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What Are Some Obstacles to Treatment?

November 8, 2022 , Agape Treatment

woman comforting a man during group therapy session
 

There are 5 main obstacles to treatment. Typically, those include stigma, knowledge, cost, location, and willingness to get clean. All of which can be overcome. Identifying and understanding the obstacles in the way of treatment is the first step in overcoming them.

What Is Addiction Treatment?

Addiction is a chronic disease without a true cure. However, there are options for treating addiction, many of which involve lifelong treatment to help someone stop using drugs and stay clean.

Many tools are available to clinicians to formulate an effective treatment plan, including helping clients identify and understand their relapse risks and triggers. Most of these tools are free of charge without copyrights and are readily available on the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website.

Other aspects of effective treatment plans include medications to manage withdrawal symptoms, counseling to address external factors influencing addiction and relapse, as well as evaluation and treatment for any co-occurring mental health issues. Long-term follow-up, either as part of a self-help group or with a professional, is essential to maintaining sobriety and preventing relapses.

The Five Main Obstacles to Treatment

Recent data suggests that more than 90% of people who need treatment for a substance use disorder do not receive it.

With addiction on the rise in the last few years, we have to ask ourselves what is getting in the way of treatment. Increasing the use and availability of telehealth and virtual medicine options should have reduced barriers to treatment, but there is still a significant treatment gap.

Stigma

The disease model of addiction, first accepted by the medical community in the mid-90s, challenged the previous assumptions that addiction resulted from personal weakness, moral failings, and a lack of willpower. Instead, this shifted the focus to the specialized treatment of chronic, relapsing disease rather than calling these problems character flaws and leaving those needing help to fend for themselves.

However, there is still a significant stigma linked to rehab and other forms of addiction treatment. This stigma can prevent people from seeking treatment due to fear of rejection or ostracization by others in their personal and professional lives.

Knowledge

Many people have very limited knowledge about substance and alcohol use disorders, and their treatments, because of the pervasive stigma surrounding these conditions.They may not know what types of treatment options are available or even that treatment works. Understanding that treatment is a viable option and helps people get better is an essential part of the process of overcoming the barriers to help.

Cost

If you’re looking for help for yourself or a loved one, you may find yourself asking how much is rehab. You know treatment can help and minimize the stigma’s impact on your road to recovery, but the cost of rehab may still be getting in the way of obtaining sobriety. While the Affordable Care Act has finally put mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment within reach for many, some people can’t make their deductibles or have no insurance, forcing them to pay costs out of pocket. Many substance abuse treatment centers, Like Agape, take private health insurance plans. This can help cover all or most of the cost of a rehab program.

Location

The location of the facility can be a major limiting factor for those seeking treatment. For example, some looking for help may not have reliable transportation to get to facilities located in another town or another state. Others may have family and work obligations that limit the time they can spend traveling to a facility.

Willingness to Get Help

It’s impossible to force someone to accept the help they don’t want or think they don’t need. While people may end up in rehab or similar programs due to outside circumstances, if they don’t want to recover or don’t think they have a problem in the first place, treatment is unlikely to be effective. Depending on why they are unwilling to get help, overcoming the previously discussed obstacles and making treatment a feasible, achievable option can increase willingness. However, this won’t be the case for everyone.

Overcoming Obstacles

Once we can understand them, we can begin to remove the obstacles in the way of treatment so our loved ones can get the help they deserve. Gaining access to treatment may be the last bit of support someone needs to get their life back on track after struggling with addiction. The advancements in treatment over the last twenty years have gone a long way toward improving accessibility.

Our understanding of substance use disorder is still changing and evolving, but we are moving in the right direction to better help those in need of treatment. The stigma around seeking treatment for substance use disorders is slowly diminishing, and the knowledge that effective treatment is available has encouraged more people to seek treatment.

As the stigma fades and knowledge increases, treatment will be available in more areas, and programs are being created to help reduce the financial strain of treatment. For those willing to accept it, help is available to overcome these obstacles and get treatment.

Getting Questions Answered

Chances are you still have several questions about treatment and how to overcome the obstacles to treatment. The best way to get answers to your questions is to talk to a specialist in substance use disorders, such as the ones found at Agape Treatment Center.

Finding the right people to help is essential to overcoming obstacles and having a successful recovery, and treatment centers gather teams of people dedicated to helping. Many also have programs to help prevent relapse once you’ve gone through a recovery program.

Making a Plan to Go to Treatment

Whether you’ve just started looking into treatment options for yourself or a loved one or have already begun overcoming the obstacles in the way of treatment, making a plan to go to treatment can be a great first step toward recovery.

If you’re ready to get started, reach out today to work with a specialist to design a plan that works best for you.