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Connotations of the Word “Rehab”

From pop songs to film and television, the word rehab is often used and rarely understood. Even those who have attended some form of addiction recovery in the past may have an inaccurate understanding of what modern rehab programs are like or what they accomplish. A few common misunderstandings about “rehab” include the following:

  • If I go, I get locked in for a month
  • Rehab is like a prison with hospital beds
  • Everyone sits around in a circle acting strange and sharing their feelings
  • Once I do thirty days in rehab, I’m clean for good
  • All rehab programs are the same
  • I can get clean on my own, and rehab is just a waste of time and money
  • Rehab never works

You may have heard these or other criticisms of rehab, or maybe you have even shared these perspectives. But the truth is that rehab is about much more than simply quitting drugs or alcohol. It’s about rebuilding the healthy mental, psychological, physical and even spiritual function that addiction destroys.

What Good Addiction Rehab Programs Accomplish

Unlike the mental ward or prison cell images from television, most contemporary rehab programs are relaxing, healthful places that patients find comfortable and inspiring. Addiction is a physical and psychological disease, so unless all of its effects are identified and treated, addicts are extremely likely to relapse. Today’s rehab programs use specially applied medications to stem the worst withdrawal symptoms over the first few days of treatment.

The psychological aspects of the disease are much more intense and able to direct behavior more powerfully than rational thought or will. The best modern rehab centers work to reprogram the neural pathways in the brain that addiction hijacks. This process is time consuming and requires the full participation of the patient, as well as the attention of healthcare providers who develop customized treatment. Some of the most commonly used tools in rehab include the following:

  • Individualized counseling and life coaching
  • Opportunities to help, and be helped by, other recovering patients
  • 12-step programs
  • Medically supervised detox
  • Spiritual and emotional care
  • Introduction to innovative new coping and self-expression skills

Ultimately all of these efforts help to identify, diagnose and correct destructive thought patterns from the addiction. In this process many people discover a new life with the following benefits:

  • The ability to stay off of drugs and alcohol for good
  • Identifying experiences, or triggers, that cause them to engage in addictive behavior
  • New ways to communicate their needs and boundaries
  • Restored relationships
  • Hope for the future
  • How to put others’ needs first

No matter what you think of rehab, the above benefits can come true if you commit to recovery.

Find the Best Rehab Help Today

If you are ready to set aside your faulty vision of rehab, call our toll-free helpline right now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day at a toll-free helpline to answer any questions you have about rehab. We can even connect you with one of the most successful programs for your unique needs.