Rehab is for Everyone: Ending the Stigma

While most of us are aware that addiction is a major problem in our country, our ideas around addiction and how to seek treatment largely remain in the days of long ago where everything is shoved under the rug and treatment is only available for those who have a large amount of expendable cash. The truth is that these days, over 2 million people in the U.S. suffer from substance abuse issues – and it’s easier than ever to get help.

The word rehabilitation itself is often misconstrued. Many people view rehab as a last resort, something that you choose or is forced on you when there is no other way out, and when you cannot overcome your demons yourself. While the last part may be true, rehabilitation is designed to help a person restore, improve, and/or maintain a quality of life and functional ability that they may not be able to reach on their own.

Rehabilitation and Substance Abuse

Much of the stigma surrounding the word rehabilitation comes with its ties to substance abuse, but why? Rehabilitation for substance abuse issues is the same as rehabilitation for a major physical illness or injury. Your body and your brain have gone through something – and you need help to get yourself back to the life you enjoyed before this issue occurred. A major car accident can land you in rehabilitation, just like a substance abuse problem. The whole point is that you are in a program that is designed to help you.

Anyone can need rehab, and it’s not just for celebrities and people with expendable incomes. Stress, environment, friends, family, and even our jobs can take a toll on our mental and physical health to the point that we start seeking outside sources to cope. No one is immune to the harsh reality of everyday life, and while some may struggle more than others because of certain life circumstances, there is no way to predict who may be affected enough by their own personal issues to turn to drugs or alcohol. These substances are often used as a means of escape, or a coping mechanism when nothing else is available.

When it is time to explore rehabilitation, it is important to keep all of this in mind and help end the stigma associated with asking for help. Knowing the available options and how to ask for help in a constructive manner can be a huge stepping stone for those who have admitted to themselves that they may have a problem, and can give them the boost they need to get back on their path.

Who Can Benefit From Rehabilitation?

The truth is that anyone who struggles with substance abuse can benefit from a rehabilitation program. And rehabilitation programs are available in a number of different formats. They can be outpatient programs, where a person does not reside at the treatment facility, but still goes through the steps of treatment. Rehabilitation programs may also be inpatient so a person can have a team of medical staff available to help them get through their struggles at all times of day or night. Some people may also be partially hospitalized, with more supervision and support than in traditional outpatient programs, while still maintaining some of their own care.

The types of people who can benefit from rehabilitation programs also vary greatly. Rehab is not only for that crack addict on the street who has given everything in their lives to drugs, or that celebrity you see on the news who got yet another drunk driving conviction. Rehabilitation is also for you and me, and there is rehab for people who may have more stressful, demanding jobs – such as rehab for government workers, rehab for first responders, and rehab for medical personnel.

If you are struggling with substance abuse, or are not struggling but may be concerned about the methods you are using to cope with your everyday life (even if they don’t involve drugs or alcohol) it may benefit you to explore treatment options in your area. Learning about rehabilitation centers and the options available is completely confidential, and can be done before you talk to anyone about your concerns. Everyday life can be overwhelming, and there is no shame in asking for help.