Barriers to Seeking Alcohol Treatment
Over 15 million people suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the US, and it is estimated that just under 30% of Americans will experience this disease at least once in their life. However, only 7.3% of people with this condition seek treatment – and, of those aware of needing treatment, over 70% don’t receive it.
So, overcoming stigmas is not enough to have access to the necessary alcohol treatment options.
These statistics – when coupled with the fact that alcohol is one of the leading causes of death across the world – make it easy to see how there is an ongoing epidemic of which nobody is talking about. So, why are people suffering from a chronic disease such as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) not seeking treatment? According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 40% of people with AUD were not ready to stop using, 23.8% had practical obstacles, and 20.9% had no healthcare coverage. But these are not the only barriers out there – here are the main five barriers still stopping patients from starting their recovery journey.
Stigma And Feared Negative Opinions
Stigma and negative opinions are still feared by people with AUD, and almost one-fifth of people with addictions don’t go to alcohol rehab because of this reason. Those dealing with alcoholism are reported to fear the opinion of their neighbors and their community, while others are afraid to lose their employer’s trust.
However, for many, the challenge is much closer to home. In fact, people with AUD don’t seek alcohol treatment to keep their problem hidden from their spouse, partner, or family. While alcoholism and substance abuse hold a bad reputation in society, the perception of this psychological disorder is changing, allowing people to freely seek treatment.
Attitude Towards Alcohol Treatment
Another reason for avoiding alcohol treatment is the belief that nothing can help. However, it is important to consider AUD for what it is – a chronic disease for which there is no cure, but just a treatment.
When compared the relapse rate of common chronic diseases, substance abuse, and AUD, it is possible to see that alcohol treatment is more successful than programs for those other diseases.
Other detrimental attitudes that represent barriers to treatment include:
- Believing that the problem would get better by itself
- Fear of hospital treatments
- Believing that you can always take care of the problem without professional help.
Readiness for Change
Being ready to give up alcohol use, feeling ready for change, and understanding that you need help are vital attitudes to have to seek alcohol treatment. Many people with AUD believe that they don’t have a problem or they can quit on their own – or they can fall victim to a lack of motivation for change. Additionally, if the damage caused by alcohol to their relationships, work, and health becomes visible after a long time, they might not instantly notice it immediately.
Thanks to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, insurance plans now have to cover necessary treatments for mental health disorders. Substance use disorder and AUD fall into this category, and most people with an insurance plan can benefit from affordable care. Most centers today also offer financial help and payment plans that can help you afford the care you need.
Structural and Practical Barriers
Just under 24% of people with AUD do not seek alcohol treatment because of practical barriers. These barriers can come in many forms including:
- Not knowing where to go for help
- Not having the time
- Not having access to affordable care and facilities
As the demand for specialized treatments is growing, an increasing number of providers are covering all areas of the country. However, some areas are still poorly served and some people still struggle to afford the necessary care.
Some viable options to consider to find accessible, low-cost help include:
- Visit your primary health care provider and obtain medical advice
- Join a 12-step program
- Enter a facility as soon as you can
You might not have immediate access to help right now, but this should not be a barrier to address your AUD. Start working on it now and avoid long-lasting consequences.
Start Your Recovery Journey Today
Each instance of alcohol abuse and disorder is unique, and realizing that you have contracted this disease is not always easy. However, once you become aware of the issue, there is no time to lose.
At the Peaks Recovery Centers, we know that, with the right treatment and aftercare, you can regain control over your life, rebuild the most valuable relationships in your life, and enjoy sober living – and all this is more important than stigma, embarrassment, or personal concerns you might have!
Get in touch today with Peaks Recovery Centers and let our team of experts help you overcome any doubt you still have.