When you’re in rehab, your anonymity is important. So, too, is the anonymity of the others you’re in rehab with or attend group sessions with. The importance of anonymity in rehab is a principal foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous, hence the name.
Why is anonymity important to recovery? How can you ensure you protect the anonymity of others in recovery?
Why Anonymity and Rehab Go Hand in Hand
Anonymity is important to recovery because:
It Ensures Everyone in the Recovery Group Is on Equal Terms
When you’re in treatment, whether it’s a long-term stay in a private addiction rehab or attending regular AA meetings, you need to feel comfortable in your environment. You need to feel as if you belong in the group.
If you find out one of the members of the group is a CEO of a major corporation, for example, you may be intimidated. You may no longer feel as if you can relate to the person or the group as a whole. You may not be as willing to share your thoughts and feelings.
On the other hand, if you are a public figure, and your identity is revealed to the group, you may feel judged. You’d no longer feel comfortable sharing your private struggle.
For a recovery treatment to work, all members need to feel safe opening up about their struggles. They need to feel accepted and supported by the group.
People Will Be More Likely to Seek Treatment
Often, you’re ready to begin treatment, but you’re not yet ready to deal with telling your friends and others in your life what you are going through. This is especially important if you have concerns about your career.
While you can’t be fired for seeking treatment, you have valid concerns about how others will judge you. If you are self-employed and depend on your reputation to gain and sustain business, revealing to the world you are in treatment for addiction may not be the ideal career move.
When you know you can get the treatment you need without revealing that fact, you’ll be more likely to seek it. Pursuing treatment can have its challenges. Worrying about your anonymity should not be one of them.
The Group or Treatment Model Won’t Be Negatively Affected If a Member Relapses
If a member of a recovery group relapses and the public knows which treatment they were undergoing, it may tarnish the reputation of that model of recovery. Even if many people have found long-term sobriety in the group, one story of failure can tarnish the treatment’s reputation.
When treatment is anonymous, it ensures the therapy is protected from stories of failure. People often try therapies several times before they achieve long-term sobriety. If factors caused the first few tries not to work — whether it was the person not being ready, ending treatment too soon, or any of the many other reasons treatment may not be successful on the first try — the treatment shouldn’t get a bad reputation.
How to Ensure the Anonymity of Others in Treatment
To ensure you don’t jeopardize the anonymity of others in recovery or the reputation of the treatment:
- Don’t post any information about your meetings and sessions on social media. Not only should you not post any pictures but also refrain from posting any identifying information that others could use to figure out where and when the meetings are taking place.
- If you’re a public figure, don’t reveal the fact you attend AA meetings. You can share your addiction story, just not that you attend AA meetings. By leaving out the specifics of the type of treatment you’re undergoing, you protect the group and the treatment’s reputation, should you relapse at any point on your journey to long-term recovery.
- Don’t reveal your connection with someone who is in your anonymous recovery group. If you see a member of your recovery group in public, do not approach them unless you can speak privately. Often, it’s best to let them approach you first and use their body language as clues about their comfort level.
If you’re ready to take the next step to achieving long-term sobriety, 12 Keys Rehab is here to help. We offer private holistic treatment with a small client-to-staff ratio. Contact us today to get started.