Watching loved ones succumb to substance abuse can be one of the most heartbreaking things for friends and family members to witness. Some may try to help, but people with a drug or alcohol addiction may be so dependent on their substances of choice that they might do anything in their power to maintain their current lifestyle. They might steal to financially support themselves, or they might commit violent and illegal acts to secure a supply of drugs or alcohol.
There comes a point when family members and friends have no choice but to demand their loved ones with substance abuse issues attend an addiction treatment program. Just like the previous acts of desperation, people with drug or alcohol dependencies may say whatever they think will help them avoid rehab. Though family and friends may be tempted to believe the words of their loved ones, remember that the main goal of confronting people about substance abuse issues is getting them into a treatment program. With that in mind, check out these three common excuses people give for avoiding addiction treatment.
1. ‘I can stop whenever I want to.’
While some people develop debilitating drug and alcohol addictions that cause them to lose friends, jobs and everything else, a select few may be able to live a somewhat normal life despite their substance abuse. However, family and friends should not be fooled – substance abuse is substance abuse, regardless of how successful the person may seem.
This excuse falls under the category of denial. People tend to lose perspective on how much their drug or alcohol use affects those around them, so even though they may ardently believe that they could stop whenever they like, chances are that they cannot.
2. ‘I know someone who went to treatment and relapsed, so why should I go?’
Unfortunately, the sad truth about drug and alcohol addiction is that many who attend treatment programs relapse at one point in their lives. However, what this excuse gets wrong is that relapse is not a vote against addiction treatment programs, but a testament to how difficult it is to kick substance abuse habits.
Many experts believe that relapse is a natural part of the recovery process, and that people who recommit themselves to their sobriety after a relapse event are even more successful at living healthy lives than ever before. After all, just because something like addiction treatment is difficult does not mean that it is not worth doing.
3. ‘All my friends do drugs and drink alcohol. What am I going to do after addiction treatment?’
This is one of the most difficult excuses to address, because people may have genuine feelings of companionship with those who they have drank or done drugs with. These friends know the struggles of addiction in intimate detail, and people may be reluctant to give them up so easily.
Family and friends should emphasize that everyone in treatment will have experienced the same struggles, but with the added benefit of a desire to get clean. With a guarantee of a familiar support system in treatment, people may be more willing to give it a try.