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Breaking Through the Stigma of Rehab: Strategies for Coping

Understanding and Overcoming Embarrassment in Addiction Recovery

Some people may have turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with personal problems. As the addiction develops, new problems often crop up, including feelings of shame and embarrassment about rehab and the addiction. Someone who is feeling ashamed or embarrassed is more reluctant to seek treatment.

To overcome feelings of embarrassment, it can help to understand addiction better.


Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about seeking help:

  • Addiction is a chronic disease. Some people assume that becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol is a sign of weakness or a symptom of questionable morals. These assumptions are wrong. While the initial decision to drink or use drugs is your own, many people aren’t aware of how quickly drug and alcohol dependency can develop and lead to addiction.
    1. Long-term drug and alcohol abuse structurally and chemically alters your brain, particularly the reward center (ventral tegmental), responsible for how you respond to triggers that entice you to use drugs or alcohol.
  • Genetics plays a role in addiction. While environmental factors such as family upbringing and influence of peers play a role in determining addiction, genetics also has a hand. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), genetics accounts for 40% to 60% of your predisposition to addiction.
  • You are not alone. There are millions of people across America with some form of drug or alcohol addiction. The National Council on Alcoholism
    1. and Drug Dependence (NCADD) states that one in every 12 adult Americans abuse alcohol or have a severe dependence. And the use of illicit drugs is increasing. A national survey conducted in 2013 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that 9.4% of Americans ages 12 or older used an illegal drug within the last month. This is up from 2002’s survey which indicated only 8.2% usage within the past month.
  • Addiction affects everyone. Addiction affects men, women, teenagers, and the elderly from all walks of life. While drug use is highest amongst 18 to 20-year-olds, drug use increases amongst those in their 50s and 60s, according to the same SAMHSA survey.
  • You can’t overcome addiction alone. It is challenging to overcome a drug or alcohol addiction by yourself. Depending on your drug or alcohol consumption levels and the length of time abusing it, you may need a medical detox to safely and effectively wean your body off your substance of choice. Going ‘cold turkey’ can be dangerous if unsupervised.

Benefits of Seeking Addiction Treatment

You should never feel embarrassed about rehab because there are many different options available for recovering addicts today. Beachway Therapy Center offers both inpatient and outpatient programs depending on your needs.

Entering a treatment facility is the first step to recovery. When you enter a detox or rehab facility, you’ll be taken care of by qualified medical professionals and a team of compassionate therapists to care for your needs.