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8 Lies Bad Drug and Alcohol Rehabs Will Tell You

8 Lies Bad Drug and Alcohol Rehabs Will Tell You

As many of you know there is a crisis with the levels of opioid use, addiction, and overdose in this country. Many people are scared and trying to help their loved one or trying to help themselves. People want to fix it, and addiction is not an easy fix. These are the times that unscrupulous people will use to their advantage, to try to con you out of money for treatments that are not proven or simply don't work. After last week's article, let's look at some specific things that disreputable drug rehab facilities will tell you to try to get you to come there. 

  1. We cure addiction. Well, research does not back this one up very well. If a treatment facility is telling you they cure addiction, then they are not being completely honest with you. Is it possible? Well, yes, some people can be considered cured, but research says this is a very, very small percentage, and honestly, it's really unlikely. The addiction will be there for a long time, and it is important for the addict to know they need to work at resisting the urge to start using again, because it will lead them back to the same place. 

  1. We have a 90% success rate. Mark Twain once said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." This is one of those lies. Statistics can be true, but also very misleading. This 90% success rate could mean anything. It could mean that 90% of the people leaving the door are clean and sober but does not account for them being clean and sober a week, a month, or a year later. Be very wary of treatment facilities giving you statistics about their success rate; even if it's not a lie, it could be deceptive. 

  1. Lies of Omission. Ok this may not be what they tell you, but what they are not telling you. If they are not telling you any specific information about the facility, about how long it will be, what types of treatments they use, or especially if they are not telling you anything about costs or the numbers seem confusing or don't add up, that is likely a lie of omission. Legitimate drug rehab facilities should be able to tell you specifics and work with you so that you understand both the process and the costs involved. 

  1. Our program works for everyone. There is no one size fits all treatment program. You are all unique with individual backgrounds, experiences, and reasons why you started using. That needs to be accounted for in treatment. Working with your individual strengths and addressing your individual concerns should be a part of treatment.  

  1. You cannot talk to your family while in treatment. This is a serious warning sign. Most drug rehabs want you to stay connected with your family, and will likely have them in for family days, visits, educational programs or family counseling. If the rehab you selected is trying to isolate you that is likely a bad sign. While there may be good reason for some people not to talk to their family, like in cases of abuse, if that is the program model that is a scary thing. 

  1. You have to work for us during your rehab. A disturbing trend is some rehabs saying you have to work full time for them, likely at a resale store, or some other fundraising operation, and they may present this as vocational therapy or building job skills. It sounds like a good idea. It's not. This is taking advantage of vulnerable people to begin with, and worse it puts the focus on work rather than rehab. If you are required to work full time at some place of the rehab's choosing, and they are making money off of your labor, that is a serious problem. 

  1. We don't set a graduation date. Rehab's should set a date for when you will be graduating out of the program. It is a major goal to start preparing you for the second you enter treatment, rejoining life outside the facility. This does not mean that the date will never change; quite frequently the client and therapist team will agree that spending some more time in rehab for continued support and therapy, or simply to try to help you find a more stable living situation, is called for. 

  1. We break you down to build you back up. This is not the military and your therapist is not your drill sergeant. This is not a necessary part of drug treatment. Some places do specialize in this sort of therapy; research does not support this as being effective. Breaking you down is not a necessary step to building you back up. Support and compassion work for the majority of people who enter rehab. Giving people opportunities to succeed will go a lot farther than yelling at them and making them feel worthless at the start of treatment in order to "break them down."  

This is just a list of some common lies or deceptions that bad drug rehabs will use to try to get your money, not help you. It is normal to want to help someone you care about, and many people will hear miraculous claims and want their loved one to go there to get help. The truth is that scams and cons still run to this day, and now some are preying on those worried about drug addiction. Do you have any other lies that you or your loved ones have been told when looking for a drug rehab? Let us know in the comments so we can hear your stories too. 

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Jason Simpkins
Posted on 05/17/2018 by Jason Simpkins

Jason Simpkins is a writer at Open Counseling. He is a clinical social worker in Michigan and is dedicated to having quality mental health care available to everyone. And as a University of Michigan graduate, he says a hearty, Go Blue!



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