Getting Clean: Busting Myths About Recovery from Drug Addiction


Unfortunately, many taboos around drug addiction can make it difficult to have informed conversations about it, and about the process of recovery. People may feel they understand the process entirely, when in fact they don't know the first thing about it. In an effort to start to dispel those taboos and open up doors, here are a couple of myths about drug addiction and recovery — and the truths behind them, which everybody should know.

"The First Step is the Hardest"

It's a popular cliché that the hardest part of recovering from addiction is acknowledging that you have a problem and need help and support to overcome it. That may be true for some, but it certainly isn't in every case. The process of getting clean is different for everybody, and the emotional labour involved will vary between patients. 

However, the spirit of the message is somewhat true. Asking for help is extremely difficult. Admitting to yourself that you need to is extremely difficult, too — so patients should feel empowered and encouraged when they do. If they can pass that first barrier, it's a powerful indicator that they have the ability to recover.

"Rehab Is..."

Most endings to this sentence are serious overgeneralisations, however confidently they are stated. Every single rehab program is different. As such, if a person has tried rehab before and relapsed, they should not be disheartened. Just because one rehab program didn't work for them doesn't mean that none of them will. Far from it. Start thinking of 'rehab' in the same way as you think of 'therapy' — a generic word that refers to a whole group of different methods and ideas. That's exactly what it is, and there are options out there to suit every patient's budget, personality and individual needs.

"You Need to Drop Everything for Rehab"

As mentioned before, every single rehab process is different — and despite how popular media likes to represent it, that also means not every program is residential. Patients should not assume that they don't have time for rehab because they have nobody to take care of their children, must continue to work, or do not wish to be beholden to an institution.

This is perhaps the most persistent misconception, perhaps due to the fact that celebrities are often shown to be heading for months-long stays in expensive facilities. Not only is it cruel and invasive to report on somebody going through such a personal process, but it also spreads a lot of misinformation about what rehab is and who it is for. Don't fall for it.

Addiction is a very serious problem and anyone who has experienced it will know exactly how hard it can take hold of a person. However, it is also just like any other illness in that it can be overcome with the right treatment and support. Patients should certainly be prepared to work hard — but the rewards they can reap for doing so are boundless, and the process may not resemble anything they're expecting.

For more information, contact your local drug addiction rehabilitation centre. 


27 July 2018

Dealing with Difficult Feelings

Hello, my name is Gary and this is my counselling blog. When I was a boy, my dad was very strict with me. Whenever I got upset, he would tell me not to worry and to keep a stiff upper lip. Any expression of emotion was frowned upon within the household. As a result of this, I never really learnt the skills I needed to properly deal with my emotions. As I got older, I started to drink more and more in order to deal with my feelings of sadness and rage. My friend became worried about me and suggested that I visit a counsellor. It was one the best things I ever did. Talking with someone I trust has really helped me to open up and explore my feelings.