5 Myths About Drug and Alcohol Rehab

myths about drug rehab

Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that must be treated with the help of a professional rehab program. However, many people are intimidated by the thought of going to a residential treatment facility. The myths about drug and alcohol rehab perpetuate this fear by creating false scenarios.

For example, many people believe that you can get fired for going to rehab. This makes people feel that if they receive the care they need, they will go home and be unable to pay their bills. Thankfully, this is only a myth. 

Being aware of the myths about addiction treatment and uncovering the truth can allow you to feel more confident about getting the help you need. 

1. You Have to Hit Rock Bottom to Go to Rehab

If you have been around the addiction recovery community before, you might have heard the term “hitting rock bottom.” Many people spread the rumor that you must hit rock bottom to go to rehab, which would mean that you have to get to the lowest point of your addiction for recovery to be successful. This myth is not only untrue, but it is also extremely harmful to people who need drug and alcohol rehab. 

Rehab isn’t a place for people who are at their worst, instead, it’s a place for people who want to get better. In other words, you can go to rehab at any point in your addiction and experience recovery. 

Believing that you have to hit rock bottom to go to rehab puts you in a dangerous situation. Many people who suffer from addiction don’t have a bottom. Waiting to hit rock bottom to get treatment could cause you to suffer from a life-threatening overdose before you receive the help you need.

2. I’ll Get Fired if I Go to Rehab

The first thing you should know about addiction treatment is that it can save your life. Drug addiction can cause an array of changes to the body and mind. These changes can range from general annoyances like insomnia to extreme risk of heart attack, stroke, psychosis, or even death.[1] Ultimately, the cost of avoiding rehab is less than the risks of going. 

In most cases, you actually cannot get fired or lose your job for going to addiction treatment. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people who work in various settings from being fired for attending drug and alcohol treatment.[2] 

Another way to avoid being fired for going to rehab is to take unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This allows you to take up to 12 months of unpaid leave for a serious illness and addiction counts as a serious illness under this law.[3]

3. Rehab is Too Expensive

One of the biggest myths about rehab is that it is too expensive and you won’t be able to afford it. While paying for rehab out of pocket can be overly expensive, there are other options to consider. First, you can pay for rehab with your insurance and only pay a premium. 

If you do not have health insurance, most addiction treatment centers have sliding scale fees or scholarships you can take advantage of. A sliding scale fee is a price you pay for treatment that is dependent on your income. This means that you won’t pay more than you can reasonably afford. 

Some rehab centers offer scholarships, which pay for the entirety of your addiction treatment program. When you are looking for the right rehab center, be sure to ask about their payment options. 

4. There’s No Point In Going to Rehab Again 

You may have gone to rehab before and relapsed which might cause you to believe that there is no point in returning to treatment, as it didn’t work for you the last time. While this is an easy myth to believe, it is not true. 

It is important to note that for many people, relapse is a part of recovery. Like any other chronic condition, sometimes addiction comes back. This just means that you will have to double down on the things that helped to keep you sober in the first place, like drug and alcohol rehab. 

When you relapse, that means that you were not using the tools you learned during addiction treatment. Going back to rehab could help you get a refresher on the coping mechanisms and services you need to take advantage of to maintain long-term sobriety. 

5. Rehab Will Cure My Addiction

One misconception about drug and alcohol rehab is that it completely cures addiction. The truth about substance use disorder is that it is a chronic and progressive disease that requires constant maintenance and recovery techniques to remain sober. In other words, rehab does not completely rid you of your addiction issues, it just helps you learn how to manage them. 

This is why many individuals participate in more than one program. For example, people may start with detox, enter inpatient treatment, step down to outpatient treatment, and then stay in a sober living home. Doing this helps you get into the rhythm of caring for your addiction daily, ensuring that you will not forget to keep doing the things that keep you sober after you complete your treatment process.

Finding Help for Addiction and Alcoholism

Perpetuating myths about rehab can be dangerous to people who desperately need addiction help. 

If you or a loved one suffer from addiction or alcoholism, it’s time to get assistance. These conditions can lead to an array of medical emergencies, including heart attack, stroke, organ damage, and death. The only way to prevent these issues from occurring is to get help from a drug and alcohol rehab program. 

Contact Moving Mountains Recovery Center to start your recovery today.


  1. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/addiction-health
  2. https://www.usccr.gov/files/pubs/ada/ch4.htm
  3. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla

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