It doesn’t matter if you or someone you love is addicted to alcohol, dirty websites, cigarettes, gambling, or online shopping, or any of the millions of other addictions that people can have. Addiction can happen to anyone and it can be a massive problem that people have. But there are many people who are perfectly fine with their addictions being a part of (if not in complete control of) their lives.
These aren’t people who are ignorant or blind to the effects that their vice is having on other people. They know that their addiction is hurting them and the people around them, but they can’t stop or worse, choose not to stop and get the help they need. Here’s some of the major reasons why many addicts simply don’t seek treatment.
1. They Want To Overcome Their Addiction Through Willpower
If someone you love is addicted to, say, alcohol for example, and they know that their drinking is putting a toll on their health, finances, happiness, and relationships, then they might want to stop. Stopping should be easy right? If drinking is the problem, then just go and put the bottle down and that’s that.
The problem is that addiction is a physical, mental, and spiritual process that has affected every part of your life. You might have drunk because of pain, trauma, or to cope with an emotion. Alcohol has changed your brain chemistry to the point where your body needs it to survive, and alcohol has changed the way that you see the world and its challenges.
You don’t just get to put down the bottle and everything magically gets better, because you’ve done a lot of damage to your life, health, and relationships, and that takes a lot of work. When faced with that work, it is easier to just dive back into any vice rather than struggle uphill towards recovery.
2. It’s Hard To Admit They Need Help
It can be hard for people to admit they need help with any addiction, mostly because most addictions are done in secret. It’s hard to come out to family, friends, and loved ones and admit that you’ve been drinking, doing drugs, or indulging in other vices and that you need some serious help to overcome the problem.
Many addicts might think about what their friends or family would say about their addictions, or how they might be treated differently.
If addicts have done things like lied, stolen money, or purposefully broken relationships with those they love in order to feed their addiction, it can be hard to face the people you have hurt and the trust you have lost.
So they simply turn back to and seek comfort in their vice, rather than facing down the people who they betrayed, even though at the end of the day those same people want to help them recover.
3. It Can Be Hard To Commit To Treatment
Treatment for any type of vice takes a lot of work. You might need to join a recovery group and attend weekly meetings, take a certain medication for a period of time, check into a rehab or other support clinic, or spend time with a therapist to get to the root cause of your issue. It’s work, it’s painful, and it is something you will need to do every single day in order to get better.
For many addicts, they can’t see the future or anything beyond getting their next fix, and the thought of having to do all of that work and coming clean to so many people can be terrifying. Again, when faced with that fear, they do their best to numb themselves with their vice rather than facing down the emotion.
How to Overcome Barriers to Addiction Treatment
Whether the barrier is physical, mental, financial, or some other type of barrier, breaking them down is going to be one of the best ways to get addicts the real help that they need.
One of the biggest barriers is the concept of living a double life. Many addicts believe that they just need to ‘fake it until they make it’ and they will be fine. If they can just present an illusion of sobriety and confidence to the world until they can crawl back into isolation and resume using their vice, they will be okay. To that end, many addicts will resist anything that prevents them from functioning at a surface level.
For example, they will strive to keep their jobs because if they keep on going to work and making money, then they are successes. Even if an addict knows they need help and wants to enter rehab, they may resist it because it is time away from work… then they will lose their job. When in fact many employers have things in place to support those in recovery, and often if the addicts don’t go to rehab, they will lose their employment anyway.
Another barrier can be a lack of close addiction treatment, especially for people in the rural areas who don’t have access to all the addiction treatment centers of the big city. For many companies, they are starting to build more rehab centers in the rural areas and making it so distance isn’t that big of a problem.
As companies and humans start the path of overcoming obstacles in addiction treatment, the hope is that more and more people will start to get on the path to becoming free from their vices.
Recovery Is Possible
No matter why you or someone you love isn’t seeking treatment, you shouldn’t avoid treatment because of a lack of hope. No matter your vice or your circumstance, you can recover and live a life that is free from your addiction, and those rewards are easily worth all the work you will need to do in order to get clean.
But getting clean is possible, so make sure to never stop trying to reach that goal.