Breaking through Common Barriers to Treatment: Part 3

Family talk about addiction treatment.

In the final portion of our series, we will go over a few more of the common reasons a person may give in order to try and get out of going to addiction treatment.

It is important to remember that no matter what reason a person may give to try and avoid going to rehab, the thing that matters most is the person’s overall well-being and health.

There may be some sacrifices that need to be made in order to make going to residential treatment a possibility, but if they ultimately lead to a person’s recovery then they will be well worth it.

I just need to do outpatient and go to therapy.

While outpatient treatment and therapy are both great resources, they usually have a higher success rate when they are used after a residential treatment program than in place of one.

The first few months of sobriety are particularly difficult and it helps to be in a safe environment where drugs and alcohol are not easily accessible.

One of the many benefits of residential treatment is the 24-hour access a person will have to trained professionals that can help them get through the intense cravings and difficult days of early recovery.

After a person completes a residential program it is a good idea to have some sort of follow-up support, whether this is in the form of an outpatient or follow-up program provided by the residential program they participated in.

[Name ] did it on their own, so can I.

This is an attempt to shift the focus onto someone else. While it is highly commendable when a person is able to beat their addiction on their own, it does not mean that professional help wouldn’t be beneficial. People who have some form of support during the initial phase of their recovery are far more likely to be successful than those who do not.

I’ll go get on Antabuse/Suboxone tomorrow. That’s all I need to do.

Holding medication drugs.

When a person goes on some form of medication to handle their addiction without doing anything else to truly address the underlying problems that contributed to their addiction in the first place, they are not truly handling their addiction.

If a person does not address the underlying problems of their addiction then it is only a matter of time before it will return—either in the form of the original substance abuse problem or as something else.

In order to truly handle an addiction, a person needs to learn how to fully confront their problems and then do what is needed to prevent them from reoccurring.

If you guys force me to do this it’s never going to work. You need to wait until I’m ready.

Many people are alive and well today because their family members pressured them into going into treatment. Just because a person does not want to go into treatment, to begin with, does not mean they cannot benefit from going.

Oftentimes after a person has had the opportunity to sober up and feel better they realize that they actually enjoy feeling clear-headed. Sometimes the only way a person will go to treatment is if their family persuades them to go.

I’m not going to go because I can’t smoke pot in rehab.

Some people think that they need to be able to have some sort of crutch in order to quit hard drugs. The truth of the matter is that if a person is going to get fully sober then it is best to learn how to do so without having to trade one drug for another.

Regardless if marijuana is a plant or not, it can still be abused and people can still become addicted to it. This is especially true when it is used as a form of self-medication. Trading one addiction for another is not the most successful solution to treating addiction.

The same would hold true for someone who wanted to be able to drink in rehab because alcohol is legal and they don’t feel they have a drinking problem.

I’m not going to have my phone taken away from me, I’m an adult, not a criminal.

For safety and privacy reasons many treatment centers will not allow clients to have their personal cell phones on them during treatment.

Despite the fact that there are still communal phones available, this becomes a “deal breaker” for some people. While it can be frustrating to not have access to a cell phone for a few months, it helps a person learn how to focus on themselves in order to truly work on their problems. People survived without cell phones for thousands of years, so someone can make it through a couple months without one.

I need to hit “rock bottom” if it is going to work.

This is a dangerous lie to believe, because for many addicts today, rock bottom means death.

A person does not need to reach rock bottom in order for treatment to work. On the contrary, the sooner a person is able to get sober the better, and the less damage there will be to repair.

If your loved one does not believe you, show them the facts given by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) regarding the myth about “rock bottom.”

If you are having difficulty getting a loved one to agree to go to treatment for their addiction, then it is always a good idea to seek out advice from a professional. There are plenty of resources available for families. If you are still unable to get through to the person then it may be time to consider doing an intervention.

Previous: Breaking through Common Barriers to Treatment: Part 2




After overcoming her own addiction in 2012 Julie went on to become certified as an addiction counselor in order to help others achieve a life of recovery. She worked in the addiction field for 8 years and now uses both her personal and professional experiences with addiction as an influence for her writing.