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10 Excuses People Make To Avoid Going to Rehab

Addiction is a complex issue, and everyone's journey is unique. When it comes to the journey, it's important to approach people we love with understanding and empathy. The process isn't always straightforward, and making excuses is indeed a common part of the process, often tied to addiction itself.

Why Do People With Substance Issues Have So Many Excuses?

Addiction, also called substance use disorder (SUD), is a powerful force, both physically and mentally. The desire for intoxication often clouds judgment and creates a sense of dependence that makes it challenging to break free. Making excuses might be a defense mechanism – a way for someone to cope with the fear of facing life without the substance they've come to rely on.

Sometimes, the fear of change and the unknown can be overwhelming. People may worry about how they will cope without their substance of choice, how they will handle stress, or how they will connect with others without the help of their substance use. Making excuses can be a way of maintaining a semblance of control in the face of these uncertainties. However, excuses are just that - Excuses! You don't have to rely on excuses to make decisions about your future ever again.

Breaking through these defense mechanisms - even your own - can be challenging, but recovery's payoff is for a lifetime. There is no better feeling than waking up to greet each day without pain or withdrawal symptoms.

Excuses and Ways to Counter Them

Everyone has made an excuse for something in life. However, there are ways to refute these excuses, walk through fear, and make better decisions. You may need to do some self-talk to help yourself see how these excuses are just ways to set yourself up to fail. Here are ten common excuses and ways to counter them so you feel free to seek the help you deserve.

  1. Excuse: "I can quit on my own; I don't need professional help."  Seeking professional help significantly increases the chances of successful recovery and will also teach you how to cope with triggers and desires to relapse. Trained experts in drug treatment can provide guidance, support, and a structured environment that helps you overcome addiction.
  2. Excuse: "I can't afford treatment; it's too expensive." Many treatment centers offer various payment options, scholarships, or sliding-scale fees based on financial need. In some places, Medicaid pays for treatment, just like health insurance can help ease some financial burdens. The long-term cost of addiction on your health, relationships, and work far exceeds the cost of treatment in many cases. Investing in treatment now can be lifesaving. Family members are often willing to help.
  3. Excuse: "I'm too busy with work and family responsibilities." Addiction affects not only you but also most things in your life. Are you a great worker or the best father/brother/son you can be? Taking the time for treatment can lead to a healthier, more stable life, benefiting your personal and professional relationships. If you are a full-time worker, various types of leave will help you keep your job.
  4. Excuse: "There's too much stigma associated with going to rehab." Seeking help for addiction is a brave and commendable decision, and there are millions of people in recovery. Treatment may still have some taboos to it, but the truth is that we live in a society that understands more and more that addiction is a disease, just like any other disease. It's just centered in the brain. There is literature and support groups like Al-Anon for loved ones who need to understand more about it.
  5. Excuse: "I've tried treatment before, and it didn't work for me." Recovery is a unique journey for each individual, and different approaches may be needed to find what works best. Not everyone gets sober on their first, second, or third try. Going to treatment in a different setting, such as Mexico, can provide a change of environment, new perspectives, and alternative therapeutic methods that may better suit your needs.
  6. Excuse: "Treatment is only for severe addicts; I don't need it because my problem isn't that bad." There is nothing further from the truth! Treatment is not solely for extreme cases, and you can prevent future miseries, including damage to your body and brain, by seeking help when you realize you have a problem. You're taking a proactive step toward a healthier life.
  7. Excuse: "Treatment is only about quitting drugs; it doesn't address the underlying issues." Not so! Comprehensive treatment involves addressing the root causes of addiction, often delving into trauma and even looking for co-occurring mental health disorders to help you stabilize. Therapists work with individuals to understand and manage triggers, stressors, and underlying emotional issues. It's not just about abstaining from substances but also creating lasting positive changes in one's life.
  8. Excuse: "I can't be open about my struggles in treatment; it's too judgmental." Treatment environments are designed to be safe spaces where privacy and anonymity are valued. Sharing experiences and feelings fosters understanding and helps people realize they are not alone, and often, people realize they share similar feelings and experiences. 12-step meetings are some of the most caring and open-minded places you will ever step foot in.
  9. Excuse: "Treatment is a one-size-fits-all approach; it won't work for me." Much of SUD treatment is tailored to individual needs. Therapists assess each person's unique circumstances and create a personalized plan. If you have trauma or co-occurring mental health disorders, they are usually part of your treatment plan. Your therapist may also help you work specific goals into your treatment. This flexibility ensures that the treatment approach aligns with your specific needs.
  10. Excuse: "Treatment is only for those who have hit rock bottom; I'm not there yet." This excuse is one of the oldest in the book and the biggest myth. You don't have to wait for a crisis to seek help; you don't need to "lose it all" to find recovery. Early intervention increases your chances of success and can save you a lot of pain. Seeking treatment is a proactive step towards a better way of life.

Going To Treatment for Addiction

Recovery is a lifelong process, and treatment is a crucial initial step. Going to treatment provides tools, support, and coping mechanisms for people new to recovery. Therapy equips recovering people with the skills needed to navigate life without using substances. They can even help you break through the denial and excuses that have kept you from making progress in the past.

Many people addicted to drugs believe that they can detox by themselves, but the truth is more complex than this, depending on the drug of choice and other factors. Detoxing from substances can be dangerous, and withdrawal symptoms vary in intensity. Professional supervision ensures a safer process, with medical staff managing potential complications.

Treatment involves various therapy types, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, skills training, and experiential activities. These approaches equip people in recovery with practical tools to navigate real-world challenges, manage stress, and make healthier choices without falling victim to the standard excuses that some people do.

Many treatment programs offer flexibility, allowing you to continue working on yourself, your relationships, and a healthier way of life.

Benefits of Going to Treatment in Mexico

Have you considered going to treatment away from home in Mexico? Experiencing a new culture and environment can be refreshing and provide a positive distraction from the challenges of addiction. It allows individuals to focus on recovery in a unique and inspiring environment.

We offer holistic therapies, such as yoga, meditation, and art therapy, which can complement traditional treatment methods. These activities contribute to overall well-being and aid in the recovery process. We're here to help you rebuild your life in recovery in a beautiful, serene environment where you can focus on yourself, your recovery, and your hopes for the future.

Get in touch to learn more about our programs. Call us at (949) 279-1376 or in Mexico: (612) 153-5726 to learn more about getting started on the recovery journey.




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Hi! I’m Melissa Stailey, a freelance writer that loves to cook. I live and work in Washington, DC.