Why People Avoid Seeking Help For Their Addiction?
There are many reasons as to why someone won’t seek help for their addiction, most of those center around two things: They are uneducated when it comes to substance abuse and they don’t understand what addiction truly is. Both of these lead to a person not realizing that there is treatment out there and it’s available for those who are suffering from substance abuse addiction.
John Grab, the Marketing Outreach Manager for A Better Today Recovery Services, looks at addiction as a disease, as we all should. He points out that if someone goes to the hospital and is diagnosed with diabetes, the doctor is going to help them and tell them exactly what they need to do. If we look at addiction the same way, a person who walks into the hospital for addiction should also be told exactly what they need to do, correct?
Unfortunately, that’s not always what happens. Those who are suffering from addiction often get the short end of the stick when the doctors don’t know what to do. John Grab says, “What people really do need to understand is that treatment is available. There are options. This is not a hopeless situation.”
Instead of looking at addiction as something wrong, we should look at it as a medical condition. When we do that then people will be able to react accordingly and treat it as such, and those that are looking for information and help will be able to receive it.
John is in long term recovery and has multiple treatment episodes under his belt. “Treatment does work,” he says and it’s even helped him in his recovery. Now that he has reached this point, he’s able to take a step back and look at the process from an objective standpoint. To him, one of the key reasons people don’t get help is because they are ashamed to ask.
What is the Stigma of Addiction?
“Addiction is stigmatized so no one wants to talk about it.” So the question is, how do you get the information you need on a topic that no one wants to talk about? It makes getting help difficult. The answer is simple: education.
John can say without a doubt that the best way to get help to a person is through education. The information needs to be available to the public so that the information is easy to find, this way, people who are searching for help, know there are people out there who are willing to talk about it.
Some important questions you should ask yourself are:
Why is addiction stigmatized?
The answer is simple– because people don’t want to talk about it. The word addiction has almost become a taboo, it’s there but no one wants to acknowledge that it’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
Why aren’t people getting the help they need?
People are not getting help because they don’t know that help is available. Again, if no one talks about it how is anyone expected to get answers?
Why don’t they know what to do?
If we look at substance abuse as a medical condition, then this question is easy—they don’t know what to do because no one is telling them what to do. If you go to the doctors with an illness, you expect your doctor to know how to help, it should be the same with an addiction.
There are thousands of people out there who are struggling and in need of help. There are 23 million addicts who need treatment right now and only 10% of those are receiving the help they need.