For most families, seeing addiction up close and personal for the very first time – is terrifying. Addiction isn’t something that’s a comfortable conversation in most households; it’s not usually something you’ll call up your friends and discuss. Maybe you’re clawing for information on the internet in the late hours of the night, sneaking peaks on web discussions when you can, or maybe, scouring every site at every waking hour scrounging for anything that justifies what’s going on. There’s a lot of info out there – but there are also a lot of rumors. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you need to get the facts and move past the myths. Detox these addiction treatment deceptions. Deception #1: “He’s tried detox and rehab already. It just doesn’t work.” Addiction relapse is usually a sign that the drug rehab program was inadequate for the individual:
- It doesn’t mean all rehab programs are inadequate.
- It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your loved one and they will never find healing
Relapsing after drug rehab doesn’t mean that treatment is hopeless. What this means is that the treatment program they attended wasn’t right for them. Do you tell your toddler to give up on walking when he falls down the first time he tries it? Drug rehabs aren’t, “one-size-fits-all.” Not all drug rehab centers offer evidence-based treatment with proven results. Some treatment centers use outdated approaches. Medicine is advancing every single day, and our knowledge of addiction and addiction treatment is constantly growing. Make sure you’re asking the right questions and looking for programs that employ board certified health professionals, high level therapists, and medically monitored detox facilities. There are many cases where treatment works the first time around, and other times when the process is cumulative. Even if you do choose the right drug rehab, it may take more than one attempt to get it right. Just remember that each effort is a necessary step that will eventually lead to healing and recovery. Just because the first, second, third, or thirteenth time in treatment resulted with a relapse does not mean there’s not hope, and that your loved one hasn’t learned anything. Our own Amy North went to over 10 rehabs and thanks God every day she tried one more time, “I’ve received so many gifts from God in my sobriety. I got my kids back after 3 years of sobriety – now I’m a wife and a mother again. I work as an addiction treatment specialist. God used to me to work with the same thing that hindered me. What a reward.” Call a reputable treatment center – one that has detox capabilities and one that specializes in proven addiction treatment therapies like dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) or adventure therapy – and get your loved one into the addiction treatment program that is tailored to their needs. Deception #2: “She doesn’t need detox or rehab – If she goes to jail, she’ll ‘learn her lesson.’” Unfortunately, there is a strong connection between drug use and crime. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug use is implicated in at least five types of drug-related offenses:
- Offenses related to drug possession or sales
- Offenses directly related to obtaining drugs (e.g., stealing to get money for drugs)
- Offenses related to a lifestyle that includes association with other offenders or with illicit markets
- Offenses related to abusive and violent behaviors, including domestic violence and sexual assault
- Offenses related to driving while intoxicated or under the influence, which can include property damage, accidents, injuries, and fatalities
And by the way, suffering from the disease of addiction is not a crime. And the lessons learned behind bars, aren’t ones that are going to treat the disease. Instead, jail says you should be punished for your disease. That is the wrong way to go and sends the wrong message. . Additionally, being forced to come off of drugs like heroin, meth or alcohol “cold-turkey” – alone and behind bars – can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, medical detox can make a difference between a life or death situation. Research shows that treatment helps change beliefs and behaviors, and can aids in allowing someone struggling with addiction to successfully remove themselves from a life of substance use and crime. Rather than assume jail is going to teach your loved one a lesson, realize that drug rehab can break the cycle of criminal justice and drug addiction. Deception #3: “All I needs is drug detox. Once the drugs are out of my system, I will go back to the way I was before I started using.” Optimism and a few days of drug detox are NOT enough to fight addiction. To live the life you were meant to live – you have to detox all of it. Not just the drugs. Medical detoxification is only the process of cleansing the body of chemicals and toxins that have attached themselves to the brain and internal organs and systems due to substance use. Detox is only PART of the process: it can be the first step, but it shouldn’t be the last. You must change the dangerous behaviors and habits that compelled you to use in the first place, and address the underlying reasons why you were using drugs or alcohol – both of these are often times much more difficult than removing the drugs from your system. If you simply detox the body, you greatly increase your chances of relapsing in your addiction. Prevent relapse by going to treatment. Your body isn’t the only thing that needs to detox; in order to reduce the risk of relapse, individuals struggling with addiction need a full life detox. Detox the Myths. These deceptions are downright destructive to getting you or your loved one help for addiction. Detox these lies from your life and realize that there is a way to beat addiction: a solid treatment program, tailored to the individual, therapy, family programs, and ongoing recovery care. There’s a lot of information on the internet; we want you to be armed with the facts. Now that the fog has cleared – there are no excuses to make the right decisions about addiction treatment. Detox the deceptions, and get the help that you need.