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Getting help is not just an important part of dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, it is essentially the core of overcoming those ailments. People who have never had first or even second hand experience with drug and alcohol addiction like to make it a personal problem.

They make it all about the choices of the addict. And indeed, the choices of the addict matter to the addict’s addiction. But that line of thinking has the sharp downside of isolating the addict.

The big problem with thinking that addiction should be solved by oneself is that it presumes that addiction is always caused by oneself. Neither of those things are true. Rehab is the pathway to getting help to deal with those problems. But what exactly is rehab like?

There are a lot of misconceptions about what you get out of rehab. We are here to dispel those.

If you are considering getting into rehab to help deal with a drug or alcohol addiction, we more than approve of that decision, we encourage you. But we understand that it is hard to make the commitment if you do not know what to expect. So, let’s talk about what rehab offers you.

Do you Have to Stay at Rehab?

Let’s cover this topic first, as there are a lot of misconceptions around it. Yes, there are many drug rehabs that offer lodging for their patients. But this is not universal, nor is it a requirement.

The reason rehabs offer this is because changing one’s environment is often critical to overcoming addiction. And this is not just about changing where you live. It is also about changing who you spend your time around and the lifestyle options available to you.

Rehabs give you access to clean living areas, healthy food, and places to exercise, all of which are proven to support overcoming addiction. But if you do not want to live at the rehab, they also offer community spaces to spend time and medical facilities to help keep you away from trouble.

Medical Care

Medical attention can be critical to dealing with addiction. Rehabs provide some of the obvious things like detox drugs and solutions for overdoses should you or someone you know have one.

But they also provide life-saving care. In particularly bad cases of withdrawal, a person can have a seizure that puts them at risk of injury or brain damage. They might also vomit in their sleep and not respond to it. Rehab has facilities to prevent these from happening.

And obviously they have the means of treating these as well. But most importantly, all of this is offered privately. People who overdose usually don’t know what to do because they are afraid that going to a normal hospital will get them in trouble with the law.

That is not true in the first place, but it can feel true when you are dealing with a doctor or nurse you do not know. Having repeated interactions with the same rehab medical professionals will help you build trust so that you know the people taking care of you will not narc on you.


It cannot be denied that one of the hardest parts of getting over a drug addiction is the emotional component. This is especially true in our individualism-obsessed culture.

People seek out drugs and alcohol because they solve problems. Maybe you started using cocaine or heroin because it’s what everyone around you was doing. Maybe you started drinking for equally social reasons. Even these things can turn into dependencies.

The issue emerges when the dependency does. Suddenly something that was being used to feel happy or make socializing easier is required for everyday tasks. When the addict realizes they have a problem, the emotional toll it takes on them is not just heavy. It’s constant.

That problem is too much for anyone to deal with on their own. This is what makes therapy so critical. What you need to know is that no one struggling on their own. Everyone needs help.

Rehabs offer therapy in both group and solo forms for that reason. There is even online, anonymous therapy if you are uncomfortable with meeting in person. All of these are important for their own reasons. Solo therapy is important for focusing on yourself, for instance.

And while many people are uncomfortable with group therapy, it can be a good window into what other people are struggling with and how they are doing it. This can shine a light on your own efforts, both in what you are doing right and where you might improve.


Of all the things a rehab can provide you, this is the most frequently overlooked. Which is a shame, because it is the one thing people lack. For instance, what did you learn about addiction in school? More specifically, what was taught to you?

Most people learn everything they know about addiction from personal experience. This is part of the reason why so many people are totally ignorant about how addiction actually works.

What medicine do you need to deal with detox? What do you do in case of an overdose? When does withdrawal happen, and how does it work? All of these are critical questions to understanding how to deal with addiction. And rehab is one of the few places they’re discussed.

You can actually go to this page if you want more info on those sorts of things. Many people do not even know where drug and alcohol dependency begins and ends. It is hard to know how much you do not know.


Drug and alcohol rehab programs work because they are voluntary. Nobody will force you to go, and nobody will force you to stay. But perhaps most importantly, no one will force you to accept a treatment that does not work for you.

Everyone’s experience with addiction is different. The main thing that is consistent among all rehabs is the fact that they are there to help you with it.