There are many reasons an addict doesn’t want to go to rehab. One primary reason is because their addiction has come to define who they are. It has hijacked their life and left them in a constant state of chaos.Each day begins with a need to use their substance of choice. There is a ritual component to the addiction. Where they have to go to obtain the substance. Where they stash it; where they consume it. What they do while they are high.
The reality of the situation is that they have a “need” for their substance because their substance is where they hide. It has been said that addiction isn’t about the drug of choice; people use to escape. Whether it be from emotional pain, physical pain, abuse, trauma or any of a million reasons, the substance has become the place where the addict retreats, where they are comfortable.An addict, if they wish to be successful in recovery, has to reinvent their life. They have to start new in many aspects of their existence to be free from the throes of addiction. This process in itself is difficult, but necessary for long term success. When trying to get an addict to go to treatment, they will find any excuse possible to avoid the uncomfortable idea.
Your loved one is addicted. They need help. The following is a list of the ten most common objections to recovery:
I will lose my job
If the addict or alcoholic in your life rebuts your suggestion that it’s time for rehab by saying he’ll lose his job, you can simply tell him that it is against federal law to fire someone for seeking help with a medical issue, and substance abuse (addiction) is most certainly a medical issue.This, of course, involves a bit of honesty in disclosing the nature of his health problem to his or her boss, but more often than not, by the time loved ones are intervening, the problem has become evident to those around the addict. The nature of denial leads the addict to believe no one really knows how bad it is, but anyone who has dealt with this sort of thing knows better.
He may still reek Monday morning from the weekend bender. The crack addict shows up with little or no sleep. Bloodshot eyes, fear of drug testing, poor performance, lots of absences from work – these are the things likely to cause termination. Seeking help may actually save his/her job!
I can’t afford it
That is a common response from someone who is told they need treatment. While cost of treatment may range from $5,000 to $100,000, no one should ever be discouraged from seeking help due to financial restraints. Alcohol and drug addiction are fatal diseases if left untreated, and the suffering that occurs between onset and death can be brutal.
Many insurers cover the cost of treatment, so don’t let embarrassment keep you from finding out. There are those who are self-employed – or uninsured – who may be reluctant to pay out of pocket, but remember treatment is about putting the disease in remission, so how can you afford not to?Ask yourself if it’s wiser to invest in treatment, or instead pay for lawyers, physicians, and funeral expenses? Once alcoholic dementia occurs, it’s nursing home time, so wouldn’t your money be better spent on recovery – ensuring a better life for both you and your family?
Sometimes an addict has lost all before he is ready to get help, or is among the working poor. Don’t be discouraged! Our professionals know of state-funded centers or those that utilize a sliding fee scale. While you may lose the spa-type benefits or have to remain close to home, you can still get the fundamentals. If you are determined to get help, it’s out there!
I don’t have a problem
One of the baffling aspects of addiction is what’s called denial. The alcoholic is convinced she doesn’t have a problem, even though she’s down to 95 lbs. and is beginning to lose jobs and friends. She’s intoxicated pretty much daily and sometimes doesn’t even remember what she’s done yesterday…The opiate addict doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with taking 20 pain pills in a day, because a doctor ordered the pain medication for that bad back years ago. Never mind he is now seeing six doctors and using as many pharmacies – supplementing that with street drugs when need be. He seems totally clueless to what you see – the devastation, the escalation in use (tolerance is a factor in most addictions), the inability to function normally, the inability to take care of responsibilities or even hold down a job!
Denial says you don’t have a problem when everything else points to the fact that you do. Using crack cocaine until you no longer have a car or place to live doesn’t seem to sink in because you insist you can stop when you want.
Busting denial is about having strong boundaries and not buying what you know isn’t really true. Interventions become necessary when family members cannot break through the fog and convince the addict he needs help whether he thinks he does or not. Most addicts won’t accept help until they have to, and family often allows the insanity to continue through fear and manipulation by the addict.Addicts may lose some of their interpersonal skills, but they hone the skill of manipulation to a science! Hold your bottom line and consult professionals who are trained to deal with denial. Your loved one’s life may depend on it!
I don’t have anyone to care for my children while I’m in treatment
This may be a genuine concern for a single mother and it’s a shame there aren’t more treatment centers to address this very real need. There are some women-only rehabs that do provide childcare, however, but you may need to use a professional to point you in the right direction. You may also discover when you are ready to get help, those family members who have walked away may again extend their hands to help if they realize you are seriously trying to do the right thing.It’s always worth overcoming that fear and asking for help one more time. If neither option is viable to you, there are outpatient treatment centers that may at least get you some help if you’re sincere about pursuing recovery.
I’ve been in treatment before, it doesn’t work!
There’s that denial again! Maybe before when you went to treatment you weren’t ready to cut your addiction loose! It’s not lost on the professionals who deal in recovery that an addict can only quit when he is ready to do it for himself. A recovery truism states that “an addict will only truly be ready to quit when the pain of staying the same becomes worse than the fear of what’s ahead.”
As new insight and methods come to light, viable treatment centers stay abreast and change with the times. There may be better help than was available last time. An addict may be farther into the progression of his disease this time, giving treatment a new importance. The guilt and remorse may have multiplied, weighing on him. Remind him of the reality of his disease when he wants to slip into denial. Consult a professional. In some cases, an intervention may be necessary.The deciding factor could be something as simple as getting the addict out of his environment. It may take researching to find the right place instead of the most convenient place. Open-mindedness may have been the missing component before.
