There are many reasons why people put off getting help for their drug abuse issues. Much of what it boils down to is fear. However, there are some specific fears as well as other reasons that keep people from seeking help for their substance abuse or addiction issues. Here are the 11 top reasons for not seeking drug abuse treatment:
#1. Fear of change/of the unknown
One of the main reasons that keep people from seeking drug abuse treatment is the fear of change and of the unknown. This is a common fear that everyone experiences in their daily lives, not just those who struggle with addiction. For those who do, it is the fear of not knowing what to expect from treatment as well as fearing the whole lifestyle change – one in which they’re not depending on drugs to function daily.
#2. Fear of withdrawal symptoms
Research shows that the fear of drug withdrawal is one of the main reasons that deters people from seeking drug abuse treatment. If you’ve ever tried to quit drinking or using drugs, then you know quite well what it feels like to go through withdrawal. The good news is that drug abuse treatment, such as inpatient rehab, offers a medical detox, which is a program that tapers you down with the use of medication in order to keep you comfortable and safe through the process.
#3. Unwilling to leave behind a beloved pet
If you’re not an animal lover, this one might sound silly. However, there are a lot of people that use their pet as an excuse to put off getting help. Our furry companions offer us unconditional love and comfort and it’s difficult to leave them for any amount of time, no matter how temporary. But, in order to be their best human possible, it’s necessary to get the help you need first.
#4. Fear of failure
The idea of living a life without the use of alcohol and other drugs can be a daunting one for those of us who have gotten used to drinking and using on a daily basis just to feel normal and to function. Like many others regarding typical new tasks, like taking on a new job, going to rehab and making long-lasting changes can evoke a fear of failure at accomplishing these things.
#5. Fear of losing their job
If you receive health insurance through your job, you are covered by a law known as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This allows you to take medical leave – for reasons including seeking drug abuse treatment – without losing your job. And again, you do not have to divulge the reason for which you are taking medical leave; it’s confidential.
If this is not the case, you might be surprised at just how understanding employers can be if you go to them in private and tell them you are struggling with this problem. I have heard several people’s stories in which their bosses told them to get help. In fact, as many as 1 in 3 people are affected by addiction and so, chances are that your boss might be in recovery or they might have a loved one in recovery.
#6. Fear of losing custody of their children
This is a very real situation for many people who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. Again, there’s good news. More and more judges have begun to understand the nature of addiction and have become more compassionate to those who struggle. They are often willing to reserve judgment while you go and get help for your substance abuse.
#7. Financial reasons (need to be around to pay the bills)
This, too, is a very real situation for many. The best way to overcome this obstacle to seeking substance abuse treatment is to understand your priorities and that you and your health and well-being must come first. Think about all the ways you got out of a tight spot in your addiction, whether it was finding ways to pay for drugs when you were flat broke, or maybe it was getting out of a dangerous situation with a nefarious drug dealer. Put that kind of resourceful problem-solving into figuring out how you will handle financial obligations while in rehab. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
#8. A belief that they have to hold the family/business together
Many people who put off seeking drug abuse treatment do so because they have this inflated sense of self and responsibility. I hear people use the excuse that they can’t go to rehab because they are the only one who can hold down the business and/or keep the family running.
The fact of the matter is, you can’t be the best spouse/parent/boss/employee while you are struggling with a drug addiction; it’s impossible. Although you might think you are doing a pretty damn good job, that’s probably not the reality of the situation. Putting yourself first for once and getting the help you need so that you can heal and function at 100% is the only way you can guarantee that you are holding it down back home.
Unfortunately, there is still a rather negative stigma attached to drug addiction and drug abuse treatment, much like that of having a mental health disorder. There are two things to keep in mind here. One, attitudes and beliefs are changing as more and more research and information about the disease of addiction surfaces and two, seeking drug abuse treatment is your business, alone. There is federal legislation that requires this information, like any other private medical information, to be kept confidential. No one will know you are in rehab except for the people that you tell.
Some people simply don’t believe they have a problem or they think that they’re still having too good of a time drinking and using to go and get help. The fact of the matter is, if you’re loved ones are concerned, or if your health is failing, or if you are seeing negative consequences as a result of your substance use/abuse, you have a real problem and you need help.
#11. Concern about being able to pay for it
Substance abuse treatment can be expensive but they are ways to handle this reason for not seeking drug abuse treatment. If you have health insurance through your employer, your plan most likely covers rehab as well as offers short term disability (and long term if you opted for it), which means you will continue to get paid even while away from your job.
If you have Obamacare, there are ever-expanding plans that cover treatment for substance abuse and addiction.
If neither of these applies, you can always pay out-of-pocket and perhaps family members can help. Lastly, there are state-funded programs for those without health insurance and who are unable to afford the cost of treatment.
Whatever your reason or reasons for not seeking drug abuse treatment, it’s time to get your priorities straight. You must be willing to put yourself first for once by getting help and getting better. Once you get help, you’ll realize that you were making your life so much harder by continuing to abuse substances rather than getting help. Substance abuse treatment is the best gift you can give yourself. Call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist. We are here to help.