At Crest View Recovery Center, many of us are in recovery, so we understand the pain, struggle, and confusion that often come with addiction. We know first-hand that addiction is hard, and that sometimes, the recovery process can seem harder. However, we’ve also witnessed the positive effects of completing a treatment program and the transformative experience of sobriety.
For some, entering treatment – whether it’s an addiction rehab center, inpatient or outpatient, or short- or long-term – is the obvious choice, because they’ve hit “rock bottom” and see no other way out. But for many others, there are a variety of barriers – both internal and external, perceived and misperceived – that complicate their decision to get help.
In the United States, research shows drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death, and alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death. Despite these horrifying statistics, an estimated 90 percent of the 20+ million people suffering from addiction do not seek professional help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) cites five barriers that most often prevent people from seeking addiction treatment:
- Lack of readiness
- Cost of treatment or lack of healthcare
- Uncertainty of where to find treatment
Our own experience at Crest Views also tells us that fear of the unknown, the “I’m a lost-cause” mentality, and, particularly common right now, COVID-19 and back-to-school/virtual learning, are common barriers.
In this blog, we provide detail on these barriers, and offer compelling facts to help alleviate fears and concerns, and motivate you or your loved one to seek help. This list is not considered comprehensive, as there are other external barriers and deeply personal reasons that people avoid treatment, but it reflects some of the top obstacles as backed by research and our long-standing experience in this area.
Many people who need treatment believe it would cause their neighbors or community to think negatively of them. Although scientific progress has helped people recognize that addiction is a disease and can be successfully treated, there is still work to be done before this understanding becomes more widespread.
To help overcome this, remember that you are not alone. Over 20 million people in the United States suffer from addiction. While profound changes still need to be made at the societal level to eliminate misperceptions, you, as an individual, can contribute significantly to this improvement process. We all have the choice of whether or not to speak about our experience with this disease, and although seeking treatment and sharing your story may turn some off, your story WILL inspire others, create a ripple effect, and help end the stigma. Bravery and acceptance are pivotal to recovery. Check out some additional advice from us here on how to help overcome this challenge.
16 percent of people feel that getting treatment will have a negative effect on their job. While this result may hold true in some scenarios depending on your employer, know that leaving your job for rehab is not the end of your professional road. Keep these things in mind:
- The American Disabilities Act allows you to request “reasonable accommodations” should you suffer from a disability, like a diagnosed addiction. For example, many employers will work with you to determine a modified schedule that allows you to attend counseling sessions or enroll in a treatment program.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC) recommends, “If you do not want the employer to know your specific diagnosis, it may be enough to provide documentation that describes your condition more generally.”
- Review your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This may cover your cost of treatment and is confidential.
Additionally, there are online resources to help you resume your professional journey once your program ends. If the job you had prior to treatment does not work out, one silver lining is having an opportunity to find another role that may be better suited for you. Many individuals with addiction find their “calling” as counselors, therapists, social workers, nurses, detox support specialists, and sober companions. While you do not need to pursue a new career in this industry and can continue on with your desired path, just know there are options!
Lack of readiness, denial, or fear of the unknown
Nearly 40 percent of individuals are not ready to stop using, and a massive 95 percent of individuals with a substance abuse disorder do not think they need treatment. We also find that, despite the potentially tragic effects of addiction, many have become so comfortable with this way of life that they fear life without the substance they abuse.
We recommend finding people with whom you can relate. This may seem a daunting task, but with the Internet, you can find countless stories online of people experiencing a journey similar to yours. You’ll find honest stories of fear, worry, and uncertainty, but more importantly, you’ll find stories of triumph. For every moment you experience angst or apprehension, there is a story of inspiration to help motivate you to get to the other side. And remember: just because you may not feel ready, doesn’t mean you aren’t ready or that you don’t need treatment.
Cost of treatment or lack of healthcare
Making the decision to seek help with recovery is difficult enough, so paying for your rehabilitation and treatment shouldn’t have to be difficult as well. However, 32.5 percent of individuals who do not get treatment say they cannot afford it or do not have healthcare coverage.
Research shows that, in most cases, treatment is covered for those who need it. At Crest View, we are in-network with major insurance providers, which will minimize your financial burden. We can also help you coordinate transportation to and from our facility. For those who do not have insurance, there are state-funded rehab programs available to you. Learn more here.
Unsure where to go for treatment
Just over 20 percent of individuals don’t know where to go for information about how to get treatment. This is one reason why Crest View exists. Even if we decide that our facility may not be the best fit to start or continue your recovery journey, we are committed to helping those in our area find the right match, and we have countless contacts and resources in our region. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction in North Carolina or the surrounding area, please contact us at (866) 986-1371 or submit a form here to get in touch.
We’ve found that some use the fear of contracting the virus as a reason to not seek professional help – or they assume that treatment centers are closed. Many rehab and recovery centers are still open and remain committed to providing addiction recovery services in the face of this global pandemic. At Crest View, we have strict precautions in place to ensure a safe recovery environment for our patients, employees, and visitors. This approach has been very successful thus far, with no issues or concerns.
Back-to-school and remote learning
Whether you’re a college student or a parent preparing to send your kids back to school, this life event often deters individuals from getting treatment. As a student, you don’t want to prolong graduation, and as a parent, you may feel like rehab would mean abandoning your children during an important life milestone.
The reality is that you or your loved one will likely never find the “perfect” time to go to rehab or a treatment program. Therefore, we’d encourage you to reframe your mindset. When it comes to addiction, putting your health first benefits everyone. By taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional wellness, your relationships, ability to care for those around you, and your work ethic, will drastically improve.
“Lost cause” mentality
If someone or something makes you believe you are a lost cause, know that this concept is a myth. While our journeys at times may look different, and often we feel alone, we are unified by the pain, struggle, and eventual joy of overcoming the disease of addiction. For every negative statistic you might read, remember there is research that works in your favor, too. You are not a lost cause.
- 76 percent of alcohol rehab patients who successfully complete treatment report still being sober at three months, ~70 percent are still sober at six months, and just over 70 percent are still sober at nine months.
- Between 85 and 95 percent of those who complete drug rehab remain abstinent nine months after discharge.
- 80 percent of patients report benefiting from improved quality of life and health after completing drug and alcohol rehab.
Also important to remember: relapse is part of the recovery journey. Relapse does not make you a failure.
When you have an untreated substance addiction, your life is at risk every single day. By seeking treatment now, you will leave your loved ones and responsibilities behind for a finite period of time, to work toward a future of infinite happiness and health. Consider the alternative: not getting the help you need, succumbing to your addiction, and potentially leaving the things you love behind forever. It’s a harsh reality to face, but one that countless individuals in our Crest View community have overcome. You can do this!
Are you ready to seek help? Or do you want to help a friend or family member in need?
At Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, North Carolina, we offer a serene environment that is conducive to overall healing, and our team of experts is composed of many who have experienced similar struggles. We blend both traditional and innovative protocols to address urgent treatment needs. Give us a call to determine if we’re the right holistic rehab center for you and learn about our treatment options. Our programs can help you begin your path to a brighter future.
Call us at (866) 986-1371 or submit a form here to get in touch.
Additionally, if you live with an addiction and are struggling more than ever to get sober or remain sober during COVID-19, we encourage you to check out our recent blog that explores this topic: Relapse Prevention Therapy & COVID-19: Understanding Addiction & Depression