Remember an addict only gets out of treatment as much as he is willing to put into it – it’s a journey he can’t walk alone, and it’s something no one can do for him. Getting help is usually the difference between success and failure.
I’m gonna handle this myself!
The most simplistic counter to this is that if she could have handled it herself, she would have. Once addiction has progressed to a certain point, an addict most likely cannot stop without help. Most often this is the first ploy in the resistance arsenal, but logic says if the addict can’t even admit to himself that he has a problem, how can he figure out how to conquer it? You can’t teach yourself something you don’t know!Since addiction is but a symptom of underlying problems (there’s gotta be something going on to make living in oblivion so preferable to real life), one must address those issues or she will be prone to relapse when the dysfunction becomes too overwhelming. 12-step and other support programs are of great help, but one has to be accountable to show up and follow directions for it to do much good.
Bottom line, if the whole of the problem isn’t addressed, the same things that led your loved one to addiction in the first place may send her right back there. Learning new coping skills is essential if one’s sober life is to be a happy one.
My significant other will leave me if I go
That may be a clue to those surrounding the addict that he really doesn’t want to go and is grasping for straws. Take heart, that doesn’t need to be end of discussion. If one’s partner is in any way supportive she would welcome treatment, as life with an addict is usually anything but pleasant.The exception would be the partner who is also an addict. In that instance, it’s recommended that the spouse should also receive treatment if the relationship is to survive. Note that if (and that’s a big if) the partner is willing to seek treatment for himself, it is absolutely important that the couple do not go through treatment together at the same rehab.
Recovery is about working on one’s self, which is impossible when dealing with relationship issues at the same time. If the partner refuses to seek help, it usually means he is in denial and not ready to cut it loose.Also of significance is the fact that a truly supportive group of those close to the addict will choose treatment in some form for themselves to learn to deal with the codependency and enabling behaviors that are the byproduct of addiction, giving the addict a better start when he returns from treatment and bringing more peace of mind for the family.
Addiction is a disease that affects both the addict and the addict’s loved ones. Family may find help in centers that deal with such matters or through support groups like al-anon.
I can’t afford to miss work, I’ve got bills to pay!
This is not necessarily at the top of the list for a reason – many who need treatment have already lost the ability to hold down a job for a any length of time. But for those with higher bottoms (who haven’t lost everything yet) and who still work need to be coached to go regardless of those worries.Expect that resistance will always surface when an alcoholic or addict is facing giving up their main coping mechanism. Remind him that no one goes to debtor’s prison anymore and that he will have ample money to catch up on those bills once he is clean and has all that extra money he used to spend on getting high to right his financial mess.
One’s employer is bound by law to not terminate the employee who seeks treatment for health problems. Short term pain for long term gain should apply here, and most often those who he owes will be willing to work with him – especially if it’s a matter of illness, which is essentially what addiction is.
I’m totally against 12-Step programs
First, 12-step programs are not the only game in town when it comes to support groups. Granted, many rehabs include an introduction to AA, NA or other 12-step programs, but the point is to get extra help and support upon leaving treatment to prevent relapse.Encourage the addict to search online or through his rehab to see what else is available. Community mental health centers are often plugged into sources of outside support for those who need it. 12-Step programs are so popular because they are widely available, free, and in general, they work! Still, there are other options, so ask the addict in your life to be patient and open-minded while searching. It is of less importance where he goes for support afterward as long as he finds something.
Treatment involves so much more than learning about Alcoholics or Narcotics or some other anonymous! Some may mistakenly believe that these programs are what rehab is about, but recovery is a multifaceted process that includes education, exploration, and learning new coping skills.The disease of addiction is usually a symptom of other dysfunction, so addressing that dysfunction is what’s so important. Once out of the safe confines of the treatment center, the addict will have a much better chance of keeping firm with the skills he’s learned with that added support.He/she has been living in a world of escapism for so long that the new skills he’s learned will need reinforcing to lessen the chances of relapse once he goes back to his everyday life. Check out SMART Recovery, Women for Sobriety, Rational Recovery and other programs to find out more.
I don’t need rehab, just detox
Again, another case of the addict looking for an easy way out. There’s no argument that for alcohol and most drugs, detoxing is a necessary first step.Some withdrawals are harder and more dangerous than others, so consulting a professional about how severe a withdrawal the addict can expect, and whether he needs to be hospitalized or detoxed in a clinical setting, is extremely important. But second to that, once the detox is complete, time to adjust and learn how to deal with life without escapism is key to maintaining sobriety.
Expecting to go back to the same environment under the same circumstances without any extra support or insight into what he will be facing is tenuous at best, and most likely will lead to relapse at worst. Still, if the addict is agreeing to at least detox, don’t discourage him – anything is better than postponing the inevitable and the addict may change his mind and accept treatment when he is thinking more clearly.Again, this is another area where consulting a professional can help you understand what you’re dealing with and what options may be at your disposal.
Whatever path to recovery you choose, our staff has access to hundreds of treatment centers to assure the best personalized treatment for you, then with continued follow up to help you make the transition to sober living as seamless as possible.
Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.
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