Addiction may go untreated for a variety of reasons. Individuals may be reluctant to seek treatment because of the associated stigma, the potential costs, or they may live in an area where treatment is not easily accessible. Here, we take a closer look at these barriers to drug and alcohol treatment and provide some answers and resources for anyone looking for help for substance use disorder.
The stigma around addiction has been around for a while and is just as common among those who have an alcohol or substance use disorder as it is with the general population. Many are afraid to take the first step in seeking treatment because they know that those who struggle with addiction continue to be blamed for their disease. When people with an addiction are stigmatized, they often internalize this stigma, feel shame and refuse to seek treatment as a result, which only contributes to the vicious cycle that accompanies this disease.
Spectrum Health Systems has many clients who have openly spoken about their recovery stories. Many describe the moment when they finally decided enough was enough and sought treatment. They had to overcome a lot of qualms and insecurities but all of them say it was the best decision they had ever made. The stigma around addiction can be grueling, but it is important to remember not to stigmatize your situation. Contact your local center’s admission team to talk about how and when you can begin your recovery journey.
2. Financial Cost
Financial limitations are one of the major barriers that prevent people from receiving treatment. Many people do not enter treatment facilities because they don’t believe they will be able to afford it. Treatment costs vary, but it can certainly become very expensive, especially without insurance. Many people remain uninsured due to a variety of reasons, such as the loss of a job, change in family status, losing Medicaid, etc. The financial toll can be a burden on someone’s expenses and paying for addiction treatment may not be a priority when compared to other bills and expenses.
It is important to think about both the short-term and long-term impact of the decision you are making to not seek treatment. Treatment now prepares you for success later. Spectrum is a great resource to speak to regarding treatment options and services that fit your needs and accessibility. As your recovery progresses, Spectrum provides ongoing support to suit the needs of its clients and helps you along the way. Our team can help you find employment, housing, and insurance coverage, if you need help. A financial burden should not be the reason someone declines to seek treatment. The right opportunity is out there, just don’t give up until you find the best fit for you and your needs.
3. Geographic Location
Sometimes people may need to travel far to get the treatment they need, multiple times a week. Not everyone has access to reliable transportation, and even if they do, they still may not have the time to travel long distance. Too often people discover that they can only find a treatment center outside of their community, which is a huge barrier to seeking services regularly.
Spectrum provides an array of treatment services at locations around the state to address the growing need for treatment in New England. In Massachusetts alone, opioid-related deaths have increased 450% over the last 16 years, causing a critical need to provide a variety of treatment centers around the state for residents. Spectrum has responded to this need – in 2020 alone – by adding more locations, providing medication for addiction treatment to incarcerated individuals, and accepting more forms of insurance. We even pivoted to telehealth during the pandemic and those remote options are still available, opening many more doors for those in recovery.
How to Overcome these Obstacles to Addiction Treatment
So, if you are experiencing one or more of these obstacles, contact your health care provider or local clinic today to see what they can do. Connecting with a health professional, addiction specialist or with other people who are going through what you are going through can help you work through these struggles and figure out a solution if you’re feeling stuck financially, geographically, or emotionally.
Spectrum is here to help those in recovery, and to work with families who have someone who may be reluctant to seek treatment through our virtual family support meeting series, which is free and open to the public. Led by Spectrum’s addiction treatment team, these groups provide a space for friends, family members and caregivers to share their stories and learn more about addiction in order to offer comfort and guidance to those they love.
The path from addiction to recovery is not one that should be traveled alone. Stigma, finances and geographic location present initial obstacles to seeking treatment, but once you break through those barriers, you will be on the right track to recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, call Spectrum Health Systems today at 1-877-MyRehab to speak with a member of our admissions team.