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Why don't some addicts not seek help?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by HueyTheFreeman, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. With my cousin, I noticed that he never went for help for his addiction. This ended up being his downfall, but why don't most addicts seek help for their addictions?

    Is it because of pride? Maybe embarrassment? Shame? I really don't understand because if it was one of those three reasons, wouldn't that make it even more of an motivation to get clean? The whole seminar style is extremely cliche and I feel like it is even more embarrassing for the victims, so how would we approach an addict in these kinds of circumstances?
    pandabear1991 likes this.
  2. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Perhaps someone who's been there can speak, but isn't it possible that an addict is quite happy with the high and often don't see themselves as having a problem? A lot of what I have read suggest to me that it isn't so much about pride or embarrassment or any of those things.

    What's more I don't really believe an addict sets out to become an addict. I reckon most of the people who end up addicted, were initially looking for some sort of escape or pleasure mind trip.

    If it's a case of others offering to help and the person refusing, that's a whole different story and a look around the forum will supply you with many more reasons why some refuse help.

    I don't know. I will allow more experienced persons to speak.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  3. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    Most people shy away from sharing their social lives, more-so when it comes to talking about drugs. Others do not expect a positive response and think they will be laughed at. Communities themselves are not ready for addicts and as a result we try to stay away from them. Our mentality that drug users are supposed to be in jail, make others use drugs secretly. Others fear that they might be spied to the local authorities who will take action.
  4. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    Maybe because they don't want to change? Not everyone is ready to face their problems head on and not everyone will accept that they actually have a problem. Maybe, in their minds, they are having fun? What I do know, though, is that you can't get clean until you are truly ready to. The decision has to come from within, not from what other people want you to do.
    pandabear1991 likes this.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Maybe because they do not accept or recognize that they have problems already. They might not yet accepting the fact that they are already addicts and they need to seek help. Might be also true that some are ashamed or because of the pride.
    pandabear1991 likes this.
  6. pandabear1991

    pandabear1991 Active Contributor

    I agree with others here--often they do not see that they have a problem, or when they do realize it, they simply don't want the help out of embarrassment. I am facing this with my Dad, and he absolutely denies he has a problem. I feel one of the biggest reasons he does this is because he has been in this mindset for so long, he doesn't know a real/sober life anymore. Or when he does clean up for a few weeks, he starts finding reasons to start drinking again.

    He doesn't seem to want it for himself and it feels impossible to try and advise him differently. But I haven't given up--I just don't breathe down his neck about what I feel he should be doing. Instead, when I do come home and find him drunk, I take whatever is left and hide it. Then I sit down with him and try to socialize with him/keep him busy until he falls asleep. I also screenshot and take videos of the things he says and does as well, he has a tendency to delete his bad behavior before he is sober. In the morning, I make him breakfast and we delicately talk about the night before. This seems to help him understand why I took the beer away and how it was for his benefit, but I cannot control what he does 24/7 so the will part is left up to him.
  7. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think it's most likely a combination of everything and it can even depend on the individual in some cases. Mostly, I think it's more just fear of what may come, because they know if they seek treatment then they wouldn't be able to take their substance anymore and when they are in that state it is the most important thing to them so they would much rather just stay where they are comfortable.
  8. lritchie89

    lritchie89 Member

    I found that addiction professionals say there are several underlying reasons why persons who are addicted or dependent upon alcohol and/or drugs don’t seek treatment. These could include any, some, or all of the following:

    Denial – It's the most common and initial reaction that the addict refuses to accept that he or she has a problem with alcohol, drugs, or both.
    Control – For an addict with control issues, seeking treatment is far down on the list. They’d likely say they didn't have a problem or that they have everything under control.
    Fear – It takes a lot of determination, motivation and courage to enter treatment. Many are deterred by fear. They are afraid of the entire detoxification and withdrawal process, whether out of ignorance, past attempts on their own, or perceived dangers. They may be apprehensive about what the treatment program entails and not feel able to handle it.
    Cut Off From Supply – Many won’t enter treatment because they won’t have access to their supply of drugs or alcohol. Since drug and/or alcohol treatment programs require sobriety, and many are residential and/or do urine tests, addicts know there’s no chance they can get high without getting caught.
    Can’t Give Up High – For many, the biggest reason they don’t go for treatment is that they can’t give up the high. They’re so wrapped up in how good they feel, so addicted to the high, that they can’t envision living without it.
    Treatment Won’t Help – Some feel they are beyond help. No treatment can possibly make a difference in their lives after years of being addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.
    Nobody Cares – After burning their bridges behind them, alienating family and friends during years of addiction, some feel that there’s no one left that cares whether they live or die. Since they have no one close, no one to support their efforts to get better, why bother? Lack of family or other support is a big issue not only in refusal to see a need for treatment but also among those who, after they do receive treatment, falter during recovery.
    Stigma – Buried within a person’s denial of need for treatment may be the stigma attached to “going into rehab.” Whether the person is a celebrity or a common laborer, society still treats them with a certain amount of contempt. At least, that’s the fear among some people who would rather shoulder along with their addiction than admit they have a problem and seek help for it.
    Hope the Problem will Resolve itself – Some who secretly know different, hope that the problem they currently have (or have had for some time) with drugs and/or alcohol will simply resolve itself or go away. This form of self-delusion is akin to denial, but the accompanying blow to self-esteem when such a turnaround fails to occur plunges them into even deeper despair.

