addiction treatment

Common Excuses for Avoiding Addiction Treatment

Published on November 11, 2019 by First Responder Wellness

While everyone with addiction is living through different circumstances, there is a common thread in the excuses for avoiding addiction treatment. These justifications only harm the addicted individual and those they love by putting off care that could dramatically improve the lives of everyone involved. Understanding many of these common phrases and identifying them in yourself can help you be aware of the true nature of the situation. This knowledge can also be a first step toward holding yourself or your loved one accountable.

“I Don’t Have a Problem”

Perhaps the most common and most challenging excuse to overcome is the denial that a problem exists, to begin with. This excuse may be used by anyone with addiction but is especially prevalent in high-functioning users. These people may be operating on a seemingly normal level at work or in their home life. They may feel as if they can’t have an addiction because their lives are not yet falling apart entirely. Some alcohol and drug users convince themselves they don’t have a problem because they can compartmentalize their substance abuse. For instance, they may be able to keep it from affecting their work performance or their parental duties. Others may recognize that their use is problematic. However, they believe they still have control over the situation and can quit whenever they would like. The reality is that this phase of active addiction is the best time to seek treatment before every aspect of life begins to spiral out of control. For these individuals, seeking professional treatment can seem extreme or unnecessary. This perception can be worsened by the stigma associated with addiction. Treatment for addiction is not only reserved for the worst cases. It should also be viewed as a preventative measure to end the cycle of substance abuse before it wreaks havoc on your life.

“I Need to Use for My Mental Health”

While this logic seems counterintuitive, using drugs or alcohol to manage mental health disorders is incredibly common. Unfortunately, this strategy only worsens mental illness, even creating new mental health symptoms along the way. Many people who suffer from anxiety, especially those with social anxiety, claim that they need drugs or alcohol to feel calm and confident in social situations. The reality is that continually relying on substances only makes social anxiety worse. Despite a false sense of confidence, people who abuse drugs and alcohol aren’t actually enjoyable to be around. People who drink or use drugs for other mental health disorders, such as depression, eventually discover that substances worsen their issues. Numbing emotional pain with substances provides temporary relief. The end result, however, is an imbalance of brain chemicals that generally makes everything in life seem a little worse. The best strategy for coping with mental health issues is to seek treatment from a mental health professional, alongside treatment for addiction if necessary.  

“It’s Not Anyone Else’s Problem”

When approached with the proposition of treatment for addiction, many people will become defensive. Addicted people will claim that their substance abuse isn’t hurting anyone but themselves. Therefore, it isn’t anyone else’s business. The truth is that substance abuse always hurts more than just the user. Anyone with family, friends, or coworkers is affecting the people around them when they continue the cycle of addiction. Substance abuse also puts the public at risk by increasing harm from risky choices such as drinking and driving. Feeling as if your substance use disorder isn’t harming anyone but yourself is a sign of denial. Try taking an honest look at how your choices affect those around you. If you can, you might consider asking people you know if your drug or alcohol use has ever hurt them. You may be surprised how far the reach of your actions extends.  

“I’m Beyond Help”

These are often the words of someone in active addiction who has lost hope, and they are usually said by those who need help the most. Many people with addictions will fail to stay sober many times. This cycle of disappointment can cause them to lose faith in their own capacity for change. However, a professional treatment program can offer new techniques and resources that make recovery possible. This is true, even for those who have undergone professional treatment in the past. Each attempt at sobriety is a brand-new opportunity to learn from past mistakes and rebuild a solid foundation for a sober lifestyle.

The First Responders Treatment Program at Simple Recovery uses trauma-informed strategies to cater to the unique needs of law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and other first responders with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illnesses. We recognize that first responders encounter job-specific barriers and obstacles that come with the culture of their careers. Existing stigmas may make seeking help for addiction and mental health issues especially tricky. Addiction does not have to mean the end of your career. Nor do you have to resign yourself to a lifetime of struggling with your health and relationships.

At Simple Recovery, we take a holistic approach to treatment and addressing the underlying causes of addiction. This approach makes it possible for first responders to regain control of every aspect of their wellbeing. First responders dedicate their lives to protecting their community. At Simple Recovery’s First Responder Treatment Program, we dedicate our time to helping these compassionate individuals find a path to lasting sobriety and mental wellness. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, call us now at 888-743-0490