For most people, the idea of getting sober can be scary, and many will attempt recovery on their own. In fact, most who need to seek substance abuse treatment don’t attempt to obtain professional help. There are the typical obstacles that discourage many people suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, causing them to avoid seeking treatment or doubt their likelihood of lasting success after rehab. In some cases, individuals face a combination of these barriers to entering a substance abuse treatment program. However, every individual who desires sobriety from alcohol or drug addiction should know how to get treatment.
Although some people succeed in turning away from abusing drugs or alcohol with just support from friends or family, there are over 20 million individuals struggling with addiction in the United States who need treatment in a substance abuse center in order to overcome their addiction. In these cases, their addiction may be too extreme, or they may have a strong genetic predisposition, or there may be mental health factors or other issues which require help from drug rehab professionals.
Why Don’t People Who Need Rehab Seek Treatment?
It can be an extremely daunting task for some people to face the prospect of starting drug or alcohol rehabilitation treatments. Some have severe cravings or even withdrawal symptoms that can intimidate them from facing the process of overcoming their addiction. Others may try to hide their addiction due to the stigma it bears in the community around them. These are just a few of the many reasons why people avoid starting treatment.
The voluminous report of the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, from DHHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), offers data on reasons why people do not seek treatment for substance addiction (2011-2014). The research found that among the most frequent reasons people in need of rehab treatment did not seek help included:
- 39% did not think they could afford to go to rehab.
- 8% said they believe they can quit using on their own.
- 17% feared being in rehab would impact their jobs.
- 18% wanted to avoid the stigma of admitting addiction.
Overcoming Barriers To Addiction Treatment
In some cases, people don’t seek addiction treatment for a combination of reasons. They may believe they can’t afford treatment. Or, they might be too fearful of telling their employer, family or friends that they need to go into rehab. Maybe they’re worried about being absent from work, or a lack of childcare or they may feel unable to get help due to any one of many other concerns. Here are just a few of the most common examples of concerns people have about seeking treatment for substance abuse:
“I Don’t Believe I Have a Serious Problem”
Over a third of people with substance addiction believe they’re not addicted or that they can stop using drugs or alcohol whenever they want to, without help. They often don’t see the harm their behavior is causing to their important relationships, and other areas of their lives such as employment.
Recognizing their need for substance abuse treatment is the necessary awakening that enables them to turn toward a new life beyond addiction, starting with getting the help they need to free themselves from substance abuse and move on to a more fulfilling life.
“Rehab Costs Too Much”
Many people struggling with addiction don’t think they can afford rehab. Generally, drug addiction rehabilitation experts recommend a minimum of 90 days inpatient treatment in cases of severe substance addiction. And depending on the facility, this can come with an enormous price tag. However, the good news is that many insurance companies are now offering options to cover the cost of substance abuse treatment.
Additionally, many drug treatment centers these days also offer the option of basing the cost of rehab on a person’s income. And some will even offer scholarships to the most needy of patients. Also, some drug and alcohol rehab facilities also receive government funding, enabling them to reduce the cost of treatment for people seeking rehab. The point is that you should not allow cost to be an excuse for not seeking treatment. You never know what you may find.
“I Can’t Leave My Responsibilities”
Over 75% of people with drug or alcohol addiction in the United States are afraid they will lose their jobs, or future employment opportunities, while they’re away in rehab. Ironically, the very thing they think will hinder them ends up having a greater likelihood of long-term recovery success and less risk of relapse.
Fortunately, many employers today are supportive of their employees’ decision to obtain treatment for addiction and welcome them back to their jobs after they complete inpatient rehab. In fact, the American Disabilities Act forbids employers from firing you for seeking treatment provided that you have not been using on the job. However, if you find that you simply can’t tell your boss there is still hope. Outpatient addiction treatment can be an effective option for many people, and it makes it possible for them to avoid missing time on their jobs.
“Who’s going to take care of my kids?”
A serious issue for many individuals coping with addiction is the absence of adequate child care options. It can be a very tough decision to entrust the care of one’s child to another person. But, the choice to recover from addiction is the most important thing a parent can do for their child and herself or himself, making it the right decision in every case of substance addiction.
After all, the alternative is potentially allowing alcohol or drug addiction to cause job loss and loss of child custody. Recovering from addiction is the most practical way to avoid those outcomes and do your best for your child.
I’m Worried About what others will think”
Nearly 20% of individuals who do not seek addiction treatment say their worried about their reputation. They fear what their spouse, family, neighbors, coworkers, employers, and others in their community will think of them if they go into drug or alcohol rehab. They naturally fear social judgment, because addiction is stigmatized in the U.S. However, contrary to their fears, the majority of families and friends want their loved ones to recover from addiction and not go on suffering with it. Further, families and friends of addicts know long before the addict does that their loved one needs help. The addict is often the last one to know about their addiction.
“I can’t find a treatment Program In my Area”
A serious obstacle in the mind of many addicts is the perceived lack of treatment options for substance. The need for rehab is accelerating more rapidly than new treatment facilities are opening throughout the country. In cities, rehab facilities often have lengthy waiting lists for admission, and in rural areas, people seeking addiction treatment are sometimes forced to travel many miles for treatment.
There are some effective alternatives, including seeking help from a person’s family doctor. They can attend support groups, and they can start in AA or Narcotics Anonymous while waiting to begin rehab. The key is to not allow the treatment hesitancy to be an excuse for not seeking help. Addicts are known for using excuses to remain in their current behavior. Our goal is to help eliminate as many barriers as possible for them.
don’t be afraid to ask for help
We can find countless reasons for not seeking treatment for substance abuse. But you don’t have to wait until things are much worse before you reach out and ask for the help you need. Addiction treatment and relapse prevention are more likely to be easier and more effective long-term when individuals seek the professional help they need before their addiction grows more severe. Call San Diego Sober Living today! We can help you navigate your addiction treatment.