatment programs. 

Myth: You Are Forced to Go to Rehab

Sometimes when people are criminally charged with a drug crime, they may be sentenced to go to court-mandated rehab. However, despite it being court-ordered, a person can still willingly choose not to go. Nobody can force anybody to go to rehab, as it is against a person’s human rights. An adult has the legally protected right to choose (and not choose) whatever treatments they want. This includes rehab. 

In the mental health profession, it is well known that the only way someone can recover is to recognize they have a problem and ask for help. Forcing someone into rehab will not allow them to take this all-important first step, which is vital to achieving long-lasting recovery. 

At any time, a patient can leave rehab. However, it’s important to know that rehab can be difficult, and it can be tempting to leave when things get tough. It is recommended to stick through the whole treatment for the best results. 

Myth: People in Rehab Are Criminals

People in rehab are people looking to better themselves. Being sick is not a crime. People are responsible for the choices they make, but nobody chooses to develop a mental health disorder. Lots of people who deal with addiction also deal with deep, emotional wounds and, as a result, need extra help. Anyone at any time could need rehab to help them and don’t deserve scrutiny or scorn. 

Remember that any mental health facility would be happy to answer any question you may have about rehab. Simply call and ask, and they will be glad to tell you the truth about this important treatment. Rehab saves lives, and someday might even save yours. The future is uncertain, but it’s comforting to know there will be help when needed.

For those that are struggling with addiction, it can be scary to think about treatment. At Acera Health in Costa Mesa, California, we offer a residential treatment program that can help anyone with an addiction. Our facility exists to help those that need help recover in a safe and peaceful environment, staffed with compassionate people who care deeply about their patients. You also don’t need to transition back to society by yourself, as we offer help there too. Nobody deserves to struggle alone with their addiction when there is a team waiting to help them. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, call (949) 647-4090 today to take the first step in your recovery journey.

LMFT, Program Director at Acera Health | Edited & Medically Reviewed

Melody is a highly skilled proactive clinical administrator, with more than 17 years of experience serving the community in the behavioral health field.

Her clinical management career started in 2011 as a compliance manager and program director. In 2018, she became an executive as chief clinical officer (CCO). She is a seasoned licensed marriage & family therapist.


More Posts

Send Us A Message