When battling addiction, it can seem like the road to recovery is blocked at every step. While getting and staying sober is no easy feat, seeking support can help you tear down the barriers that line your path. Here are common barriers that can get in the way of your addiction recovery and how our integrated team of professionals at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital can help.
The path to recovery from addiction is complex and complicated. Rarely, despite your best intentions, does the process of healing and achieving lasting sobriety precisely as planned. There will be obstacles, setbacks, and bumps on the road in your journey to overcoming a drug or alcohol use disorder.
So what do you do when you face barriers to recovery from addiction? Contact Georgetown behavioral Hospital today to learn more about getting started with addiction treatment.
Common Barriers to Recovery from Addiction
Addiction is a disease. And, like many mental or physical health conditions, the disease of addiction affects each person in unique ways. The symptoms you experience while actively drinking you’re using and those that arise as you begin to detox and seek sobriety will inevitably differ from those of someone else.
This holds true even if the substance of choice is the same. The safest and most effective way to get sober and overcome addiction is to seek professional help. Unfortunately, very few of the millions of people with a drug or alcohol use disorder who could benefit from comprehensive, evidence-based addiction treatment will ever get the help they need.
But why? Many individuals who struggle with substance use disorder do so alone. Sometimes it is because they refuse to get help, but for others, obstacles prevent them from seeking addiction treatment help. Below are a few of the most common reasons why someone struggling with addiction may not seek help and tips for overcoming these barriers to recovery from addiction.
Denial or Unwillingness
The first step in successful addiction treatment recovery is acknowledging and recognizing that you need help. Many people who suffer from drug or alcohol use disorder symptoms do not realize the severity of their problem until symptoms associated with severe addiction have taken hold. Conversely, suppose they do recognize that there is a problem. In that case, they may not be ready to stop using, may not believe that their addiction is severe enough to seek help, or they have been suffering from addiction for so long that addiction controls every facet of their lives.
If this sounds familiar, know that you are not alone. If this is the case for a loved one, remember to be patient and gentle. Pushing or demanding treatment can make someone suffering from addiction feel attacked and cornered. This may only worsen their addiction symptoms. Instead, be honest, patient, and calm. Offer to help them research treatment options or get them into a treatment program when they are ready. Also, be sure they know you are available and willing to listen when they are ready to talk.
Shame and Stigma
Despite decades of work and progress towards reducing the stigma associated with addiction and mental health treatment, the stigma surrounding addiction and substance use disorder treatment remains alive and well. Although our society is starting to recognize that addiction is a disease and not a moral or personal failing, many people with a substance use disorder may still avoid seeking help for fear of the stigma that remains. They may worry that seeking treatment will cause them to lose their jobs and friends or alienate them from their family and loved ones.
The best way to reduce the shame and stigma that is often associated with seeking addiction treatment help is through continued education. Only when society and treatment providers alike are on the same page about what it means to have a substance use disorder can the fear of judgment and shame surrounding addiction treatment be dispelled. As a family member, it is crucial to show support and empathy for your loved one, reminding them that you are there to help when they are ready.
Lack of treatment access
Even if a person is willing and ready to seek help, they may be unable to find comprehensive quality treatment programs in their area that addresses their treatment needs. Similarly, they may be unable to access these programs due to scheduling or transportation challenges.
In these situations, finding a program that offers a residential component (if inpatient care is an option) is ideal as it provides a safe and supportive place to stay while in treatment. This can reduce transportation concerns. Alternately, many outpatient rehabs offer therapeutic sessions on flexible schedules for people with employment or family obligations. This allows someone who cannot get to a traditional therapy program due to scheduling conflicts the added flexibility they need to attend potentially life-saving addiction treatment on a schedule that meets their needs.
One of the biggest concerns people have about seeking help for addiction is how to pay for the cost of rehab. It is not uncommon for people to believe that they cannot afford to seek help. Although some treatment centers are indeed expensive, the perception that all addiction rehab programs are expensive is misguided.
The reality is that seeking addiction treatment help is more affordable today than ever before. In fact, many health insurance plans are now obligated to include some level of coverage for addiction and mental health treatment needs. Additionally, addiction treatment programs will often work on a sliding scale with patients who do not have insurance or still have copays above and beyond what their insurance will cover.
It is also important to note that the overall cost (financially, medically, socially, and emotionally) of living with addiction will, in time, far outweigh the cost of seeking rehab. Drug and alcohol abuse cost society billions each year. The estimated cost of drug abuse in the United States currently exceeds $740 billion annually.
Think for a moment about how much it costs to remain addicted. If you drink alcohol seven days a week and consume three to four alcoholic beverages each day, how much does that cost? If you know someone with a cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or prescription pill addiction, what is the daily financial cost to maintain their addiction? If you consider these numbers, it quickly becomes apparent that the overall cost of addiction greatly exceeds going to rehab.
Begin Your Journey to Sobriety at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital
Seeking help from a professional addiction treatment program is a vital first step toward achieving lasting sobriety. While the journey to addiction recovery is (almost) never a straight line, taking the first steps is crucial to your medical and emotional health. Although many barriers to recovery from addiction remain challenging, most do not have to. Support services are available at treatment programs like Georgetown Behavioral Hospital to help you defeat treatment barriers.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, don’t wait to seek treatment. Time and again, research has shown that early intervention and the application of an evidence-based treatment program are pivotal in achieving sobriety and ongoing recovery. We understand the decision to seek treatment can be difficult, and the barriers to recovery from addiction can seem overwhelming. Be it concerns about finances, your family, or how others will perceive your absence, seeking treatment can bring about many concerns.
Let us help you get started with treatment. Contact Georgetown Behavioral Hospital and break through your barriers to recovery from addiction.