Millions of Americans struggle with addiction every day, yet only a tiny fraction of those people receive treatment. About one in 12 individuals in the United States battle substance addiction and many don’t realize they have a problem. Less than 20% of addicted individuals ever undergo treatment to begin the path to recovery. However, while striving to maintain a sober lifestyle can be a burdensome process to undergo, experts consider addiction a highly treatable disease. If you or your loved one finds it difficult to seek treatment or is resistant to the idea, one of these barriers might be the cause.
Cost of treatment
Healthcare is expensive regardless of the type of treatment you’re seeking, and the cost of addiction treatment can be exceptionally high. For severe cases of addiction, many experts recommend 90 days of inpatient rehabilitation care. Luckily, under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover mental illnesses, including addiction. While there may be limitations under specific insurance plans and rehab centers, many inpatient care facilities operate on a sliding scale and provide various financing plans. Though free treatment facilities are not prevalent and often have stringent eligibility requirements, they are also an excellent option for those struggling to pay for more expensive rehab centers.
Lack of resources
The demand for addiction treatment in the United States has been surging in recent years. Unfortunately, with limited personnel and resources, the recovery industry has been straining to accommodate this rise in demand. As if it wasn’t hard enough to decide to seek out help, providers are scarce, especially in rural regions. If you approach a rehab center in urban areas, you’ll likely be placed on a long waiting list and left to wonder when you’ll be able to gain professional help. However, joining a support group or a 12-step program can provide you or your loved ones with the necessary support until space opens up in a rehab facility.
For many addicts, one of the most significant challenges to seeking out help is fear of judgment. With many addictive substances classified as illegal, there can be intense shame or guilt associated with admitting to substance abuse. People fear that friends and family members will desert them or that they’ll lose respect from coworkers and their communities. While it’s difficult to dismantle the stigma surrounding substance abuse, family and friends are an essential source of support. People would often prefer to see their loved ones seek treatment than continue to suffer.
Recovery from addiction does not happen overnight. Addiction treatment can take a long time for reliable results. Many people feel it’s unrealistic to abandon their jobs and families for a 90-day inpatient program. Fortunately, inpatient programs aren’t the only options for addicts seeking a sober lifestyle. Though they still require a considerable time investment, outpatient programs are very effective, and asking for a month-long vacation from work won’t be necessary.
Co-occurring mental health issues
Mental illness and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand. Whether the addiction or disorder came first, it can be much more challenging to seek help with a dual diagnosis. Not only will mental health issues make it harder to build motivation for change, but a dual diagnosis also requires specialized treatment. The recovery plan should treat substance abuse and illness simultaneously. Finding a rehab center that provides a tailored plan for you or your loved one’s specific co-occurring disorders will guarantee the best treatment possible.
Admitting a problem is the most taxing step for many addicts who don’t receive treatment. Whether it’s outright denial or the belief that they can quit independently, many substance abuse sufferers don’t believe their drinking or drug usage is a problem. It’s difficult for many users to truly see the toll substance abuse has on their lives and relationships. Most people who seek help cite the realization that treatment is necessary as the turning point for their addiction recovery process.
The bottom line
There’s no doubt that achieving sobriety is a complicated process for everyone who struggles with addiction. While barriers to seeking treatment are plentiful, everyone deserves a chance at recovery. The rehabilitation journey can be long and painful, but the joyful and healthy life you’ll lead at the end of it all will make it all worthwhile.