13th August 2019

The greatest reasons people do not seek help for addiction

Learn some of the main reasons why people suffer in silence with addiction.

By reading this article you may be surprised to recognize some of the same excuses you or a loved one has been making to avoid addressing potential addiction.


Only a small percentage of the people in the USA suffering will enter into a treatment plan or seek help for their addiction. Even though addiction is seen as an incredibly personal struggle there are a number of reasons why people commonly refuse assistance in their treatment.

Studies suggest that there are over 20 million people living with addiction to the United States but only around 10% of these people are seeking some form of treatment. With more than 100 people in the United States died of a drug overdose or illness related to addiction daily, it’s important that we discover why people are failing to seek help for addiction so that we could save more lives.
Here are some of the top reasons why people avoid seeking help for their addiction:

Denying their symptoms

The vast majority of individuals that do not seek help for their addiction are individuals that are don’t see their addiction as a problem. If a person does not see their addiction is one of the root causes of many problems in their life or a reason for some of their hardships, it can be extremely difficult for them to see how these hardships may continue to perpetuate unless they are willing to seek intervention. Addiction and substance abuse can often continue to cause problems within a person’s lifestyle. Drugs or drinking could cause a person to continually lose the things that are most important in their life but an individual may continue to be so wrapped up in their addiction that they deny the root cause of their losses. Denying the symptoms or the cause of the hardships in their life means denying the symptoms of their addiction.

Fear of treatment/withdrawal

The fear of rehabilitation and quitting something that has been such a large part of someone’s lifestyle can be very challenging. The process of recovery doesn’t just take a few days, it’s a lifelong path. There is a fear of withdrawal, side effects and not having the willpower and determination to make this change in someone’s lifestyle. Undergoing therapy or completing a rehabilitation program can be extremely overwhelming. If it is a person’s second or third time undergoing a program they may also have the ongoing fear of relapse or letting the people closest to them down. It’s easy to understand how beneficial the treatment could be, but it is extremely difficult to take the first step for many, due to the fear they face.

Shame of addiction

The stigma attached to addiction can often bring about shame for those that are interested in seeking treatment. Shame is an extremely overwhelming emotion and the shame of asking for help often prevents people from doing so. Shame acts as an ongoing barrier and it often leaves people with addictions feeling as though they are unworthy of attention or treatment for their addiction.

These are just a few of the top reasons why people are not seeking assistance with addiction. As healthcare providers it’s our goal to help bridge the gap and eliminate some of these common reasons why people do not seek appropriate assistance. If you or anyone close to you is experiencing issues with addiction contact us today and we may be able to assist in finding them help.

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