Ten Excuses People Use Not To Go To Rehab


1. I Can Quit Any Time on My Own – It’s Not So Difficult

You’re having fun, right? It’s your choice, right? Why would you want to go to drug or alcohol rehab when you can put a stop to it when you’re good and ready? Who needs the trouble and expense? 

Addiction is the point you reach when you are no longer in control of your vice – be it alcohol, drugs, or gambling – it is in control of you. That point is difficult to identify. 

Addiction affects you physically (ravaging you with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms until you get another hit), psychologically (crippling you with intense cravings), environmentally (it’s tough to quit when all your friends are doing the same), and financially. All these factors mean it is very difficult to stop substance abuse on your own.

Addiction help doesn’t just wean you off alcohol and drugs – it unpicks the reasons behind your addiction, helps you deal with those, and arms you with strategies to avoid relapsing. 

Be honest with yourself. If you could quit on your own, you’d have probably done it by now, wouldn’t you? 

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2. I’m Not Harming Anyone

Aren’t you? What about your family and friends who are worried sick about your relationship with drugs and alcohol

This could be your partner who has to keep on top of everything as you’re often wasted or your kids who have to tiptoe around you as you’re hungover and grumpy. Addiction destroys families and children with an addicted parent can be left with severe emotional problems including anxiety and fear of neglect. 

Think about your parents who are still fretting about you as if you were a child; your mate who keeps bailing you out as you’re getting into debt or your work colleague who fills in while you’re off ‘sick’ on yet another Monday. 

You may not feel as though you’re harming anyone but addiction doesn’t just affect one person. By not admitting this and avoiding rehab, you are continuing to cause hurt and pain to those around you.

3. I Don’t Want Anyone to Know I’m Addicted

We get that. There are a lot of stigmas attached to substance abuse and people with an addiction can be seen as being untrustworthy, dangerous or incompetent.

Treatment comes in all shapes and sizes and you can attend alcohol or drug rehab discreetly at a time convenient to you, and no one needs to know unless you tell them. Outpatient rehab means you can continue to work and stay in the family home while attending appointments with doctors, therapists, and psychologists and following a treatment plan at home. 

We’re not going to sugarcoat this –  if you stay in your usual environment, mixing with the same people and carrying on with life as normal, you will encounter triggers that would normally send you into a spiral or substance abuse. This is because addiction is often a lifestyle problem. You will need willpower.

However, if keeping your addiction a secret is the main barrier to you not going to rehab then look at outpatient services as they are as effective as inpatient services for most people.  

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4. Rehab Is Too Expensive, I Can’t Afford It

Rehab isn’t cheap. You can’t have access to qualified and trained doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, medication, and a venue with hotel facilities and not pay for it. Finding rehab too expensive is a common excuse for not going.

But how much do you value your life, health, relationships, family, friends, and job? Addiction can destroy any and all of those. Chances are you are only considering rehab because addiction has already cost you dearly. 

Maybe you’ve lost your job or been kicked out of the family home. When you’re on your knees, paying for rehab seems like the last thing you want to do but when you emerge a few weeks later, sober and in a place where you can embark on healthy relationships and be employable, you realise it is a price worth paying. 

Almost three-quarters of people who try to kick an addiction on their own will relapse. 

Speak to your GP who may be able to signpost you to organisations that can help get you on your feet and in a better place financially for you to consider rehab. 

5. I Don’t Want to Stop Drinking Completely

That’s understandable. Forever is a long time and the idea of no booze for the rest of your life can be too much to bear. But the fact you’re even considering rehab means that you have an alcohol addiction and this means it is very difficult, if not impossible, to just have ‘one or two’ every now and again. If it was easy, you’d already be doing that.

Alcoholics Anonymous suggests taking one day at a time and this approach is encouraged in rehab. You don’t want to drink today, so just focus on today. Don’t think about tomorrow or the future or how you’ll cope without drinking. 

Rehab doesn’t just wean you off your addiction, it helps you consider, prepare for and embrace a life without substance abuse. You might not want to stop drinking completely but you don’t want to drink today. So let’s start there.

6. If I Go to Rehab, I’ll Lose My Job

Are you sure your boss would rather keep the hangover, spaced out, often late, sometimes sick, looks-like-death you rather than lose you for a few weeks and welcome back the clear-headed, determined, and focused post-rehab you?

You may be surprised to know your employer has a legal duty to protect your health and welfare at work and this means viewing your substance misuse as a health concern rather than a reason to fire you. 

Your employer’s first step should be to help you, which might mean giving you time off to access drug or alcohol rehab, or making your hours more flexible so you can attend outpatient treatment at times convenient to you both. Read up about your rights here.

7. I Don’t Have a Problem

It can be difficult to recognise that you have an alcohol or drug addiction and even harder to admit it. Denial is a common feature of addiction. You may feel you’re not ready for rehab but have you asked those around you? Have they had to get you home safely when you’ve been wasted? Covered for you when you called in sick? Picked up the pieces as you’re too hungover to function?

Addiction doesn’t happen overnight but if you think about drugs or alcohol most of the time, hide your intake from others, need to get another hit to stop the dreaded withdrawal symptoms, fall out with loved ones over the amount of time or money you spend on it and have tried to stop, but can’t, you have a problem.

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8. Rehab Didn’t Work Before

We’ll be honest, rehab doesn’t have a 100% success rate, and it’s not easy. Addiction is so damaging to the body and mind that it can take more than one attempt to kick substance abuse for good. Relapse is very common and if you’ve failed once before you might think you’ll fail again. 

