Most people who need help for addiction don’t get it. One study found that fewer than 25 percent of Americans with a substance use disorder get any sort of treatment. [https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/10-percent-us-adults-have-drug-use-disorder-some-point-their-lives] Some of those people lack access to care, either because they live in rural areas or they believe they can’t afford it. However, many of those people have access to care and may even know they need help for their substance use but they still don’t seek treatment. For many of these people, fear of treatment is to blame.
They are afraid of detox.
Of all the fears people have of treatment, fear of detox is probably the most concrete. Detox can be extremely unpleasant and even dangerous. Detox from opioids is often described as the worst flu you’ve ever had and detoxing from alcohol or benzodiazepines can cause seizures, which might even be fatal. However, if you detox in a facility under medical supervision, the risk is minimal and it’s the least bad detox experience you can have. Although detox is often hard, it’s the necessary first step.
They aren’t sure they’re ready to quit.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 40 percent of people who know they need help but don’t seek it say they aren’t ready to quit. [https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DR-FFR2-2016/NSDUH-DR-FFR2-2016.htm] People use drugs and alcohol for a reason and even if their substance use has negative consequences, those initial reasons don’t just go away. For many, drugs and alcohol are a way of coping with stress and emotional turmoil. The thought of facing life without a trusted coping mechanism can be unbearable. However, a major part of treatment is helping people through that emotional turmoil so they don’t need drugs or alcohol.
They don’t know anyone.
No one likes the idea of going and living somewhere for a month or more where they don’t know anyone. However, this shouldn’t be a concern when you enter a quality treatment program. There’s staff to take care of you and people tend to make friends quickly. You’re all in the same boat and you’re likely to connect with others based on shared experiences. Many people say they meet their best friends in addiction treatment.
They are afraid to share their problems with strangers.
Related to not knowing anyone, many people imagine having to go to group therapy and bare their souls to strangers who quietly judge them. In reality, people are often surprised by how much they enjoy group therapy and how much they get out of it. Group therapy also has many advantages over individual therapy, including improving your communication skills, making you feel more connected and less isolated, and helping you practice new behaviors related to recovery.
They might fail.
Treatment is a big investment of time, money, and effort. Your whole family may be depending on you to do well. That’s a lot of pressure to deal with and people with substance use disorders often have avoidant tendencies. Failure is always a possibility but you shouldn’t let that hold you back. Many people relapse several times before sustaining recovery. You never fail until you quit trying.
At Fort Worth Recovery, we offer a safe, nurturing, and healing space for men and women to find recovery from the multifaceted disease of addiction. Our team believes in inspiring each client to face their challenges, discover the root of their problems, and reclaim their lives. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call us today at 817-381-9741 or contact us through our admissions page.