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Why Addiction Treatment Is Out of Reach for So Many People

Why Addiction Treatment Is Out of Reach for So Many People

Does receiving the addiction treatment you need seem like an impossibility? Understand the current barriers to treatment that addicts face today.

Millions of people in the United States are currently suffering with a substance misuse disorder, and the effects are far-reaching. According to Pew Research, it’s estimated that 46 percent of American adults say they have a family member or close friend with a current or past addiction. Addiction treatment is a necessary component in overcoming this health crisis, but unfortunately, the majority of people who need treatment never receive it

As a society, we know that alcohol and drug addiction is a significant concern, yet so many people go without the proper treatment to combat their disease. Rather than placing the blame for lack of treatment directly on the addict, it’s important that we look at and address the common barriers to addiction treatment that exist today.

Common Barriers to Drug Treatment

There are currently over 14,500 specialized drug treatment centers in the United States. These centers focus on a variety of therapeutic treatments including behavioral therapy, medication, counseling and long-term case management. In addition to this, someone struggling with addiction can seek help from a physician, mental health care provider or community outreach programs in some areas. From an outside perspective, it can be difficult to understand why barriers to drug treatment are said to exist.

Barriers to drug treatment exist when a person who needs help either can’t or won’t receive treatment. These are obviously two very different issues, but they both pose significant challenges in providing people with the care they need.

With so many treatment centers and options in the United States, it might seem like anyone who genuinely wants treatment should be able to receive it. However, if we step back and look at it from a numbers perspective, we can see where some of the challenges arise.

For starters, while there are thousands of treatment centers, there are also millions of addicts who need help at any given time. This lopsided statistic has created a situation where many addicts seeking treatment are placed on waiting lists, which sometimes are months long. Imagine needing help for a chronic, debilitating disease and being told you that you need to wait months before getting the treatment. Unfortunately, this often leads to feelings of depression and hopelessness that only further perpetuate the addiction.

Additionally, many people seeking treatment also face financial challenges. They might have health insurance that doesn’t cover drug abuse treatment at all or only partially, creating a situation where treatment is financially out of reach. There are also those who have no health coverage at all, many of which are already financially disadvantaged, and the cost of being admitted to a treatment center would be too prohibitive. While many free, community-based programs may exist, they are often overburdened and lack the individualized treatment that is needed to get someone on a solid path to recovery.

When an Addict Refuses Help

There are other barriers to drug treatment that are self-imposed. It will often leave family and friends devasted, hurt and feeling helpless when an addict refuses help. While seeking help is the first major step to overcoming addiction, for many addicts it is much more complex than just acknowledging and asking for help.

For instance, a person may be genetically predisposition for addictive behaviors, which can make taking those first steps even more difficult. A study that looked at the most common reasons why people don’t seek drug treatment included self-imposed barriers such as:

  • Thinking they can handle recovery on their own
  • Figuring the waiting list will be too long
  • Lack of transportation to and from treatment
  • Privacy concerns
  • Scheduling conflicts
  • Fear or dislike of exposing themselves in a group environment
  • Failure to acknowledge the severity of their addiction

Getting Help for Addiction in Bala Cynwyd

While barriers to treatment do exist, it’s important that you take the first step for getting help for addiction in Bala Cynwyd. Addiction treatment is a crucial part of the recovery process and overcoming the barriers to sobriety begins with something as simple as a phone call. Barriers can be overcome and so can your addiction with the help of a specialized treatment and recovery center.


Media Contact:

Bala Cynwyd Life of Purpose

(T): 732-421-5955




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