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Debunking myths about rehab

Rehab is a concept that is alien to many and something we see widespread misconceptions and a limited mainstream understanding of. 

We spend a lot of time answering questions about rehab and helping people to understand more about the choices they have and the experience that may await them in treatment.

Here we work through some of the myths we see regularly arise around rehab:

Your local rehab centre is not your only choice

Whilst there can be benefits to accessing treatment at your nearest rehab centre, considering all of your options is a valuable exercise.

It may be that a rehab centre that is further afield offers a treatment programme that is more suitable to your desires and needs. Perhaps the price range for treatment would better suit your budget or the environment of the centre be more appealing to you.

With more than 40 private rehab clinics in the UK considering all of the variables and choosing a centre that best meets your needs is a wise move. 

Rehab isn’t only for celebrities

Many of us only hear about rehab via headlines about a celebrity who is battling alcoholism or drug dependency, but rehab is available to all.

Where it is deemed necessary and appropriate you may be able to access rehab via the NHS and speaking to your GP is a good first step.

However, many people who have reached a crisis point in their lives are keen to streamline the process and cannot face a delay. Paying for treatment privately allows immediate treatment to be offered. 

People from all backgrounds and circumstances access drugs and alcohol rehab, though some clinics do have a tendency to attract certain types of clientele. For example, some clinics might tend to be used more commonly by young men whilst others perhaps regularly attract middle-aged professionals.

There are more than 40 private rehab clinics in the UK

It may be that you’ve come to believe there is only one provider of rehab in the UK or that rehab is only available in London.

In fact, there are more than 40 private rehab facilities across the UK and there are lots of variations in terms of what is on offer and how much it costs.

Finding a rehab centre that is suited well to your own situation, circumstance and character will make for a much higher chance of a successful outcome.

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Private rehab can be affordable

There is no getting away from the fact that private residential rehab usually represents a significant investment, but there is a lot of value for money.

Some clinics may be able to deliver 28 days of rehab for between £5,500 and £7,500. Centres with enhanced environments, facilities, accommodation and other additional offers may charge up to £20,000.

The cost includes accommodation, meals, housekeeping, medical staff and therapeutic expertise.

It’s worth bearing in mind the potential value of that investment to your future, both in terms of your health and wellbeing but also earning power and professional ability. An ongoing dependency on drink or drugs is likely to cost you heavily financially due to what you’ll spend on substances and the ongoing impact on your ability to earn. Of course, the emotional and health impacts may be immeasurable.

Clinics will usually insist on full payment on admission. Some health insurance providers may pay toward private rehab – it’s necessary to check the specifics of your policy.

Employers can be sympathetic to addiction and recovery

One in five people believe they’d be sacked if their performance was suffering and they admitted to an addiction, a recent survey carried out by Port of Call indicated.

Whilst there may be cases where some firms have little choice but to enact a zero tolerance policy to alcohol and drugs issues, the truth is that many employers are much more sympathetic and understanding.

Some employers even appreciate that the pressures of the job may contribute to their employee’s dependency.

Good, supportive employees do exist and may be more common than you realise. Some will offer unpaid time off for treatment. There are even progressive employers who will fund or pay towards treatment for valued staff.

Addiction is very often linked in with mental health issues and the understanding around this is growing among employers and society.

Addiction affects people of all ages

Addiction is neither a young person’s affliction nor something that exclusively affects older people.

There is a perception that people enter rehab at a younger age than is commonly the reality, as our ‘Attitudes to Addiction’ report recently showed.

Addiction affects people of all ages but sadly many people only make it into treatment, rehab and recovery at a later stage of their lives. That usually means they have had to live through more heartbreak and tragedy than had they benefited from treatment earlier.

Public Health England* reported that in 2017/18 the largest number of people in publicly funded treatment for alcoholism were aged 45 to 49. The most common age for people getting treatment for the dual issues of alcohol and non-opiate drugs was 30 to 34.

*Public Health England, ‘‘Adult substance misuse statistics from the National Drug Monitoring System’, April 2017 – March 2018

Rehab and detox are not the same thing

It can be suitable for some people to enter rehab without the need for a detox depending on the nature of their addiction and their specific circumstances.

A detox is required when a physical dependency to alcohol or drugs has emerged, which may be indicated if, for example, you suffer physical withdrawal symptoms between uses.

When you are physically dependent on alcohol or drugs, a medically managed detox is vital – going it alone or a cold turkey approach can be dangerous.

Most private rehab centres will have detox facilities and can enable this alongside rehab work which is more focused on getting to the root of what led to addiction and developing strategies to maintain abstinence.

You can take your phone to rehab

Many people believe they will not be able to take their phone with them into rehab, which can cause them a lot of concern.

There are still rehab centres that impose strict boot camp style rules, whilst others now offer a more holistic and less punitive approach.

Many rehab centres will allow phones and laptops to be taken, though there may be restrictions on their use.

About the author: Martin Preston

Martin is our Founder and Chief Executive. Martin is himself in long term recovery and started Port of Call to help families navigate treatment options. In 2020 Martin will open Delamere Health Ltd, the UK’s first purpose built addiction treatment clinic.

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