Is Detox Like What I See on TV?

Is Detox Like What I See on TV?Addiction detox and rehab are often depicted on television, both in realistic and dramatized ways. For those who have not experienced addiction first hand, these presentations may paint a misleading picture of the reality of detox, rehab and what it takes to find lasting recovery.

Television Myths about Addiction

Addiction is a disease that affects both the addict and those around him. Many aspects of addiction and recovery have been dramatized for entertainment value since the early days of television. Even the 18th century novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tapped into early fears and misconceptions about the effects that drugs like opium could have on users.

Humans often use fiction as a way of confronting subjects that they do not understand. Early explorations of addiction and detox promoted several inaccuracies about the nature of treatment, including the following:

  • Patients are locked into a detox facility and are not allowed to leave
  • Addiction is a permanent mental illness
  • Recovery is impossible once a person becomes addicted
  • Patients in detox merely sit in circles and talk

Television often inaccurately depicts detox as a combination of a torture chamber, a prison and a mental hospital.

Reality Shows and Drug Detoxification

Reality shows have become some of the most popular programs on contemporary television. Although not always completely unscripted, shows such as Celebrity Detox, Intervention and Addicted have capitalized on our culture’s fascination with addiction and recovery as a source of entertaining human drama. In many ways, these shows do paint a somewhat accurate picture of addiction and recovery. Reality shows may be able to help addicts in the audience to realize that they could benefit from seeking professional help when the shows accurately display several aspects of the detox process, including the following:

  • It often takes direct confrontation or severe consequences for an addict to realize that he needs help
  • Treatment is voluntary and patients can leave at any time
  • Addiction has serious repercussions for the addict and those around him
  • Recovery is difficult but is possible with the right help
  • Detox is only one small part of the recovery process
  • Rehab often involves a comprehensive plan that includes education, the formation of positive relationships, access to comfortable resting conditions, a healthy diet and personal counseling

Finding Addiction Detox Help

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer questions about detox, rehab and recovery. If you would like to know what detox is really like or where the best recovery programs can be found, please call now. Do not let inaccurate TV depictions of rehab keep you from receiving the help you need. Please call now.