There are many reasons a person will be resistant to seeking treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD). This article will highlight five common reasons and explain how to help them get treatment.
Why They Might Reject the Idea of Treatment
When you are really sick, you go to the hospital. So why don’t people with a substance use disorder do the same? It turns out that some people resist the suggestion of treatment for a number of reasons.
#1. Afraid of facing discomfort. Many people start using substances as a coping method for painful emotions or a mental health disorder. The idea of having nothing to numb those feelings can be intolerable. If the person is experiencing ongoing stress and trauma, this reality can be even more daunting.
#2. Afraid of failing. Some people avoid or undermine their own progress intentionally before they genuinely fail. In other words, controlling when they fail (i.e., not going to treatment) by avoiding it altogether is perceived as being better than the disappointment of actually trying to recover and then relapsing. This fear can stem from low self-esteem and confidence.
#3. Big change is scary. Deciding to enter a treatment program is a significant transition from one way of living to another. The individual’s mental state and entire routine change drastically, so this adjustment can be unnerving.
#4. Worried about the stigma. Some falsely believe that those who misuse substances are bad, dirty people. However, they misunderstand the devastation and life problems that these individuals probably face. The stigma around addiction can cause people to hide and deny their problems out of fear of being treated with hostility, delaying treatment and recovery.
#5. They are not ready. Not everyone wants help…yet. Some are just not ready to stop using substances. Being willing to accept help and work towards sobriety is necessary for treatment to be effective. Some people hit rock bottom before they realize the need for change.
Learn About Their SUD
Understanding why some people reject treatment is a vital part of knowing how to approach the discussion of rehab with your loved one.
It is also valuable to learn as much about their drug or alcohol problem as you can. Substances hijack the brain’s reward system, causing individuals to behave in unexpected ways. For them, life is about obtaining more substances. As a result, they may attempt to twist the situation to make it seem like they don’t have a problem.
When you are educated on the physical, behavioral, and emotional signs and symptoms of substance abuse, as well as its natural progression, it will be much harder for them to trick you into thinking you are mistaken.
A Treatment Program Can Help Your Loved One
The first step in addiction treatment varies. It depends on the client and their specific SUD. Nevertheless, detox and residential treatment often come first, followed by an aftercare plan that can include a step down from primary treatment into an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or partial hospitalization program (PHP).
Aftercare programs also help clients find resources that support their long-term recovery, such as sober living, work, education, and medical care. Frequent therapy sessions and support group meetings are encouraged, as well as participation in the facility’s alumni program. Alumni programs are a great opportunity to spend time with peers who are in addiction recovery by attending community events and taking part in recreational activities.
Suggesting the Option of Treatment
Knowing all these things now, you might be wondering how to convince them to get help. It’s time to have a conversation with them about their issue.
Although you may understandably feel hurt, eager, scared, anxious, or frustrated, how you react while in discussion with them will set the tone for the remainder of the conversation. They need you to be calm and nonjudgmental and listen to what they have to say. Using language that is aggressive or suggests blame is a surefire way to lose their ear. It is vital to find a time to discuss the matter when they are sober.
If they are open to treatment, assist them by doing the leg work of finding a treatment facility for them. Don’t expect them to take on this burden. Offer your support in taking them and being there for them throughout the process. They will need the help of family and friends to get through this difficult time.
When They Refuse Treatment
On the other hand, some individuals will resist treatment because they are not ready to give up drugs or don’t believe they have a problem.
If you provide financial or other significant assistance to this person, giving them an ultimatum may be your best chance at getting them help. In other words, they can either enroll in treatment or they will no longer have access to basic or vital resources through you. Some individuals enter into programs by court mandate and the threat of prison.
Individuals with substance use disorder may avert addiction treatment for different reasons. Some are nervous about the changes that are about to come their way, while others are unwilling to give up drugs and alcohol. These obstacles can be challenging to overcome, but they must be in order for the individual to get clean and sober. West Coast Recovery Centers is a substance use disorder and mental health treatment facility located in Oceanside, CA. We specialize in outpatient treatment, as well as aftercare services like sober living and our alumni program. Our treatment methods include traditional and non-traditional therapies so that clients have options; we believe that healing is possible through many different avenues. Adults will receive high-quality treatment services, and their families will get the information they need to better support their loved one’s recovery. Call (760) 492-6509 today for assistance.