Your loved one is struggling with addiction; the person you love isn’t standing in front of you anymore. Whether your spouse’s alcohol habit is endangering the children, your son’s hollowed eyes barely resemble the boy you raised, or your sister’s Hydrocodone use has isolated her from the rest of the family – you know that the only way to save them is through drug or alcohol addiction treatment.
But what if they’re not willing to take the steps themselves?
The truth is, very few people that enter addiction treatment programs do so willingly – and even fewer do so with a smile on their face and a kick in their step. A much larger percentage of people enter rehab angry, nervous, and with an external motivator pushing them towards help.
If you are looking to be that motivator for the person in your life struggling with addiction, you are likely to face resistance. Individuals in active addiction often have excuses to not enter rehab – and in their mind, each of those excuses makes sense. Below are the excuses we often hear, why they aren’t valid – and what you can say to counter them:
1. “I can’t go to rehab because I’ll get fired from my job.”
This is a go-to response and an easy one for those who are still functioning at a fairly high level in their addiction. A person in active addiction will say they can’t go to a treatment program because of employment. First of all, legally speaking – a person cannot lose their job for seeking treatment for addiction. Most companies provide sick leave. Use it. Second, if you’re in active addiction, chances are you’ll lose your job at some point anyway – so you might as well go to rehab now while you still have benefits and income. Finally, if you don’t get help for your addiction – you won’t be able to work if you are in the ICU, in jail – or worse.
2. “What about my kids and family? I can’t leave them.”
Often times, people use their children and spouse as a reason not to go to rehab. Upfront, this seems valid. However, if you’re drinking too much or getting high on Oxycontin or shooting heroin – it’s important to think about what kind of mother, father or spouse you are for your family. In fact, if you’re in active addiction your family will most likely want you to leave and get help. If you’re a single parent, you may need help caring for your children while you’re away – but chances are, there will be people willing to step up and help care for them while you’re getting healthy. Remember, getting help, can often take a village.
3. “I have to go to ______ (a wedding, Christmas dinner, vacation, work function, etc.)”
Ok, we get it – there is never a “RIGHT” time to go to rehab. It’s not like running to the store to grab a gallon of milk. It’s a huge step and you’re going to have to either put some things on hold or miss out on others. No one ever planned their life saying, “After I graduate from college, I’ll get a job, and then get married, and go to rehab, and then….” It doesn’t work that way, and it never will. The “BEST” time to go to rehab is NOW. Getting sober and healthy takes priority over everything else – even if it doesn’t fit into your plans.
4. “I can’t afford rehab.”
If you’re addicted to alcohol, heroin or any other drugs, you can’t afford to NOT get into addiction treatment. First of all, think of the actual price of obtaining your drug of choice, and then think of all of the collateral financial damages like lost wages, damage to vehicles, lawyers, etc. The cost of your addiction is astronomical.
Still, think you can’t afford rehab? Luckily, there are rehabs like Vertava Health that offer scholarships and payment plans. There are ways to make treatment affordable.
5. “I don’t need rehab. I can stop on my own.”
This is a big one. Almost anyone who has been inactive addiction will tell you, they’ve been in this type of denial. It’s not a bad assumption to think that you can quit on your own, based on life experiences – you’ve made goals and met them before. Why should addiction be any different?
The truth is, you can’t think your way out of addiction. It’s a disease that will manipulate you into thinking you’re smart enough to beat it without help.
Like cancer, addiction is a progressive and ultimately fatal disease if left untreated. If these excuses were made by a loved one diagnosed with any form of cancer, would they make sense? Would you agree that they couldn’t get treatment because they had a wedding to go to in October? Or they could choose to stop cancer on their own – just by thinking it away? Of course not. Because denial is a symptom of addiction, it’s important that you know that so you can help them clearly see the reality of the situation.
From the outside looking in, you know the truths: in the light of a deadly drug or alcohol addiction, none of these excuses are important enough to keep your loved one from the necessary, life-saving addiction treatment that they need.