When we read stories about celebrities or people of popular renown taking time out of their lives to get the help they need for overcoming a life-threatening drug and alcohol addiction or mental health condition, we often read the word “stint”. Authors and journalists use the phrase “a stint in rehab” to describe the 30 days or more that someone attends a treatment program.
The phrasing is problematic. Looking at the definition of the word “stint” we see some meanings that shouldn’t be the way someone’s journey into recovery is described, because they are condescending and minimizing. As a verb, a stint means to “supply an ungenerous or inadequate amount of (something)”. For recovery, this would mean that when someone goes to treatment, they are supplying themselves adequately with the treatment that they need to fully recover. Most treatment programs are only offered 30 days at a time. Long term treatment lasting for 60, 90 days or 6 months and beyond is still relatively new. Suggesting that taking any time to stay in treatment and therapeutically confront one’s problems is ungenerous or inadequate is damaging. Everyday people face the decision of whether or not to go to treatment. One of the questions they are asking themselves is whether or not the experience is worth it and whether or not it will help them change. Immense amounts of spiritual, mental, and physical transformation can take place in a short amount of time.
As a noun, stint also means “limitation of supply or effort”. Tabloids and mainstream journalists who describe the treatment experience as a stint are essentially inferring that taking time to go to treatment is a limited effort. Firstly, this indicates a passage of judgment. Addiction, alcoholism, and mental health conditions of all kinds are chronically undergoing a public shaming, faced with critical stigma, and uninformed judgements. Secondly, there are many people who every day continue their addictions or maladaptive behaviors without choosing to take any time toward treatment at all. A trip to treatment can be the foundation of a lifestyle change that continues to evolve for many years.
Media has a responsibility in the way they communicate stories about addiction, treatment, and recovery. By fully embracing our spiritual commitment to sobriety and honesty, we can continue telling our stories in healthy ways that help change uninformed narratives.
Restoring balance, cultivating confidence, and rejuvenating the mind, body, and spirit is what we do here at Cypress Lakes Lodge. Our treatment programs offer excellence in the integrative approach, crafting a balance of life-enriching treatment with wellness. Call us today for information on our beautiful home located in the rolling hillsides of Eastern Texas: 409-331-2204