If you are struggling with addiction, I’m sure you have had friends and family urge you to go to drug rehab or a treatment program. If you have a friend or family member experiencing addiction, I’m sure they’ve produced 101 excuses on why they can’t go. At Harm Reduction Center, we’ve heard it all. We gathered some of the most ubiquitous reasons individuals oppose treatment, and how to respond.
“I can quit on my own.” or “I’m cutting down on my use slowly.”
Many individuals truly believe they can quit on their own terms without rehab or treatment. The fact is addiction is a disease that needs treatment, or it will ultimately progress and worsen. Something you can ask this individual is “Have you tried to quit before? And, How did that work out?”
Most people with addiction do want to quit and have attempted to quit on their own. Most likely, their efforts have only worked for a short period of time, they replaced one substance with another, or it didn’t work at all.
“I just need to handle a few things first.” or “I have to go to a wedding/holiday/event first.”
There is always something that could be finished or completed before going to treatment, but the truth is this individual is not in a healthy enough place to handle anything, let alone any events or functions. If they were able to get things done, they would have done so already.
Another point to bring to their awareness is that addiction is deadly, and they may be incarcerated, hospitalized, or worse if they decide to continue postponing going to treatment.
“I can’t leave work/school/family.”
It’s not uncommon for an individual to feel like they can’t leave their obligations. While this may feel important, the truth is that anyone afflicted with addiction is presumably not doing their best at work or school. Also, legally the Disabilities Act protects employees from termination if they seek help. The same is true for students!
When it comes to family, their family usually wants them to get treatment. If they believe they need to stay to help or provide for the family, consider how much better a parent/spouse/etc they would be if they weren’t in active addiction.
If you’re a single parent that needs childcare, reaching out to trusted family members or friends can help. It takes a village, and you will be so much better for your children when you are healthy.
“I can’t afford rehab or treatment.”
Yes, professional treatment or drug rehab can be expensive. The good news is many, like Harm Reduction Center, accept health insurance. Some programs have payment plans, and oftentimes, friends and family members may be willing to help.
If an individual still believes they can’t manage to afford treatment, ask them to consider this: How much do they spend on drugs and alcohol every day, every week? How much will medical bills cost when they inevitably become sick? How much will court fees or lawyer fees cost if they get caught with drugs, a DUI, or committing a crime? Lastly, how much is your life worth?
Life is irreplaceable and worth saving, at any cost.
“Rehab doesn’t work. I know people who went to treatment and they still use drugs.”
Substance abuse disorder is a chronic disease, and relapse can be a part of the recovery process. Some cancers and other diseases can return and need treatment again. This doesn’t mean you should surrender or worse, not even try to begin with.
Individuals who truly commit to treatment and continue to attend support groups and receive counseling are at a reduced risk of relapsing.
“I’m not as bad off as so-and-so.” or “I’m not like those other people.”
Many times, someone with an addiction has been near people who are worse off than they are. Maybe this individual is still holding down a job, relationship, or home.
Just because someone is barely functioning or isn’t homeless yet, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve treatment or aren’t ready for treatment. Consider asking your loved one if they would prefer to wait until they go to jail or lose their job? Addiction only advances and it won’t be any easier or uncomplicated to go to treatment when your life is in shambles.
Don’t Wait to Get Help
If you or a loved one are experiencing addiction, don’t wait to get help. Finances, work, family, whatever the reason may be, it won’t matter if you die from your addiction. Addiction is a progressive and eventually fatal disease when left untreated.
Denial is a symptom of addiction. It’s important to know this when speaking to a loved one because oftentimes those with addiction can’t see or accept the seriousness of the situation.
Harm Reduction Center in South Florida is ready to help. Don’t wait another day!