But that’s not the case. You’re a different person now than the person who tried rehab before. Maybe you weren’t 100% committed then or thought you could just dabble in your chosen vice every now and again. Maybe your ex-partner had an addiction but your new one doesn’t. 

There are many reasons why rehab failed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will fail again. If you give it a second chance, you might finally come clean. If you don’t, you almost certainly never will. 

9. I Don’t Have Time to Go to Rehab

You don’t have time to go to rehab but you do have time to spend hours wasted and even more hours trying to recover? You can’t afford time away from your family to get clean but you’re happy to be in the family home focusing on your addiction while they have to endure living with you? It doesn’t make sense. Addiction is the big-time waster, not rehab.

If you’re serious about getting clean, taking a month or two off for bespoke addiction treatment is worth it if it gives you the rest of your life clean and sober. And by doing so, you’ll probably have many more years tagged on the end. 

Yes, it might take up a month or two but the longer you spend in treatment, the better the prognosis. If caring responsibilities prevent you from opting for residential rehab, being treated as an outpatient means you receive treatment at a time convenient to you.

Recovery from addiction is a life-long process and if you want to get clean, you will have to give it some time. 

10. I Don’t Want to Open Up to Strangers

It can be scary to spill your life story to a room of strangers – especially if you’re admitting things you’re embarrassed about and may have been trying to hide from others. But addiction is a disease. And just like you would talk to a doctor about an illness, rehab provides non-judgemental, expert advice.

Rehab consists of many different therapies and treatments, including one-to-one counselling, family therapy – in which your loved ones are part of the session – and even equine therapy, which means you work with horses. 

Think about the reasons why you’re scared to open up. Is it because you are in denial and don’t want to hear yourself admit your own problems? Denial is a defence mechanism that prevents you from facing up to the reality of your addiction, and this will prevent you from overcoming addiction.

Rehab will bring you into contact with people who have an addiction or who have overcome an addiction, and who are ‘cut out of the same cloth’ as you. These strangers know exactly what you are going through and maybe the greatest friends you could have when it comes to kicking addiction for good. 

Please note

The information on this page should not replace the advice of a medical professional.

REFERENCES

  1. Kranzler H R, Li T-K, (2008), What is Addiction? Alcohol Res Health: 31 (2) 93-95
  2. Lander L, Howsare J, Byrne M, (2013), The Impact of Substance Use Disorders on Families and Children: From Theory to Practice, Soc Work Public Health: 28 (0), 194-205
  3. DiClemente C C, Crisafulli M A, (2022), Relapse on the Road to Recovery: Learning the Lessons of Failure on the Way to Successful Behavior Change, Journal of Health Service Psychology: 48, 59-68
  4. Sussman S, Lisha N, Griffiths M, (2011), Prevalence of the Addictions: a Problem of the Majority or the Minority? Eval Health Prof: 34 (1) 3-56
  5. McCarty D, Braude L, Lyman D R, et al, (2015), Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Programs: Assessing the Evidence, Psychiatr: 65 (6) 718-726
  6. Adfam
  7. White J, (2021), What Does It Mean to Live one Day at a Time? Alcoholics Anonymous 
  8. Health and Safety Executive, Managing Drug and Alcohol Misuse at Work
  9. Rinn W, Desai N, Rosenblatt H, et al, (2002), Addiction Denial and Cognitive Dysfunction, Psychiatry Online
  10. Kelly J F, Greene M C, Bergman B G, et al, (2019), How Many Recovery Attempts Does it Take to Successfully Resolve and Alcohol or Drug Problem? Estimates and Correlates From a National Study of Recovering US Adults, Alcohol Clin Exp Res: 43 (7), 1533-1544
  11. Jhanjee S, (2014), Evidence Based Psychosocial Interventions in Substance Use, Indian J Psychol Med: 36 (2), 112-118
  12. Laudet A B, Savage R, Mahmood D, et al, (2007), Pathways to Long-Term Recovery: A Preliminary Investigation: J Psychoactive Drugs, 34 (3), 305-311
  13. Hammer R R, Dingel M J, Ostergen J E, et al, (2012), The Experience of Addiction as Told by the Addicted: Biological Understandings Into Self-Story, Cult Med Psychiatry: 36 (4), 712-734

How Can Castle Craig Help?

How Do I Pay For Rehab?

One concern we sometimes hear from people is how they will fund their rehab treatment. The cost of rehab varies depending on what kind of accommodation you choose. You can pay for treatment at Castle Craig privately, or through medical insurance, and some people receive funding through the NHS.

How Long Is the Rehab Programme?

Residential rehab treatment starts at four weeks and can go up to 12+ weeks. Research shows us that the longer you stay in rehab and are part of the residential therapy programme, the longer the likelihood of continued abstinence and stable recovery.

Who Will I Speak to When I Call?

When you call you will reach our Help Centre team who will give you all the information you need to help you decide whether to choose treatment at Castle Craig. Once you have decided that you would like to have a free screening assessment you will be put in touch with our admissions case managers who will guide you through the admissions process.

What Happens at the End of My Treatment?

Castle Craig thoroughly prepares patients before departure by creating a personalised continuing care plan which is formulated following discussions with the medical and therapeutic team. We offer an online continuing care programme which runs for 24 weeks after leaving treatment, in order to ensure a smooth transition back into your everyday life. Patients leaving treatment automatically join our Recovery Club where they can stay connected via our annual reunion, events, online workshops and recovery newsletters.

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