Overcoming addiction can be an overwhelming process and most people cannot do it alone. However, admitting you have a problem with drugs and alcohol can be a slow process and even once someone has reached that point, deciding to enter a drug rehab or a treatment center isn’t easy. Anyone who has worked in the field knows how difficult it is to try to get someone to go to treatment or enter a drug rehab, whether that is an inpatient or residential treatment center or receiving treatment at an IOP or in an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment setting.
Once a person admits they have a problem with drugs and alcohol, getting them to accept help and to go get the help they need in order to overcome addiction or alcoholism can be a daunting task. Those suffering from substance use disorders or substance abuse often can find any reason NOT to go to treatment, even having admitted the need for help. The person suffering from drug abuse will offer any one of hundreds of excuses why they cannot go to treatment or at least cannot go to treatment “right now”. They will create scenarios of importance, set up barriers and do whatever they can to go receive help from their addiction on their own terms.
Unfortunately, while many family and friends often will fall into these traps, the truth remains that addiction and alcoholism are progressive, fatal diseases that can claim a life in a split second. Many overdose deaths occur in the time that someone has identified the need to get help and actually getting that help. The idea of “one last run” or “one last high” unfortunately can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The window of opportunity to get a drug addict or alcoholic into a treatment center once they’ve identified a need to get help is very small. The willingness to get help can often fade within days, if not hours. Excuses and barriers need to be identified and overcome, as the most important thing is to make sure the addict or alcoholic gets the vital help they need as quickly as possible.
Here are ten reasons those that need drug and alcohol treatment don’t end up going:
- “I don’t need to go to treatment or rehab. I can stop by myself. I can do this on my own.” This is usually said by someone that has failed many times to stop on their own.
- “I don’t have the time to go to treatment now. I have the kids to look after and my job is too important.” So your job is more important than your life? People that suffer from cancer don’t not have the time to receive treatment. Thinking of addiction as any less deadly than other diseases is ignorant and dangerous.
- “I don’t have any money or insurance. I can’t afford treatment.” Again, this is untrue. First, if someone was diagnosed with another deadly disease, they would do whatever they could to find a way to pay for help. Because of the stigma of addiction, families and loved ones often stop paying for necessary treatment that they would not do for other forms of potentially fatal illnesses. However, unlike those medical conditions, if the case is that someone has no insurance and literally no financial means of paying for drug rehab, every state and city in the country have state run facilities that typically require no payment or that can help someone qualify for medical assistance or state insurance that will ultimately pay for addiction treatment.
- “I don’t want people knowing I need help or went to rehab.” Concerns about confidentiality can sometimes be valid, except that every drug and alcohol treatment center and their staff are bound by HIPAA and confidentiality laws.
- “I’ve been to treatment before. It won’t help.” This is a common misconception. Many people don’t overcome addiction until after several stints in treatment. Because of the insidious nature of addiction (that of a brain disease but also a mental and behavioral disorder), sometimes several treatment experiences can be necessary before the person is able to get well.
- “I don’t know where to go to get help.” Often parents, family members, friends or the addicts themselves are unaware of the available resources when looking for a treatment center. Google and other online searches are excellent ways of finding help in your area. Examples of online searches could be “Substance Abuse Treatment Maryland” or “addiction treatment, Baltimore, MD” should bring up a number of different resources of different levels of care. Other ways are asking therapists or doctors or someone that is in recovery themselves. The State Government and Federal Government also have many resources to aid people in finding available treatment.
- “My insurance doesn’t cover treatment.” Again, even if this is the case, there are free programs or programs that can assist you in getting financial help to get drug treatment.
- “I don’t want people to look at me different or look down on me for going to treatment.” Oh, because they were looking at you with so much admiration and respect putting that needle in your arm? Snorting those OxyContin lines made them look at you with admiration? This is associated with the stigma of addiction and is nonsense.
- “I can’t leave my boyfriend/girlfriend or my wife/husband!” Yes, you can. And if they love you and want you to get better they will in fact ENCOURAGE you to go. The truth here is that many addicts and alcoholics are in sick, unhealthy relationships and the significant other or family actually doesn’t want them to get help. This deals with family dynamics and is why family members need to get some help for themselves when their loved one goes to rehab.
- “I have stuff to do.” This is the biggest generic response, the most noise that is made, and the most ridiculous one of us. This response is bullshit. It typically involves things like “I need treatment but I have a family vacation in two weeks” or “”I can’t go to treatment, who will watch my dog?” or even “I really need treatment but I need to work because I have bills and need money.” NO NO NO! Please, you’re giving us all a headache. You’re dying of drug addiction. Your vacation to Ocean City, Maryland or Miami, Florida can wait. Someone will look after your dog or you will put Spot in a shelter for a month or two. All this is just noise. Someone dying from drug and alcohol addiction does not NEED any of these things. They need to get help so they don’t die. Plain and simple.
The important thing to remember is the mind of an addict and alcoholic will create any possible means of escaping getting help. It will use justification and rationalization. It will create false scenarios and place importance upon things that don’t matter. It will create a game of smoke and mirrors to distract from the main issue at hand. All of these barriers are excuses and family and friends need to know that the only important focus during these times of crisis is getting the addict into treatment so they can get the help they desperately need.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a drug and alcohol addiction and needs treatment please call us for help. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive addiction treatment in the area. If we aren’t the best fit, we will work with you to find a treatment center that fits your needs. Please call us at (410) 773-0500 or email [email protected]. For more information on all of our alcohol and addiction treatment services and resources, please visit the web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.