For millions of people who abuse alcohol and drugs, the idea of seeking professional drug treatment for addiction can set off a struggle within themselves that keeps them from making the much-needed call.
The thought of going to drug rehab raises all kinds of anxiety-causing questions. What are people going to think? Will I lose my job, my freedom? What will happen if I just stop using?
Uncertainty over the future can bring about paralyzing fears–fear of change, fear of vulnerability, and fear of failure. All the back-and-forth with oneself delays taking action, which, sadly, will mean the difference between life and death for some in this situation.
How long the “Will I, won’t I get help?” struggle lasts depends on the person, but the reality is some will endure it and decide to enter rehab while others simply won’t.
According to a 2016 report from the US Surgeon General, 1 in 7 people in the US is expected to develop a substance use disorder at some point in their lives, but only 1 in 10, or 10 percent, will receive professional drug treatment.
“Many factors contribute to this ‘treatment gap,’ including the inability to access or afford care, fear of shame and discrimination, and lack of screening for substance misuse and substance use disorders in general health care settings,” the report says.
But it also goes on to say that many people in addiction or alcoholism are also the reason a treatment gap exists.
“… About 40 percent of individuals who know they have an alcohol or drug problem are not ready to stop using, and many others simply feel they do not have a problem or a need for treatment—which may partly be a consequence of the neurobiological changes that profoundly affect the judgment, motivation, and priorities of a person with a substance use disorder.
Why Is It Hard for Some to Seek Professional Drug Treatment?
Admitting that substance use has gotten to a point where it’s beyond a person’s control can be a hard thing to do, so denial stops many addicts short of seeking help.
However, internal conflict–which can be fueled by denial, passiveness, and much more–means many people will take the chance and manage their addiction alone, in silence, and watch their lives fall apart as addiction takes them to deeper, darker, and dangerous places.
Spot the Warning Signs of Addiction
Drug and alcohol addiction is invasive and seeps into all areas of life, affecting not just the addicted individual, but their relatives, friends, spouses, coworkers, and others, too.
Waiting to get help does not mean the person in addiction won’t experience the decline in their quality of life.
Signs a person is in active addiction include:
- Changes in physical appearance (such as having bloodshot eyes, dilated or constricted pupils, weight loss or weight gain, bruises) or loss of interest in personal grooming
- Changes in behavior, such as increased fatigue, sleeping problems
- Changes in mental health, e.g. a person may exhibit depression, irritability or aggression
- Changes in relationships, friends, and pastimes
- Efforts to hide or keep drug or alcohol use from others to avoid conflict with loved ones and possible job loss
And there are many other warning signs. If you see any of these signs and symptoms in your own life, or if you have noticed these signs in other people, it might be time to consider getting professional drug treatment.
Citrus Recovery Is a Judgment-Free Zone
There is danger in staying in addiction and passing up opportunities to start a new life in recovery. Despite the well-documented risks, we know it remains up to each person in addiction to figure out whether taking steps toward drug rehab is worth it for them. If you (or someone you know) are struggling with the idea of getting professional drug treatment but not sure if now is the time to get it, give Citrus Recovery a call at (855) 318-0072, so we can help you figure out your options and let you decide.