Can rehabs work for atheists and free thinkers?

Millions of Americans are currently struggling with a substance use disorder. They may be addicted to one or more substances that is ruining their lives. Substance abuse can cause people to lose thousands of dollars every year and alienate their families. It is one of the leading causes of preventable death in this country. Rehab facilities have sprung up across the country to help people deal with these problems. But rehab facilities have gained a reputation based on a handful of myths and misunderstandings about how they work and what exactly they do to help people get clean. Debunking these myths is essential to helping these facilities aid as many dependent individuals as possible.

Stereotypes about rehab

The most common stereotype about rehab is that it is a process where an individual loses a part of themselves. Many people believe that rehab is a place where they learn to be weak and dependent on another person. They have to give themselves over to a “higher power” because they were weak enough to become dependent on alcohol or another substance. This act is seen as essential to breaking down the barriers that led a person to continuously fail at improving their lives.

The theory

  • The theory is that weakening the sense of self at a rehab facility allows therapy to work better. A person is more receptive to the coping and control skills necessary to give up their dependence on substances. In that process, they can embrace a sober life.
  • There are a number of stereotypes that devolve from this premise. One is that conformist and religious people are seen as the only people who can be helped by rehab. Most people believe that it is easier to give one’s self over to a “higher power” if they have already devoted their life to God as part of a religious tradition.
  • In addition, rehab is seen as ineffective for free thinkers who can see through the problematic logic and science of rehab programs and retain too much of their free will to abandon their previous destructive habits. The stereotype has led to millions of people rejecting rehab when they would have otherwise been aided by it.

The reality

Rehab is a much different place than many people fear. Most rehabs have moved past a clear dependence on giving one’s attachments and sense of self up to another entity. Instead, they focus on a patient-driven approach where a person comes to terms with why they are abusing and what steps to take in order to move past the abuse problem.

Rehabs provide a clean, sober environment where a person can relieve stress and take stock of their present circumstances. They can realize the reasons why they abuse substances and start to develop tools for handling their addictions. Some people may replace self-medication with regular medication regiments that will stabilize their mood and help treat problems associated with anxiety or depression.

What to do

Anyone who thinks that they need to enter rehab should consult a medical and perhaps a mental health professional. These men and women will help a person chart their way forward. They may need to get into the right mental framework in order to properly embrace rehab. Some individuals may need to use therapy and medication in order to deal with their substance abuse problems. Others can use the tools, techniques, and time that they spend at the rehab to start getting over their issues.

Some people require thirty days in rehab while others need only a weekend. The problem may have been acute or it may have been an addiction that lasted decades. No matter the situation, rehab should always be a consideration when an individual looks at the steps they need to take in order to deal with their addiction problem.


People who consider rehab and end up going are not weak or conformist. They have identified a problem in their lives and are taking concrete steps to fix that problem. In that way, they are stronger than a large proportion of the population. Many people simply go through their daily lives and deal with their demons without soliciting any outside help. When they decide they cannot do so anymore, they need to go through the research and soul-searching necessary to embrace the rehab process. We are here to help guide them through that difficult process. Call us today at 833-820-2922.