People addicted to drugs learn how to become expert manipulators of their friends, family and loved ones. They may make excuses about the extent of their addiction and why treatment won’t work for them. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the annual cost of addiction is over $600 billion, including the toll of crime, lost work productivity and healthcare costs for people with addiction. Becoming aware of these top five excuses given by addicts as reasons to avoid treatment can help friends, family and coworkers encourage anyone with addiction to seek inpatient treatment by offering a counter-argument to each excuse.
Excuse #1: They’re Not Addicted
The top excuse provided by people addicted to drugs is that they are not addicted. They may tell friends and family that they do not have a problem and that they can stop any time they want to, so there is no need to seek treatment. Denial is one of the earliest stages of identification of a problem. The denial stage may last for a long time and friends and family should persist in their encouragement for the person with addiction to seek an inpatient treatment program. Friends and family members can explain to the person how he or she has changed with increased abuse of drugs and may suggest attending an inpatient facility as a favor to them by saying, “Do it for me.”
Excuse #2: Too Busy to Go for Treatment
Treatment for addiction is a process, not an event. Suggesting to an inpatient treatment program to a person who is addicted to drugs may result in defensive excuses such as “I don’t have time for that.” They may state that their work won’t give them the time off that they need to attend a treatment for their addiction. Friends and family members of anyone addicted to drugs can counter this excuse with statements such as the potential for job loss or expulsion from school due to drug use. Another counter argument to make is that no other obligation in life is as important as the commitment to mental and physical health.
Excuse #3: Treatment Is Too Expensive
Some people addicted to drugs may provide the excuse that treatment for their substance abuse is too expensive and they don’t have the money to pay for it. They may argue that their health insurance doesn’t cover addiction treatment. It is important that friends and family members offer sound alternatives to these excuses. Explain to the person that his or her drug of choice is also very expensive yet the person finds the money to obtain it. Show the friend or family member that treatment is not too expensive and that paying the ultimate price by dying of addiction is a much more costly price to pay.
Excuse #4: It Won’t Help
The person addicted to drugs may offer an excuse that he or she is helpless and that nothing will work to get rid of the addiction. The reality is that more than 2.5 million Americans have received the treatment required to beat their addictions. Reminding the person with addiction that the use of drugs has altered their self-perception and telling them of the confidence that friends and family have in their ability to overcome addiction can bolster their self-esteem.
Excuse #5: Nobody Understands and It’s None of Their Business Anyway
While no two people have the same life experiences, many individuals do have similar stories of problems such as addiction. Explaining that the staff at inpatient treatment programs are often in recovery themselves may help the person with addiction feel more confident in the helpfulness of others. Reminding the person that addiction affects everyone and that it is everyone’s business may also be of help. Addiction affects a person’s parents, children, siblings, friends, coworkers, pastor and countless others in their social network.
The Benefits of Inpatient Treatment
There are many benefits to seeking inpatient treatment for addiction. Some of these benefits include:
- The development of positive thought patterns with the use of cognitive behavioral therapy leads to lifelong attitude changes
- The creation of a network of supportive friends and activities
- The enhancement of self-esteem and self-worth
- The development of strategies to reduce temptation and peer pressure to use again
The amount of time required for treatment varies for each person. Addiction can be successfully overcome and any person with a former addiction can go on to lead an enjoyable, healthy and productive life.