The Top 5 Reasons We Hear People Say Why They Can’t Go To Treatment

By Patrick O’Neil

According to the Office Of National Drug Control Policy, “more than 1 in 10 Americans needing substance use disorder treatment actually received it.” Numbers like these create the general consensus that there are limited available treatment opportunities for those seeking help. However the real reason is that for the majority of actively using addicts and alcoholics entering treatment will be one of the hardest decisions they have ever had to make. On the one hand their lives are unmanageable and they can’t stop using on their own. But on the other they can’t comprehend living without drugs and alcohol and are resistant to committing to being sober for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately the only people that can get them into treatment are themselves—and sometimes that entails a lot of negotiating and making excuses. Here are the top five reasons we often hear people say why the can’t go to treatment:       

1. I’ll Lose My Job, Apartment, Car, Significant Other… Fill In The Blank 

Drugs and alcohol give the addict the illusion they are in control. Yet the truth is the exact opposite. They think no one knows they’re using and drinking and they are somehow being responsible and accountable without actually being responsible and accountable. Usually they’re in denial. That car, job, relationship, or apartment is already on the way out. If they continue using they will lose everything. Addiction is all consuming and that includes time and finances. If all their money goes to getting loaded then the bills will never get paid. If their entire focus is on drinking and using drugs then that relationship and job are secondary and they will lose them too. However if they enter treatment then they have the support they need to begin to get sober and not lose everything. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against employees who have disabilities—and chemical dependency is considered a disability. If they take a medical leave to get treatment then the Family and Medical Leave Act provides them the protection not to lose their job and it provides them with up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off from work.     

2. I Don’t Have Time With My Busy Schedule

Back in the day, when the only option was a 30 to 90 day stay at a residential rehab, addicts and alcoholics had no choice other than to go away for treatment. Thankfully that isn’t the case any more. CAST Centers offers a variety of treatment options: day treatment IOP and PHP, evening LUNA IOP, Custom Outpatient, Best Self Coaching, and Aftercare. There are in person and online rehab programs, and everything can be tailored made to fit the most rigorous schedule. As a highly qualified Joint Commission Accredited program CAST precisely matches each client with a distinct and effective individual program of recovery. CAST prides itself in continually evolving and diversifying its approach to treatment in order to offer a wide array of therapeutic solutions.

3. Treatment Doesn’t Work For Me

Terminally Unique” is a term used to describe someone that thinks they’re such a special (or hopeless) case that treatment won’t work for them. Never mind that millions of other addicts and alcoholics have found freedom from active addiction through treatment and therapy. In a survey conducted by the Barna Group regarding people’s experiences with counseling, “76% of Americans said their time in therapy was either “very” or “somewhat” positive. Only six percent had a negative experience.” Dismissing treatment before even being in treatment is really contempt prior to investigation, and here’s the reality of it all: The success of treatment depends on the addict and alcoholics willingness to take personal responsibility for their recovery. In other words, you get what you put in. Treatment works. You just have to give it your 100%. 

4. I’m Scared 

For some the fear of going to rehab treatment is very real. New experiences can be daunting, especially if they have no idea what happens in the treatment setting. Many fear being yelled at or shamed. They’ve gotten enough of that from family, loved ones, and friends—so why would they want to put themselves somewhere for more of the same? Most don’t realize that those kinds of things do not happen in group therapy and individual counseling. No one is going to belittle them or dump a load of quilt in their laps. Addicts and alcoholics are already doing that to themselves. Not only are they in fear of the unknown, but they are also scared of what being in recovery means. It’s not a single event—it’s a lifetime—and that can be intimidating. Recovery is one day at a time and takes commitment, motivation, determination, and courage. The journey is not going to be easy. But the reward of living a drug and alcohol free life outweighs the discomfort of working through the painful emotions, resentments, and fears that have kept them enslaved to their addiction.    

5. I Won’t Be The Same Fun Person If I Get Sober

This could quite possibly be one of the main “reasons” people don’t want to get the help they so desperately need. They think that drugs and alcohol make them the life of the party. Yet if you actually look up the definition, “An animated, amusing person who is the center of attention at a social gathering,” an alcoholic or an addict doesn’t actually fit. Most drunks are either sloppy and loud, or morose and depressing—not exactly anyone you’d even want to invite to a party. And most addicts isolate and end up using alone. So that “fun person” they think they are—is not who they really are. “Becoming sober isn’t just about abstaining from alcohol. It’s a subversive, hardcore choice to take your life into your own hands,” writes Holly Glenn Whitaker. “It’s an invitation to stop playing small. It’s an opportunity to grow into your bones, and every single crap thing that happens to you on the way only makes you stronger.” Parties are about socializing, not getting high. If you’re sober you can spend quality time with your loved ones and friends. By being your genuine best self you’ll be more fun to be around.   

If addiction and alcoholism are ruining your life then it’s time to stop making excuses. A treatment option that will work for you is just a phone call away. 


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