Seeking treatment for chemical dependency is essential to recovery. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes that they are dependent and actually need treatment. There are others who know that they have a problem but simply refuse help and there are a number of reasons why they refuse to get that help.
You may wonder why that person who is clearly addicted to prescription painkillers does not simply enter a drug rehab program. Maybe you have someone in your family who has been arrested on several occasions for driving while intoxicated and you wonder when they will finally seek treatment. Why people neglect to get help depends on many different factors. Sometimes it is actually a combination of different reasons or their reasons may change.
Of the more than 20 million Americans over age 12 in 2008 who were addicted to some sort of drug or alcohol and did not receive treatment at a specialty facility, nearly 96 percent stated that they did not seek treatment because they did not feel that they needed help. Substance abuse can place quite a hold on a person’s mental capacity and make them believe that they actually do not have a problem when in truth, everyone around them can see that they do.
Of those same 20 million people who were addicted in 2008, only about 4 percent felt that they did need treatment but failed to get it for some reason or another. Less than 2 percent felt that they needed treatment and did try to get help but did not receive it. Again, there are many different reasons why someone may not seek the help that they need and some of these reasons may be very surprising.
There are basically five very common reasons cited by addicts as to why they do not seek treatment. The majority of people who do refuse treatment state that they are simply not ready to stop using their drug of choice. Nearly 40 percent of all addicts state this as their main reason for not getting help. Another 32 percent state that they do not have health insurance that will cover inpatient or outpatient treatment facilities and because of this, they simply cannot afford the treatment that they need. Private insurance accounts for a very small amount of the total annual fees incurred by substance abuse treatment facilities. Those who do not have insurance coverage or whose insurance does not pay for treatment for drug or alcohol abuse may simply not be able to afford the help that they need to get better.
Another nearly 15 percent state that they fear that drug or alcohol abuse treatment will have a negative effect on their jobs. In the present economy, most are fearful that if they do lose their jobs they will fall into financial ruin. Jobs after all, are difficult to come by even for those who are not addicted. Losing their jobs as a result of their addiction keeps many people from getting help to overcome those addictions and the stress of this problem could lead many to further abuse drugs or alcohol.
Some, around 13 percent, claim that they are unsure of where to go to get the help that they need. There are many treatment facilities, groups and organizations that are designed to help those dependent on drugs or alcohol to overcome their addictions but many are unaware of how to even contact these organizations or facilities. Some merely try to help themselves and may even fall deeper into their addictions as a result of doing so.
Finally, around 12 percent feel that seeking treatment will have a negative effect on the people around them. They fear that friends, family, coworkers and neighbors will look at them differently if and when they learn of the addiction. Society in general has after all, not been terribly kind to addicts in the past. Because of the stigma placed on addiction, some simply feel that they are better off trying to fight it themselves as opposed to embarrassing their family and allowing others to know that they are addicted to a substance.
When struggling with any addiction, support is vital. Without support of friends and family as well as professional guidance, many addicts will not reach recovery. The road to recovery is not easy but it is possible. Whatever the reason for putting off treatment, it is essential that the addict as well as his or her family know that help is available and the addiction can be overcome.