According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 22.5 million Americans over the age of 12 needed addiction treatment in 2015. However, only 2.5 million received treatment at a specialized facility.
Why is the number of addicts seeking treatment so low?
Addicts use a variety of rationalizations to avoid seeking treatment for their addiction. Rationalization is an attempt to explain or justify behavior with logical, plausible reasons, even if these reasons are not true or appropriate.
Take a closer look at some common rationalization strategies that somebody struggling with addiction might employ, and how to overcome them.
#1. “I don’t have a problem.”
Probably one of the most common ways an addict rationalizes his or her behavior is by denying that the behavior is problematic. Overcoming denial is the first step on any journey toward recovery. By recognizing and accepting that a problem exists, you can then turn your focus on how to get treatment for your addiction.
Motivation is crucial when it comes to acceptance. You must be able to see the damage that your behavior is doing to your life and the lives around you before you can begin to make changes.
#2. “I am still in control.”
When you are suffering from addiction, you may not realize that you are losing control of your life. Even when your relationships, finances, and job begin to fall apart, you may continue to insist that you are in control of the problem. This often manifests as an “I can stop anytime I want to” attitude.
This is particularly true of what is called “high-functioning” addicts, people who maintain the appearance of control in their daily lives. Outwardly, everything looks fine. Part of addiction disease, however, affects the part of the brain that controls decision-making and judgment. Therefore, you are in the worst possible position from which to judge whether or not you are in control.
Realizing you are not in control of your habit is a step toward long-term recovery and is a huge part of overcoming initial denial.
#3. “I deserve this after the day I've had.”
Sadly, society spreads the message that drugs and alcohol are ‘rewards’ for hard work, making it easier for somebody to turn to drug abuse as a way to deal with stress. By treating the habit as a reward, you can then continue in your denial that your habit is a problem.
Addiction treatment helps you replace the ‘reward’ of drugs or alcohol with healthier habits, and teaches you effective coping mechanisms to deal with stress.
#4. “I’m afraid.”
Sometimes, there is no ‘rational’ reason behind a refusal to seek treatment; there is simply an irrational fear. Ask somebody suffering from addiction of what they are afraid, and they may not be able to even articulate it. Common fears include:
- Fear of losing friends or family
- Fear of losing your home or finances
- Fear of losing a job
- Fear of social stigma
- Fear of detox
- Fear of life without drugs
These fears represent barriers to treatment that you must conquer. Overcoming these fears takes time, patience and dedication, both from you and from your support network.
Finding the right treatment is critical to help get over your fears. At Recovery Village Ridgefield, we develop an individualized treatment plan specific to your needs. Heal your mind, body, and spirit in our majestic Pacific Northwest facility with a multi-disciplinary approach to your recovery. No more excuses; it is time to get help. Contact us today to begin your path to recovery.