5 Barriers To Receiving Treatment For Addiction – Why not now?
Did you know according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 130 people die every day because of an opioid drug overdose? An analysis from the nonprofit National Safety Council found that Americans are more likely to die of an accidental opioid overdose than a motor vehicle accident. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services and Administration, 90% of drug rehabilitation clients who need treatment do not receive it. Although these are astonishing numbers and lives, they are not enough to cause someone to seek help for their addiction immediately. Why? If only entering treatment was a simple as picking up the phone and asking for help. That phone call is possible, however, one may need to remove the barriers that stand in their way before making that daunting call. Below you will find 5 barriers that keep people from receiving treatment and how to combat them.
5 Barriers To Receiving Treatment
Denial – Denial is probably the number one barrier to receiving treatment. Several people in addiction refuse to admit they have a problem. How can they seek help for something they truly don’t feel like they are struggling with? I will never forget my first time in treatment. I refused to say the standard, “My name is Megan and I am an alcoholic.” Why? Because sometimes the truth hurts. I wasn’t ready for the truth. I truly didn’t believe I had a problem. Admitting you have a problem and accepting that you need help is vital to recovery. Denial is a thing of the past, accept who you are and find freedom in your faults.
Shame – It is no secret that drug addiction has a negative stigma attached to it. People are afraid to admit they have an addiction. Will it ruin your character? What will people think of me when all of my skeletons are out of the closet? Even if I seek treatment, what will they say? Will they trust me after I have received help? All of these are plausible questions one may feel. Let’s face it, not everyone in society cheers us on in our time of need, and that is sad. Whatever happened to compassion and loving our neighbor instead of pointing the finger? Didn’t Jesus draw the line in the sand and say “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.” (John 8:7) We need to help dispel the shame that is attached to recovery. There is nothing shameful about seeking treatment; staying in the madness is shameful. Rise up and step out of the chaos. You deserve a better life, fight for it.
Fear – Don’t we all have a fear of failure or a fear of the unknown? After speaking with former clients many of them said they refrained from getting help sooner because they were afraid of relapsing or not completing the program. That fear is a legitimate and real fear, and guess what, it is ok. It is ok if you complete the program the first time and stay sober forever and it is also ok if you drop out and have to come back three times in order to complete. Everyone’s recovery journey is different. The most important concept is your getting help. The sooner you are in a residential or outpatient program, the less likely you have a chance of dying due to drugs or alcohol. Remember fear is a liar, you deserve the truth.
Withdrawal – The fear of detox is a horrifying reality. The physical, mental, and emotional symptoms will keep a person in active addiction for days, months and years. Unless you have experienced withdrawal yourself, it is hard to describe in words what it is like. People will often keep using because they are afraid of going to treatment in fear of feeling those physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. Today there are medical and holistic ways to help cope with these symptoms. Don’t allow the fear of withdrawal keep you from seeking treatment.
Job/Family – Many people in addiction are afraid to attain help because of the fear of losing their family. They think if they admit they have a problem, they may lose their car and home. When in reality, anything they put before their recovery they are going to end up losing anyway. I have heard clients say they don’t want to go to treatment because they will lose their job. I often tell them if you don’t get better you will soon not have a job. Careers come and go, you only get one life to live. Addiction will take over your life and you will no longer be living.
As you can see these barriers are easy to overcome. Don’t allow any of them to keep you from the life in recovery that you deserve. Once you make it past the obstacles that stand in your way, a new purpose will emerge. God will give you a new destiny that you never even knew was possible. Just remember, anything worth having in this world doesn’t come easy. I hope this article encourages you or someone you know to take that step and make the move needed towards an abundant life of freedom that awaits them. Don’t be another statistic, beat the odds and seek help today.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact an addiction specialist at 606.638.0938 or use our confidential chat function at www.arccenters.com. We are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Kentucky State-Certified Peer Support Specialist
Addiction Recovery Care