Common Barriers to TreatmentFebruary 18, 2019
The disease of addiction affects millions of people in the U.S., but unfortunately, only a small fraction ever seek the life-changing help they need. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only about 18 percent of people aged 12 and older got access to the necessary treatment for substance misuse disorders. What could be causing so many people who need help to avoid getting it?
Reasons Addicts Refuse to Seek Treatment
Though there are many varied reasons for people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol not to seek the necessary professional treatment, there are several common denominators.
- Denial: Unwillingness to admit to having a problem is one of the most significant reasons people do not enter treatment. Although it may be blindingly obvious to those around them, the person with the substance use disorder does not want to accept it. They often have built up an arsenal of excuses to justify their destructive behavior.
- Time: Addiction does not develop overnight, and neither does recovery. It takes time to overcome the effects of drug and alcohol misuse. The thought of taking a few weeks or months off to focus solely on treatment might seem out of reach for many, who cannot imagine leaving their job and family for an extended period. However, failure to seek help could eventually lead to the loss of their job or even their death, which would put an even bigger burden on their loved ones. Employers are often willing to help by offering programs that support employees while they seek recovery to get their lives back together.
- Financial reasons: Many people do not seek treatment because they are worried about the cost of entering a qualified treatment facility. However, many licensed facilities accept a wide range of health insurance plans and are also willing to work with clients to help defray the costs of treatment. Also, when you consider how expensive it can be to maintain an addiction – from paying for the substance of choice to lost wages, legal expenses and health care costs – you can begin to appreciate that recovery is a worthy investment.
- Children: Having to take care of their children is another very common barrier to treatment among addicted people. Because addiction is a family disease, addicts are doing their children more of a disservice by refusing to seek treatment. Consider the stress you are putting your family members through with your irresponsible behavior. In your downward spiral, you are dragging your children along with you.
- Reputation: Unfortunately, even today, many stigmas surround addiction. Some people are unwilling to admit they need treatment because they don’t want friends, family or co-workers to know about their struggles with drug or alcohol use. They are worried that it will reflect poorly on them, or cause others to think less of them. However, it’s quite probable that those around you already recognize you have a problem, even if you think you have hidden it well. Seeking treatment is a sign of strength, and it’s the best thing you can do to improve your reputation.
- Pets: Pets are part of your family, and you may not want to leave them behind to enter recovery. There are always caring people who will step in to take care of your pets while you seek treatment, and once you are sober, you will be able to be a much better “pet parent” than before.
- Fear of withdrawal: Addicts who have tried to quit using substances like drugs and alcohol on their own are often unsuccessful because they encounter painful or uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, mood swings, chills, nausea and vomiting. A qualified treatment center has caring staff on hand around the clock to help monitor and ease these unpleasant symptoms as you safely and comfortably detoxify from the poisonous substances you have been misusing.
- Not wanting to stop using: People who have a substance misuse disorder are constantly seeking the high or buzz their drug of choice provides. If still wanting to get high is a barrier to treatment for you, recovery will teach you healthy coping mechanisms so you no longer want to use drugs or alcohol.
Removing Barriers to Treatment
Whitman Recovery Service is the first step in helping get past these and other common barriers to treatment and getting the help you need to enter a rehabilitation facility. Our team has conducted more than 500 professional interventions in all 50 states, and our proven approach has been successful over 90 percent of the time. As interventionists, our role is to help break down these barriers, disrupt denial and convince people it is time to enter a treatment program that leads to long-term recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our process.