Making the decision to go to rehab isn’t easy, but finding excuses to avoid it is. However, if you are simply stopping at an excuse, you are greatly increasing the risk of facing serious consequences from your addiction.
Are you dragging your feet when it comes to rehab? You are not alone. There is no shortage of seemingly reasonable excuses for avoiding rehab. From time limitations to money issues to rejecting the idea that you may have a problem, what you think are solid reasons are actually your addiction’s best defenses – rationalisation and denial. The reality is that delaying treatment for addiction means increasing the likelihood that it will have serious, negative impacts on your physical, mental, and social health.
This year, help yourself by seeing these reasons for what they are – “excuses” – and commit to taking care of yourself. We’ve identified some of those most common excuses for avoiding rehab, and broken down each one to help you see that the only barrier to treatment is the one in your own mind.
Most Common Excuses for Avoiding Rehab – and Why to Go Anyway
All the best excuses are built on a foundation of legitimacy – real concerns or issues that aren’t necessarily easy to resolve. Problems come about when we see an excuse as a stopping point, rather than the beginning to a solution. An immediate excuse is actually a good indicator that we need to dive deeper to understand what the excuse is preventing us from doing, and to start thinking through ways to move beyond it.
Excuse #1: ‘If people find out I have an addiction, I’ll lose everything – my job, my friends.’
You may be concerned about the stigma around addiction, particularly if you live in a country where addiction is a taboo subject. It is also very normal to be worried about how this may impact you professionally, not only in terms of your colleagues being aware of your addiction, but also needing to take time off to address it.
Moving Towards a Solution: Accepting that You Can’t Hide Your Addiction Forever
This is an important time to ask yourself whether other people really aren’t aware of your addiction. Have you come into the office intoxicated or hungover? Have you noticed some changes in the way you relate to people, or how you spend your time? Whether or not those close to you realise that you are struggling with an addiction, they probably notice that something isn’t right, and they are concerned. Your addiction may be leading you to make decisions that are not in the best interest of your work and relationships, and in addition to the risks to your health, these choices could also bear serious legal and financial consequences.
Treatment is the only way to avoid the inevitable impacts of addiction. Rehab is also where you gain the tools needed to manage your addiction, including healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress in a productive, not destructive, way. This alone has incredibly positive impacts on both personal and professional relationships, allowing you to grow and progress in ways that you may not have felt possible before.
Excuse #2: ‘If I go to rehab, my partner will leave. They won’t be able to handle it.’
The fear of a breakdown in your relationship may stem from several places. You might be struggling with feelings of inadequacy or self-loathing, which will influence your ideas of how others might react to your decision. It is also possible that you are in a relationship with someone who isn’t fully supportive of your wellbeing, and therefore is not the best partner for you as you move into recovery.
People with an addiction sometimes find themselves in codependent relationships, in which one partner in the relationship continuously puts the needs of the other before their own. This can lead to a partner becoming an enabler to a partner with an addiction, and both partners develop an unhealthy dependence on the other to maintain toxic habits rather than grow and progress.
Moving Towards a Solution: Committing to a Healthy Life and a Healthy Relationship
One thing that is sure not to improve a good relationship? Addiction. If your relationship is based on a foundation of love and genuine desire for each other’s wellbeing, your partner will understand why treatment is absolutely critical. Ultimately, choosing recovery is about choosing to be the best possible “you”. All the benefits of recovery – a deeper understanding of the issues behind your addiction, a strengthened ability to constructively handle stress and hardship, and better physical and mental health – will also carry over into your relationship.
Excuse #3: ‘My family wouldn’t be able to handle it if I told them I needed to enter treatment.’
Concern about how your family or loved ones will react – and your ability to handle that reaction – may also play a role in avoiding rehab. You may believe that you have successfully hidden your addiction from them, even though this may not be true, and you feel that divulging your need for treatment will be both shocking and upsetting. If you are a contributor to the household income, you may also be concerned about how they will be supported if you enter rehab.
Moving Towards a Solution: Finding a Treatment Type that Works for You
Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease, which means that it will get worse the longer it goes on. While you may be at a place in your addiction where you can be functional, the reality is that you cannot hide or wish away the mental and physical toll that addiction takes. Like it or not, your addiction will become evident over time. Even worse, your addiction could bear consequences that are irreversible and devastating to your family.
