Debunking the Myths About Rehab

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Deciding to attend addiction treatment in New Jersey is one of the most difficult decisions an individual will make. However, the benefits of doing so are limitless. With that being said, many people still deal with fears and worries about attending addiction rehab. Oftentimes, this is because of the many myths about rehab that are, unfortunately, commonly spread among popular culture.

Some people may be worried about how rehab will affect their job, change their drug use, or if they will be able to afford rehab. While these concerns are valid, they typically come from unfounded myths and lies. By learning about the truth, you may find yourself attending rehab with fewer fears and greater peace of mind. Let’s take a look at the most common treatment center myths and why they simply are not true.

Disproving Common Treatment Center Myths

Although rehab is often romanticized or dissected in popular culture, a large number of people know little about the facts of addiction treatment and its effectiveness. Continue reading to learn more about the common myths about rehab.

Myth #1: I Will Get Fired For Attending Rehab in New Jersey

While many people worry about losing their job due to attending rehab, oftentimes, rehab saves people’s careers. In most cases, your employer cannot fire you for being in treatment for addiction, thanks to The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

The ADA protects individuals who work in state and local government units and private companies with more than 15 employees, from being fired for going to rehab. Additionally, for employers with federal funding, The Rehabilitation Act will provide you with the same protection.[1] However, there are some restrictions to these protections to be aware of. If you cannot complete your job safely and competently once you return to work or if you test positive for illegal substances, your employment may be terminated legally.

Additionally, many companies have Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). These programs offer an array of services to help support employees, including help for individuals who need addiction treatment.

Another option to consider is taking unpaid leave under The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).[1] Under this act, you may take up to 12 months of unpaid leave due to a “serious illness”. Under certain conditions, substance use disorders qualify. You must:[2]

  • Use your unpaid leave for treatment purposes.
  • Have worked for your current employer for at least 12 months before taking leave, and have worked at least 1,250 hours in those months.
  • Work for a company that has at least 50 employees either on-site or working remotely within 75 miles.

If you are planning on utilizing one of these protection acts, contact your employer or human resources department to sort out your options.

Myth #2: Rehab Cures Addiction

One of the most common misconceptions about rehab is that completing the program will cure your addiction. The truth is, addiction is a chronic and progressive condition with many influencing factors. Because addiction affects many facets of an individual’s life, rehab is not enough by itself to make it go away. However, rehab does provide individuals with the skills they will need to proactively deal with cravings and triggers.

Treatment should involve some or all of the components listed to help promote life long sobriety and recovery:[3]

  • Drug and alcohol detox.
  • Individual and group counseling.
  • Medication for sobriety maintenance or for co-occurring mental health conditions (when applicable).
  • An aftercare program or relapse prevention plan.

With the combination of these components, individuals can recover fully. However, this recovery must be maintained daily, or else a relapse is possible.

Myth #3: If Rehab Doesn’t Work the First Time, It Will Never Work

If you have tried rehab in the past and relapse afterward, you may believe that rehab doesn’t work. However, this only means that you have a headstart on recovery. By having attended rehab in the past, you may have already learned what it takes to become and stay sober. Metaphorically, attending rehab in New Jersey for a second, or even third time, is like taking a test with the notes in your hand. While you are likely to be presented with new challenges, you will have the benefit of experience and past takeaways that will help to make long-term sobriety more likely.

Myth #4: I Cannot Afford Rehab in New Jersey

Substance abuse treatment can be pricey. However, there are many ways to make rehab more budget-friendly. In fact, if you have insurance through The Affordable Care Act (ACA), substance use disorder treatment is considered “an essential health benefit”.[4] In other words, if you have this type of insurance you cannot be denied coverage for treatment of addiction.

However, if you do not have insurance, or if your insurance does not cover rehab, there are other options to consider. Many rehab programs will offer financing, loans, scholarships, or sliding payment scales based on your income. After determining which program and facility you want to attend, speak with one of the treatment center’s advisors about payment options.

If you are still having a hard time affording treatment, you can explore options such as:

  • Applying for a personal loan through your bank or a credit union.
  • Using a medical credit card.
  • Taking out a medical loan.
  • Using a crowdfunding website (like Gofundme) to ask friends and loved ones to help support your treatment.

Myth #5: You Have to Hit Rock Bottom Before Attempting Rehab

One of the most concerning myths about rehab is that individuals must hit rock bottom to begin treatment. However, rehab isn’t a place for people at their worst, rather, it’s a resource for individuals who have a desire to get better. In all actuality, the earlier you begin treatment, the easier it will be for you to get sober and maintain your recovery.

In any case, whatever you think ‘rock bottom’ means, that definition will change over some time. You might think you’ve reached your bottom, only to find that your “bottom” continues to worsen with continued substance abuse. Please, do not wait to reach some imaginary low point to start living a healthy, happy, and addiction-free life.

Disprove the Myths About Rehab: Get Started Today!

Addiction is known to take an individual’s life from them, in many different ways. An individual’s thoughts, choices, and actions may begin to revolve around using drugs and alcohol. However, rehab allows people to take back control of their lives and obtain opportunities that have seemed out of reach in the past. For help with addiction treatment in New Jersey, contact New Jersey Interventions today.



Medically Reviewed: November 24, 2020

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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