Excuses. Why Would Someone Be Resistant To Substance Abuse Treatment?


Excuses: Why Would Someone Be Resistant to Substance Abuse Treatment?

“I don’t have a problem.”

Most likely one of the biggest excuses to avoid receiving treatment would be the individual’s denial that a drug or alcohol problem alone even exists. Unfortunately, there is where the phrases such as, “They just haven’t hit their rock bottom yet,” come into play. A lot of the time, for people struggling with substance abuse, as well as mental health issues, people easily make light of their problem until they are faced with some serious consequences as a result of their use. An estimated 20.8 million Americans aged 12 and older (8.3 percent of the population) in 2008 qualified for needing substance abuse treatment but did not receive it, of that percentage, more than 95 percent (95.2) felt they didn’t need it (National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2008).

Drug Treatment Insurance & Availability  

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that there are more than 14,500 specialized drug treatment centers in the United States alone. Even though a health plan might provide coverage for addiction, not every facility may be covered by the plan. With this in mind, the availability of services is not always affordable. Depending on the policy, in versus out-of-network agencies, will demand either more or less of patient financial responsibility.

Substance Abuse Stigma

Buried within a person’s denial of need for treatment may be the stigma attached to “going into rehab.” Whether the person is a celebrity or a common laborer, society still treats addicts with a certain amount of contempt. At least, that’s the fear among some addicts who would rather shoulder along with their addiction than admit they have a problem and seek help for it.

Fear of Treatment

It takes a lot of determination, motivation and courage to enter substance abuse treatment. Many addicts are deterred by fear. They are afraid of the entire detoxification and withdrawal process, whether out of ignorance, past attempts on their own, or perceived dangers. They may be apprehensive about what the drug treatment program entails and not feel able to handle it. Furthermore, some people are scared of admitting defeat because they may think this makes them look, “weak.” It takes a tremendous amount of courage to become vulnerable and be able to say, “I cannot do this alone, I need help.” Unfortunately, more often than not, people think they can overcome this illness alone, when this rarely works out in their favor. If you or a love one is having trouble with their decisions, or is looking for some advice, please feel free to reach out to us.

  • American Addiction Centers. (n.d.). Types of Health Insurance Coverage for Addiction. Retrieved from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/insurance-coverage
  • Elements of Behavioral Health. (2016, December 16). Common Reasons Why Those Who Need Treatment Don’t Get It. Retrieved from https://www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com/addiction-recovery/common-reasons-why-those-who-need-treatment-dont-get-it/