It’s hard to get a loved one to accept she has a substance use disorder. People struggling with addiction are ingenious at finding ways to justify and rationalize their behavior. Admitting you have a problem is difficult and accepting that you have to do something about your substance use is a big step. However, even when someone admits to having a problem, she may find more practical excuses not to seek treatment, including the following.

“I can quit on my own.”

Whenever you have a problem, it’s tempting to believe you can deal with it on your own and some people may be able to. However, a substance use disorder typically requires help. Most people with substance use disorders, if they’re honest with themselves, know that if they could quit on their own, they would have done it a long time ago. Recovering from addiction is not just a matter of abstinence. It’s about uncovering and treating the underlying causes of addiction. Most people with substance use disorders also have a co-occurring mental health issue that must be treated if they are going to enjoy a long recovery. These mental health issues require professional help. Otherwise, you just end up falling back into the same old patterns.

“Now is a bad time.”

It’s probably true that now is a bad time to get treatment for addiction but it’s also true there will never be a better time in the future. Addiction is a progressive disease and it only gets worse the longer you live with it. It’s true that taking time out of your life to deal with a substance use disorder is inconvenient but addiction will disrupt your life much more, if it hasn’t already. You can either tolerate a mild inconvenience now or wait until things fall apart completely and then try to deal with a more entrenched addiction.

“I’ll lose my job.”

One of the reasons it’s never a good time to get treatment is that most people have jobs to do. Even if they can afford to miss work for a while, they are often worried about leaving things undone at work or missing out on professional opportunities. They may even worry about getting fired. Taking time out for treatment may be a temporary career setback, but eventually addiction will damage your career far more. Even if you are holding it together now, you might not be a year from now. Getting treatment is part of a more sustainable career path. As for getting fired, the Family Medical Leave Act ensures that you can take up to 12 weeks off for addiction treatment. Employers can’t fire you for taking time off for treatment but in some situations you can be fired for violating your company’s zero tolerance policy, so make sure you know your company policy before you ask for time off.

“I have to take care of my kids.”

Finding someone to take care of the kids is often a major barrier to treatment, especially for women, who are too often left with the sole responsibility of raising their kids. The best solution is usually to find a family member who can take care of them while you’re in treatment. Even if you don’t think any of your relatives are inclined to do you any favors, they may be willing to help your kids, especially if it means you’ll get treatment. If you really can’t find anyone to watch your kids, at least consider an intensive outpatient program that will allow you to get treatment while living at home.

“I can’t afford it.”

Treatment can be expensive, but there are now more ways than ever to pay for it. Most insurance companies now cover part or all of your stay in a residential treatment program and most programs accept several different types of insurance. New rules also allow Medicare and Medicaid to pay for more programs. Treatment centers have people who specialized in helping people pay for treatment, so don’t automatically assume you can’t afford treatment.


At Alta Lama Transformational Services, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Lama uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.