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Common Reasons for Why People Fail to Get Addiction Help


The failure of people to get the addiction help they need can have serious consequences. It not only means that they (and their loved ones) will continue to suffer, but it also means that the person will be missing out on the opportunity to enjoy a much better way of living. The individual will have plenty of reasons for why she or he does not require addiction help, but in the almost all of these cases the justifications will be weak. Below are just some of the most common reasons for why people will fail to get the help they need to end their substance abuse problems.

The Belief That Addiction Problems Are Not Serious Enough to Require Help

The idea that addiction treatment is only for celebrities and the worst cases is a myth. The individual does not have to lose everything before their problem become serious enough for them to require this type of help. The reality is that if the individual continues with the behaviour, it will lead to continued suffering, and it could very well end in their death – it does not get much more serious than this. It also needs to be understood that most people will grossly underestimate the severity of their addiction problems, and this is all related to denial. Even the people who are at rock bottom will also believe that their problems are not serious enough to require help.

The Belief that the Individual Can End the Addiction Later

It is common for people who are caught up in addiction to boldly claim that they can stop at any time they want, but they are just not ready to stop now. The idea that it will be easier for them to stop in the future is a dangerous idea because it is often not the case. As time goes on the person will fall deeper into addiction, and it is likely to become harder for her or him to stop. The only time that the person can really stop is right now, and to continue with the addiction is to take a huge risk. If the individual can see the reality of the situation, it becomes obvious that there is no justification for continuing, as it will only mean that this person will consequently end up suffering more.

The Need to Hit Rock Bottom

The truth is that most people do need to hit rock bottom before they are able to quit addiction, but there is a dangerous misunderstanding about what this actually means. Hitting rock bottom does not mean that the person needs to lose everything. There is also no special place in the downward spiral of addiction that is an objective rock bottom – the only real rock bottom is death. What is really meant when we talk about rock bottom is that the person has decided they have had enough, and this is something that they can do at any time. Some people will be able to see the writing on the wall, and they will quit the addiction without having to endure much suffering – this is sometimes referred to as a high rock bottom. As soon as the person feels ready to stop, they do not need to fall any further. They have to make this happen because if they wait for the rock bottom to hit them, they may be well beyond any type of addiction help.

Terminal Uniqueness

Another common reason for why people can persist with addiction is that they are dealing with terminal uniqueness. This is where the individual does not believe that the normal rules of life apply to him or her. Terminal uniqueness is very common, and it explains how people are able to continue smoking cigarettes even though there is so much information about the dangers of this behaviour. It means that the person is able to see that what they are doing is dangerous, but they believe that they have some type of special protection. For example, the individual may have a relative who drank heavily for all his life, but went on to live to an old age – this person can then use this relative as proof that they are unique due to having special genes. This type of thinking is referred to as ‘terminal’ uniqueness because this justification for continuing with the behaviour will often get the person killed.

Only a Beer Drinker

The individual may claim that the fact that he or she only ever drinks beer is evidence that they do not really have a problem. This type of misconception is understandable because in many parts of the world, beer is looked upon as almost a soft drink. The reality is that all beer (except non-alcoholic beer) contains alcohol, and that some beers contain an excessive amount of alcohol. Some alcoholics will rarely drink anything other than beer because they like the fact that they can sit in a bar for longer and just keep their blood alcohol levels topped up. There are also many examples of people who died for alcohol poisoning after only drinking beer, so the idea that this type of drink is less harmful is flawed.

Binge Drinker of Weekend Drug User

Another excuse that the person may use to justify not getting addiction help is that they do not use these substances every day. In fact, the person may only ever drink or use drugs at the weekend. The reality is that this pattern of consumption can be ever more dangerous than daily consumption because it will usually mean that the person will be consuming more in a shorter period of time. Most alcohol related problems are due to binge drinking, so the fact that the individual can go a few days without touching these substances does not mean that what that person is doing is safe.

The Person Only Ever Uses Prescribed Medication

Just because a medication has been prescribed by a doctor does not necessary justify the person is safe to use this substance. Those individuals who are involved in abusing prescribed drugs will go to great lengths to get their hands on these substances, and this means that they may trick medics into supplying them with these medications. The individual may not only lie about their symptoms, but they might also go to different doctors to keep themselves supplied. This type of behaviour is certainly not risk free, and there are many examples of people who died because they overdosed on medication that had been prescribed for them. Prescription drug abuse is just like any other type of addictive behaviour, and it requires similar treatment.

The Person is Doing Too Well in Life to Require Help

High functioning substance abusers can be doing well in life but still dealing with a serious addiction. This person may be better at hiding their problems because they can use their success in life as evidence that they are doing well – they may live by the motto, ‘work hard, play hard.’ The reality is that this person is in real danger and unless they are able to break away from the addiction, they will be at risk of losing everything. In fact, this person can be in more danger from substance abuse because they do not have the same financial constraints on their habit as less successful people.

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