With nearly 24 million addicts in the United States, it is clear that substance abuse has become a prevalent problem. Yet even with countless treatment options, only around 1.8 million of those individuals sought treatment in 2012. What is keeping these addicts from seeking help?
As with many social issues, addiction is an incredibly complex problem. There are socioeconomic, mental and emotional circumstances that contribute to the rise of addiction. In spite of what seem to be progressive and forward-thinking treatment programs, many individuals are not receiving the help they desperately need. In this article, we will take a look at why so many addicts fail to receive treatment.
Of all the Americans who were in need of treatment in 2012, 96% felt they didn’t need it. In spite of relationship wreckage, career damage and health problems, many of these people were in denial that their addiction was to blame. In spite of the facts, many addicts will continue to deny that they even have a drug problem.
Everyone likes to be in control of their life. They want to feel like they have everything in hand and that they don’t need any help from anyone. This is a dangerous mentality when it comes to addiction. Many addicts fail to seek treatment simply because they want to retain an image that they are in control of their life.
Unfortunately, their lack of control will begin to show in almost every interaction. Even if you are trying to maintain that you are in control of your life, you have become a veritable slave to your addiction. Even when money is tight, you will be forced to spend what you have on your habit, you may lose your job, and your relationships will go haywire. Clearly you are no longer in control, yet you may still believe you are not “bad” enough to require rehab.
A huge obstacle preventing many individuals from seeking treatment is that they are afraid. Treatment presents a big unknown, especially when their addiction is long-lasting. Addicts can fear the life changes that will occur during and after rehab and be concerned that they cannot handle it. They also may fear being cut off from a supplier and unable to cope with withdrawals.
Refusal to End Lifestyle
In many cases, and perhaps the biggest reason, addicts fail to seek treatment is that they are unable to give up the high. They simply enjoy getting high, and can’t give up the feeling of freedom from everyday life they experience when high. As their addiction progresses and their social and work life is destroyed, they begin to need the high to feel any kind of happiness.