    Finding Treatment For Substance Abuse
    Armed with many of the reasons why people who need treatment for substance abuse and/or mental health issues, what can individuals do to be ready to help those in need should the occasion arise? One way is to research available alcohol or substance abuse treatment centers or mental health facilities
    Rainman likes this.
  9. KNH

    KNH Active Contributor

    That pretty must sums up all of my thoughts.
    I think every person's reason for not wanting help can be a bit different but overall all of the things on this list certainly can keep them from getting the help they need.
  10. goldenmaine

    goldenmaine Active Contributor

    My friend’s mother who was an addict did not seek help right away because she was ashamed and embarrassed of what she has done and was the cause of the break-up of their family. She did not want to be judged and take the blame for the bad things that happened to the family. Eventually she accepted her fault and went into rehabilitation and recovery. It was the realization that in order for things to be fixed and the whole family to forgive her, she had to swallow her pride and accept her faults.
  11. sazzydan

    sazzydan Active Contributor

    I think it is simply because it is easier to carry on doing it than to seek help, which at the time of addiction is to big of a task to do.

    Many people who do end up quitting have a task convincing themselves it is right to do so, that is why as a friend in the situation it can be good to give them a push in the right direction and help them to help themselves.
  12. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Reasons may run the gamut from A to Z but the usual reasons for shirking support are pride and embarrassment. Those are emotions not easy to deal with so one would need a really good support system to cling to. Since there are addicted people who cannot pluck up the courage to ask for help, then family members or friends who have an inkling of what's going on should take up the cudgels instead. Addiction is a serious issue that shouldn't be ignored or put off. Instead of casting out someone for seeking help, it would not hurt to take the initiative to help them.
  13. May102014

    May102014 Active Contributor

    As someone who had her fair share of personal addiction to pills and dealing with depression, I can tell you from my experience it had a lot to do with pride and embarrassment. I have always been seen as the strong one in my family. Therefore, I have always been the one to solve problems. It becomes mentally exhausting. Also, my family is somewhat weird to the point where if they notice my "weak" moments, they sort of take pleasure in it. It's not comforting at all. I have learned during my teen years to keep such vulnerable emotions to myself and fight my battles on my own.
  14. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Great post. Unless the underlying issues are identified and "fixed" the addict would never think of seeking treatment because they believe drugs in some way help them avoid the problem or momentarily solve it [the problem].

    How would such a person be helped? There's just one way that can work. Get that person to change their "victim/failure/loser" attitude and it will be easier to get them to seek treatment.
  15. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    Sometimes addicts think that they're weak if they reach out for any sort of help. Sometimes they just flat out don't want the help, and they don't want to quit at all because they like the way it feels when they are using drugs or substances and they like the person that they are on drugs or substances. Sometimes they can't seem to find the right kind of help that they need, or they can't find someone who they trust enough to help them. It can be really scary to ask for help, to give in to the fact that you can't do it all yourself and you can't just get better all on your own.
  16. Sydney R

    Sydney R Member

    Most addicts don't even realize they're addicted to whatever substance they're abusing. Most of the time, they continue on the path they're headed down until they hit rock bottom. By the time someone hits rock bottom, they may not know how to ask for help or where to even start. A lot of the time they may be embarrassed or scared of what others will think of them.
  17. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I think there's a number of reasons for people not asking for help. Pride, shame, embarrassment, not wanting people to know they have a problem, or even not knowing the first place to start about seeking help. Sometimes if people do know where to go for help I think there can be apprehensions about what the recovery process involves and how their life will change as a result of becoming clean.
  18. trevermorgana

    trevermorgana Active Contributor

    This needs to be printed and hung in hospitals. Just saying. Kudos to you sir.
  19. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    I believe that the reason why most addicts don't seek help it's that they don't recognize the fact that they have a serious problem or they do and they are fine with it. As long as it's their life at stake they have nothing to worry about, most of them assume it. It's hard to approach someone offering your help as long as he do not ask it and do not want to quit. If you think someone's having a problem with a substance abuse, you should point them every aspect of their life that is affected by it and try to make him/her see the downsides of being addicted and all the benefits they would get from getting rid of the addiction. Generally, it's pretty hard, but if you encounter a receptive person, you might actually have a shot.
  20. kh6912

    kh6912 Member

    In the cases of my father and of my best friend, neither believed they were "that bad". Of course they're going to think that. They're in denial. Denial is a strong thing.