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5 Myths About Alcohol Rehab (and the Truths that Go With Them)

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, around 15.1 million adult Americans struggle with alcohol use disorder, but only around 6.7 percent of them seek treatment. Myths about alcohol rehab often cause individuals not to seek professional help in overcoming alcohol addiction. Here are five common myths about alcohol rehab, along with the truths that debunk them.


1. Treatment for alcoholism is too expensive.

Some individuals may forgo seeking professional help with alcohol addiction because they believe the treatment will be too expensive. Even if they believe they’re dealing with an issue, they may struggle secretly to overcome it or try to quit cold turkey with only the help of a trusted friend or relative.

But alcohol rehab doesn’t have to be too expensive. When you reach out for professional help, you can learn about all the options available to you. Some truths that help debunk this myth are summarized below.

  • Substance abuse treatment options, including inpatient treatment, are covered by all major insurance plans. In fact, the federal government insists on it. The Affordable Care Act mandates behavioral health care coverage, and that includes addiction treatment.
  • Even if one rehab option doesn’t work for your budget when you consider all factors, such as coinsurance or other out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles, professional admissions counselors and individual therapists and doctors often know about other resources and can help you complete applications for assistance or refer you to programs that do work with your budget.
  • Some facilities work with patients to develop financial arrangements that allow them to seek treatment.

2. Alcohol rehab is for people who have major life issues.

Another common myth that keeps individuals from seeking professional help with alcohol addiction is the belief that life must be falling apart before inpatient recovery options are suitable. For example, you might think because you’re holding down a job or meeting basic family obligations that you don’t have a problem with alcohol addiction or need help.

In reality, alcohol addiction comes in many forms and impacts each individual — and their family, social, and career structures — differently. Being “functional” in your life doesn’t mean you don’t have an alcohol dependence, negatively impacting your health. It also doesn’t mean there aren’t problems in your life related to your alcohol abuse or that you will remain functional as your addiction cycles.

If you find yourself unable to go a day or a few days without drinking, turning to alcohol when you’re stressed, or hiding your alcohol use to fit in with what you deem a “normal” lifestyle, you may be dealing with an addiction, no matter how well you’re leading your life.

3. I can just quit on my own.

People do indeed quit alcohol on their own. But it’s a tough road for many people, and a large percentage of people who try to stop drinking on their own don’t succeed. This is because alcohol addiction isn’t about willpower. It’s about a physical dependence your body has on a substance and often underlying mental, emotional or psychological issues that may have driven you to drink in the first place.

Alcohol rehab takes a phased approach to these matters. First, when appropriate, it includes medically assisted detox that helps you stop drinking without experiencing uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Second, it includes therapy to help you identify triggers, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and create a plan for long-term sobriety in daily life.

4. Rehab will cause me to lose my job.

Many people continue to hide their alcohol addiction, thinking that going to rehab means admitting they are abusing alcohol, leading to the loss of their job.

In reality, it’s actually more likely in most cases that you’ll lose your job by hiding your alcohol use and not seeking professional treatment. Continuing to abuse alcohol while also working can lead to making serious errors or being discovered working while intoxicated, both of which can lead to termination.

Many employers have options for employees who want to seek rehab treatment, and you may be able to seek FMLA status while in treatment to protect your job. Consider talking to a human resource rep about assistance options offered by your company, or reach out to an addiction treatment professional to learn about your options.

5. Alcohol addiction treatment is just a bunch of talking.

A final myth that keeps some people away from treatment is believing that treatment is “just talking.” While it’s true that group and individual therapy does involve talking, it’s talking led by a trained professional and for a specific purpose. But inpatient rehab also includes several other things, including medically assisted detox options, recreational therapy, and nutritional counseling. At Beachway, our holistic approach to treatment can even include acupuncture and yoga.

If you’re ready to set aside common myths and seek professional help overcoming your alcohol addiction, reach out to us today. You can complete our online contact form or call 877-284-0353 to speak with one of our compassionate staff right now.