Pride. Fear. The denial that help is necessary for overcoming a debilitating addiction. These are only a few of the things that keep an individual from agreeing to going to rehab.
Addiction in itself can be a terrifying thing. Your life is altered. You sometimes no longer recognize yourself or understand why you do the things you do. Many individuals are crippled by the thought that they are losing control of themselves.
Control is a major factor in overcoming addiction and in the process of rehabilitation. While addiction may feel like the loss of individual control, saying ‘yes’ to going to rehab can overwhelmingly feel like losing control of one’s environment.
Step 1: Overcoming the Inner Battle
Struggling with addiction often feels like an inner battle consuming the individual. On one hand, the relationship between addict and substance is desirable to the individual; they might deny that there is an issue and believe that they can quit at any time. On the other hand, the individual might desire to overcome their addiction, but often they struggle to find the motivation.
The first step is understanding what addiction actually is, realizing you need treatment, and overcoming that inner battle. The fight to get better starts with determination and is made possible by surrounding yourself with a solid support system of loved ones who will help fight with you.
Step 2: Denying Denial
The “I can beat this on my own” mentality often gets in the way of individuals seeking treatment. Ego is part of human nature. Naturally, most individuals want to do things on their own before admitting they need help. Unfortunately, willpower is typically not enough to combat addiction.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, addiction shares many similarities with chronic illnesses. It can run in the family and is often influenced by external factors. An article published by Psychology Today states that addiction is no more of a choice than having cancer or other serious diseases.
Denying the need for help is also denying decades of research that proves addiction alters brain function. Further studies have shown that individuals practicing substance abuse have neurological differences compared to those who never struggle with addiction.
While some substance abusers might appear to have relative control over their lives, appearances can be deceiving. Dependency and tolerance are forms of addiction that ultimately govern the actions and lives of the individual.
Step 3: Rejecting Victimization
Lack of community support can lead to feelings of isolation even if an individual is never truly alone. This isolation could affect one’s desire to seek help from a therapist or rehab facility. An individual is much more likely to seek help if their loved ones offer encouragement.
Guilt and shame typically develop in individuals who lack the support they need. They might feel like a failure or exhibit feelings of uselessness or hopelessness.
These overwhelming negative feelings and thoughts could prevent individuals from seeking the help they need. Adopting a victim mentality cripples the person and makes it difficult to see that change and hope are possible.
Saying YES to Going to Rehab
There are numerous resources available to people battling substance abuse. A variety of programs exist and can be customized to fit individual needs.
Rehab has been stigmatized as something that is scary or negative. Loved ones need to be the support that individuals need, to help them see that rehabilitation is normal, positive and a way to better one’s life.
Rehabilitation does not have to be seen as a last resort. It should be seen as the first step towards getting life back on track. Saying ‘yes’ to rehabilitation is necessary for a better life and healthier mind.