There are many different types of treatment available to suit your specific needs and concerns. Outpatient treatment gives you the flexibility to work around busy work or family schedules by attending sessions in your off-time. Inpatient treatment offers a more concentrated approach with the added benefit of living in a trigger-free environment, which aids a speedier recovery. Rehab abroad may be helpful for those where confidentiality and discretion are a priority. Talking with an addiction specialist is a great first step in reviewing different options and figuring out what works best with your needs.
Excuse #4: ‘This isn’t a problem. I’m not addicted. I can stop whenever I want to.’
Picture this excuse as a giant red flag waving another red flag. This could very well be an addiction talking. Addiction makes itself heard in omissions, denial, defensiveness, and dishonesty. Addiction stops a conversation before it can be started, dismisses concerns, and avoids a deeper examination of what’s going on beneath the surface. Addiction thrives in isolation and secrecy, and will leverage almost any defense to keep itself going.
Moving Towards a Solution: Discovering Yourself
If immediate denial is your very first reaction to the possibility that you may have a problem with substance abuse, then this is a strong indicator you need to explore this possibility further. Instead of assuming that this denial is coming from you, accept that it may be an addiction talking, and start the process of self-examination.
Begin by asking yourself some questions and be as honest as possible when answering them. This process can help you assess whether your substance use has now become an addiction:
- Have your friends and family have expressed concern over your substance use?
- Have you tried to hide or downplay your substance use?
- Have you unsuccessfully tried to quit or cut back on your substance use?
- Have you noticed symptoms of withdrawal when you’re not using, such as headaches, tremors, insomnia, rapid heart rate, stomach problems, and anxiety?
- Do you regularly experience mood swings and irritability?
- Do you regularly crave alcohol or substances?
- Do you prefer drinking or using over other activities?
- Do you ever feel guilty or concerned about your substance use?
If you answered yes to some of these questions, it is important to get in touch with an addiction specialist. They will be able to help analyse your particular situation and recommend next steps.
Excuse #5: ‘Rehab is so expensive. I’ll just quit on my own.’
The cost of treatment can be extremely high, particularly if you are looking at private inpatient treatment centres that can address important aspects of recovery, such as detox on the premises. It is easy to get disheartened when looking at the fees and feel like this is something you just can’t afford.
Moving Towards a Solution: Understanding the Real Costs
There are a couple of things to consider when expense is a major factor in avoiding treatment. The first is the financial cost of addiction, which can be felt not only through the money you spend on drugs or alcohol, but legal or medical expenses that stem from addiction-related issues. If you calculate all of these costs, it is possible that you are already paying what you’d need to pay for rehab – or more. Sitting down and honestly tabulating these expenses may make you approach the cost of rehab differently.
Additionally, quitting on your own to save money could be dangerous, particularly if you have a physical addiction that requires detox. Detox is something that should only be done under the supervision of a medical professional, and with access to emergency medical services if needed.
If you are still concerned about cost, there are a few ways to help cut down on expenses. If you are insured, most health insurance providers will cover at least some of the costs associated with rehab. Social funds may also be available. In Australia for example, people can request early access to their superannuation fund to pay for addiction treatment.
Additionally, looking at rehab centres abroad, where overhead costs are generally lower, is another way to access high-quality treatment on par with Western standards at a lower cost. Seeking out centres with international accreditation and highly-trained staff can ensure high standards of care at an affordable price.
Taking Control at The Dawn
Once you have accepted that you have an addiction, The Dawn can help you regain control of your life. The Dawn Wellness Centre and Rehab in Thailand is a unique, holistic inpatient treatment centre designed to help our clients understand the root causes of their addiction, manage triggers, and build a new palette of healthy coping skills. You’ll leave The Dawn feeling strong, confident, and with newfound energy.
Finding Healing at our Long-Term Rehab Centre
The Dawn offers long-term rehab through a continuum of care, which includes detox, addiction and mental health treatment for co-occuring disorders, a step-down programme, and an aftercare plan. This means that instead of spending four weeks in treatment and then heading home in the very fragile early stage of recovery, the rehab model is generally eight weeks, and is flexible, all-inclusive and can be extended based on the unique needs of the client.
If you are ready to start a new chapter of your life, call The Dawn today and learn more about how we can support you.