Who Is Rehab Really For?


Drug abuse rehab centers

Alcohol addiction treatment is a topic many people are unwilling to discuss. The word “addiction” always sounds dirty and sinful, and it’s hard for most people to think of it objectively as an illness or changeable condition. Talking about addiction, treatment and the intersections between each invariably brings up memories of loved ones who we lost to these destructive processes.

Yet what is really happening as a result of this hesitancy? Is it helping young people between ages 15 and 24, who are more likely to experience mental illness and substance abuse than any other age group? Is it the people who have received alcohol addiction treatment at drug abuse rehab centers, and are now left stigmatized and voiceless regarding their experience? Is it for those who work at these centers, whether a luxury rehab or an alcohol detox clinic, who wish for the public to be unaware of what they do to treat this chronic social and individual ailment?

Or is it really primarily for the benefit of those who have never gone to rehab or had to go- those who wish to remain comfortably distant from the suffering of the many?

The drug rehab process is expensive? in Canada alone, it costs the health care system $8 billion. There is more to alcohol addiction treatment than simply sending someone off to a glorified sleep away camp and hoping they don’t end up diving even deeper into their addictions while there. Likewise, there is more to rehab centres than indoctrinating people with anti-drug rhetoric and forcing them to never take a drink again. The best rehab continues outside of residential treatment and extends out into real personal and public life? which is why it is important to acknowledge the unseen forces that drive simple recklessness or dependency into full-blown addiction.

Mental illness is such a force. At least 20% of people with mental illness have a substance abuse problem, twice as high a likelihood as for the general population. Likewise, those with substance abuse problems are 3 times more likely to have a mental illness than those without. With 1 in 5 Canadians experiencing a mental illness or health problem, it’s no wonder Canada drug rehab centers are so important.

By shedding more light on the relationship between mental illness and substance abuse, we hope to not stigmatize people with either or both conditions, but to open up a dialogue on how deeply embedded the roots of these problems are and how we can identify who can help and who needs it.

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