RESIDENTIAL REHAB BRIEFING: Myths vs facts
THE CONCORDAT OF PROVIDERS OF FULL RECOVERY
4. POPULAR MYTHS ABOUT REHABS VS FACTS
“Residential rehab doesn’t work”; “There’s no evidence for residential rehab”
Quote the research demonstrating its effectiveness by clicking Evidence base.
“Residential rehab is too expensive”
Read cost analyses by clicking Costs and
Download Cross Departmental Financial Benefits Full-Recovery.
“Residential rehab is only for celebrities”
Residential rehab’ is for everyone. People in recovery are generally incredibly grateful to those who supported their recovery and often want to give back to the recovery community. This can be via working in the addiction field, advocating for recovery, to donating time and or money to charities related to addiction. Celebrities use their status to talk about their experiences in the media including their gratitude to the treatment provider that supported them.
“Residential rehab is only for people addicted to crack or heroin”.
One of the strengths of residential rehab is that the methods used do not focus on the substance but on the addiction. This means that the use of all drugs (illegal, legal – including alcohol, and prescribed) can be addressed. Residential rehab is particularly useful in helping people to understand cross-addiction, whereby the focus is not on the first drug of choice as expressed but on the use of substances generally. This understanding helps people to be aware of the dangers of swapping one drug for another post-treatment.
“People don’t want to go to rehab”
The National Treatment Agency User Satisfaction Survey (2007) showed this to be untrue: that the majority of people under the NTA regime want to become drug free.
This is the same conclusion arrived at by Professor Neil McKeganey’s research in Scotland.
People are individuals with individual needs and circumstances. Some people may prefer to try to remain in their familiar environments whilst receiving treatment. This can be risky. Ease of access to drugs in their usual environment could increase the risk of relapse.
Additionally, an addict’s social network will most likely include people who use drugs. Residential rehab can provide a safe drug-free environment and access to a supportive sober social network.
Often and unintentionally, families enable an addiction to become more entrenched by providing financial assistance to the addict, by hiding the consequences of addictive behaviour from the addict (i.e. taking two jobs to cover financial loses when an addict loses their job or helping them to bed when the pass put so they wake up without remembering having passed out etc), and generally trying to ignore the chaos that the addiction has brought to the family. In these circumstances, it is useful for people to be removed from this situation and placed in rehabs to address addiction and its consequences.
“Rehabs are not community, are standalone houses on the hill”
Two-thirds of rehabs are charities, not for profit.
An even greater number work with the statutory sector.
An increasing number work with partners in the community (where allowed!) for detox and inter-referrals, for voluntary work, college/training –
see What Rehabs Offer.
“I went to a 5-day residential rehab and it didn’t work”
Residential rehab does not consist of a 5-day programme: the speaker did not go to rehab.
The definition of residential rehab has been ‘changed’ in recent years by non-rehab organisations, resulting in confusion (See Introduction for description of what residential rehabs offer).
This confusion has been worsened by the NTA mixing detox and rehab indiscriminately as tier 4, and in research (see NTORS mixing detox and rehab outcomes) and funding (rehabs getting only 10% of £54.4million capital funding) as well as by the NTA putting a medley of organisation types in its RehabOnline list.