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There are a range of misconceptions about drug addiction and drug rehabilitation usually not based on the evidence. It is important to know the facts about addiction and rehab before deciding on the best course of treatment.

Myth 1: Addiction is a choice: you should just stop.

The fact: Of course, using drugs initially is the choice of an individual. Unfortunately, as the drug use continues, people change from using voluntarily to using compulsively. Essentially, over time, drug use changes the way a person’s brain chemistry works. Speak to anyone struggling with addiction and they will tell you how their using progressed. Initially, they were able to stop; but at some point began to use compulsively and were unable to stop or stay stopped.

Myth 2: People need to reach rock bottom before they will change.

The fact: There is absolutely no evidence to support this. In fact, any studies that have been carried out in this area demonstrate that the earlier you intervene, the more chance of a successful recovery. This is due to the fact that the behaviour is less entrenched and people often feel as though they have more to live for.

Myth 3: Punishment or consequence is a good intervention.

The fact: Science clearly tells us that addiction is an illness. In many ways, a form of brain disease, resulting in people having impaired control over the drug use. Many addicts have difficulty with impulse control. The best intervention is to intervene and help the individual develop the skills and ability to live without the use of drugs. This may require professional treatment. Learn more about how to conduct a drug intervention.

Myth 4: You must want rehab for it to be effective.

The fact: People go to drug rehab for a whole range of reasons, such as saving marriages, saving jobs or simply because there are no other options. All research demonstrates that the likelihood of success is the same. At The Providence Projects, as a part of the programme, those that maybe come to save a job or a marriage, begin to want it for themselves as they work through the programme and their self-esteem increases.

Myth 5: I have tried to stop before and it didn’t work so treatment is a waste of time.

The fact: Unfortunately, it is true that not all people manage to grasp recovery at their first attempt. Although recovery is simple, it is not easy. Addiction is a chronic relapsing condition but there is always hope. Many people report having required a few treatment episodes before ‘the penny dropped’. Sometimes, the experience of why you were unable to stay clean first time around, informs you on your second attempt and drug addiction treatment works.

Myth 6: All treatments centres or rehab programmes are the same.

The fact: There are a range of drug treatment programmes across the UK and there will be some shared ideas and interventions but in fact, no two rehab clinics are the same. Some use 12 step therapy, some operate a therapeutic community whilst others base their treatment model on Cognitive Behavioural therapy. There are religious based treatment options, out-patient programmes, residential programmes and each facility delivers treatment in a unique way.

Myth 7: If I could just stop, everything would be ok.

The fact: Of course, part of any recovery or rehab process involves stopping. The truth is that most addicts can stop; they are simply unable to stay clean. A drug rehab programme enables you to address the issues as to why you are using drugs and helps you to develop the skills to stay clean and enjoy long term recovery.

Myth 8: Cannabis isn’t addictive.

The fact: Cannabis addiction has risen dramatically in recent years. While it has always been the most used illicit drug, the strength of cannabis has increased over 500% and is therefore resulting in a range of more complex problems.

Myth 9: I don’t need rehab: I don’t use every day.

The Fact: Addiction does not require the individual to use every day. There are a clear set of criteria which measure addiction. If your drug use is having a negative impact on your life and / or the lives of those around you, you may have a problem. If you use more than you planned, have given up other activities or hobbies, or your drug use is affecting your wellbeing, again, you may have a problem. Although some people do use every day, many people suffering from addiction may only use 2 or 3 times a week.

Myth 10: It will be so hard after rehab – everyone I know uses.

The fact: The thought of life after rehab can be quite daunting and we would not recommend spending all your time with people that use drugs. However, during rehab, you will begin to build a new life as well as skills and strategies that will enable you to stay clean anywhere. At The Providence Projects, we provide a full aftercare programme to help and support you.

Learn more about our private residential rehab, and how our drug rehabilitation programmes could help you or a loved one.

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