South Pacific Private Consumer & Carer Advisory Committee (CACA)

Recovery Myths and Misunderstandings…

Everyone’s Recovery journey is different and as a result, everyone will have a different view of recovery. Stereotypes and stigma surround addiction, mental illness and recovery and often these can be damaging to not only the individual struggling but also their loved ones.

Below we break down some common recovery myths and misunderstandings.

Myth #1 – Addicts have to hit ‘rock bottom’ before they can recover.

Someone doesn’t have to ‘lose it all’ to realise their life is unmanageable and they need to seek treatment. Reaching out for support and treatment isn’t only when someone has lost their house, relationship or is in trouble with the law. Everyone’s story is individual and a rock bottom is just a point when someone says “I’ve had enough”.

Myth #2 – Once people enter recovery their problems are over.

As Australia’s Leading Treatment Centre, South Pacific Private focuses on the treatment of chemical and process addictions and the co-occurring mood, anxiety and personality disorders, using a trauma informed framework. By using this trauma informed lens and the implementation of the trauma informed Model of Developmental Immaturity, in a supportive community setting, SPP has been able to positively influence thousands of clients and their families.

But that doesn’t mean that people walk out of South Pacific Private ‘recovered’ or ‘cured’ of their disease…

According to the South Pacific Private and Turning Point Survey, Australian Life in Recovery, for many, their recovery journey starts before they achieve stable abstinence; with the average length of time in recovery being 9.3 years, which is longer than the average 8.5 years since their last use of alcohol or drugs. This statistic shows that this recovery timeframe is beset with periods of relapse, and ongoing support is required.

We recognise that our inpatient stay can be just the very beginning – sometimes referred to as the foundation of the treatment journey. The next crucial step is Transitions. This is the two weeks after the inpatient stay and is essential in your Recovery journey. While in this early state of recovery you may be feeling great, this is when relapse is at its highest. South Pacific Private always advocates engagement in the Transitions program and longer-term continuing care for those in Recovery.

The Transitions Program provides an environment for clients to practice integrating newly learnt skills into their daily life in a supportive and beneficial way, that will aid recovery. This program can be engaged with while clients reside at Beachwood Recovery House.

Evidence-based research indicates that approaching Recovery from all angles is essential – and the Transitions program, our Day and Evening programs, combined with 12-step meetings, regular 1-1 visits with a Therapist, plus a healthy lifestyle including mindfulness, gratitude practice, exercise, nutritious food and healing relationships are vital.

Myth #3 – Rehab is only for ‘rich people’.

When many people picture rehab, they imagine celebrity-types swanning about in bath robes and a six week sojourn that people have paid a lot of money for. However, at South Pacific Private, we believe rehab that works is not a passive activity. Rehab is work and recovery is hard… but it’s worth it.

South Pacific Private is a private, accredited psychiatric hospital. As such we are contracted with most major health funds. That means that clients with private health insurance are able to claim for their treatment at our hospital under the terms of their health fund agreement and are often not out of pocket as a result. They may only have their excess on their policy to pay. This is inclusive of both inpatient and day programs.

This makes treatment at South Pacific Private much more accessible to people and their families than you might expect!

Myth #4 – Everyone will find out I’m an addict / have a problem.

At South Pacific Private, we have a strict confidentiality agreement and privacy is of the utmost importance. What is said in the therapy room, stays in the therapy room and South Pacific Private does not confirm or deny any contact with any particular person. We do not contact anyone without your consent. Treatment is focussed on you and your recovery. 

Myth #5 – I’ll have religion forced upon me.

When many people think of recovery, they think of 12-step programs like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous).

While the 12-step program has been defined as a ‘spiritual’ program’ this doesn’t mean it’s a religious program. While some people see the word ‘God’ in the steps and run for the hills, the program suggests a ‘Higher Power’ of one’s own understanding. For some people this may be a religious God but for others it’s the ocean, a universal force, or it might be the concept of the 12-step group itself. There are atheists in 12-step programs, regardless of what this ‘Higher Power’ is.

South Pacific Private is an abstinence based program, and we support clients to attend 12-step meetings as part of their overall treatment. The 12-step program is free, widely accessible and through connection and support, it provides clients with a clear and on-going focus on recovery.

At South Pacific Private, all programs are tailored to meet the individual needs of clients and are designed, structured and supervised by a multi-disciplinary team of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, GPs, Registered Nurses, Psychotherapists and Counsellors. The recommendations of the multi-disciplinary team are reviewed regularly throughout the inpatient admission.

Our focus is you and our individualised approach ensures you leave with an ongoing treatment journey designed specifically for your needs.

The Bureau of Statistics reports that 1 in 5 (20%) Australian’s aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. Mental illness and addiction too is much more common than many may think.

While you might not realise it, you will likely know someone who in a similar situation to you or someone you know, will know someone. You are not alone and there is no shame in getting hep.

If you or someone in your life is struggling with addiction or mental illness, reach out to the team on 1800 063 332 or email us at info@southpacificprivate.com.au for a confidential chat.

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