It’s The Addiction Talking When People Don’t Seek Help
Addiction, whether it is substance or behavioral abuse, is the only disease that tells people they don’t have a problem. Addiction is a voice in your head that tells you it’s okay to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do and continue along a dangerous path
People in active abuse will create any possible means of avoiding getting help. The disease makes you another person that justifies, rationalizes and creates false reasons to escape reality. Anything will do to distract from the real issues at hand. And while survey results show that 96% of people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol don’t believe they need help – the reality is they are either in denial, experiencing shame, or they are afraid.
Three Reasons People Don’t Get Help
Denial is the biggest factor that allows addiction to thrive. In spite of evidence everywhere, abusers create a form of smoke and mirrors that can make them oblivious to the source of their problems. While many people are aware that they are experiencing hardships and turning to drugs or alcohol to cope with them, they don’t see that substances are the cause of their problems. A person may drink or use drugs to deal with a job loss or failed relationship, while blaming their boss or spouse for their pain – instead of realizing that their drink or the drug was the very thing that put them in the position of losing everything. Instead of seeing their drug of choice as the source of their problem, they see the drink or the drug as their relief.
For many people struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s difficult to admit there is a need for treatment because of the stigma surrounding addiction and addiction treatment. Because shame can be one of the most overwhelming and painful emotions, it can become a barrier for seeking treatment. When a person experiences shame, they may feel as though they are not worthy of help or attention – and that makes them feel that there is no reason to turn their lives around.
The fear of going to rehab is real – and so is the fear of what recovery may mean. Thing about it: Recovery isn’t a one-time deal. Recovery is a lifelong journey and commitment that is made each and every day. It takes motivation, determination and courage to enter a program for addiction treatment. Detox can be emotionally and physically uncomfortable. Therapy can unearth painful memories and feelings that have buried for years. And a lifetime commitment to sobriety can be overwhelming. If a person has previously entered rehab but has relapsed, they may be afraid of another let down. It’s easy to understand how a person may be afraid to seek the treatment they so desperately need.
They Change Their Minds
Substance abusers may see only a short window to get help. The willingness, or desire, for treatment – or the realization that treatment is necessary – can fade quickly. If you or a loved one feels that it is time to get help, it’s important to act as quickly as possible: Have a plan in place and talk to a treatment specialist ahead of time.