What Are Some Barriers to Addiction Recovery and How Can They Be Overcome?

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Taking the first step into a treatment facility, or even acknowledging the need for a recovery program in one’s life, are major strides in one’s recovery journey. However, there can be a number of barriers that have to be addressed before one can reach this first pivotal step. 

Even after a person has begun a recovery program, these barriers can continue to manifest at each stage of the recovery process, from the first step into a detox program to reintegrating oneself into the “real world” as an alum. Being able to identify the different types of barriers and planning to overcome them is a crucial skill applicable throughout the entirety of the recovery process. 

What Are the Different Types of Barriers? 

Not everyone will experience the same kinds of barriers in their recovery, as different barriers can affect different people in different ways. However, it is common for a person to run into at least one kind of barrier during their journey, if not more. 

Understanding the different types of barriers can be crucial in developing a plan of action ahead of time to ensure that one’s participation in a recovery program is fruitful and rewarding. This can also ensure that they can continue taking actions to promote their own growth by deconstructing these barriers early. 

#1. Personal Resistance to Treatment

The first and most common barrier to treatment lies in the belief that one “doesn’t need a recovery program.” For some, this can masquerade as the notion that an individual has their substance use under control. Others may simply be unsure if giving up these destructive habits is what they want, making it difficult for them to fully commit themselves to the changes needed for sobriety. 

This barrier often comes with excuses that an individual may tell others and themselves. They may say that they cannot afford to take time off, or that they only drink or use drugs because their work is stressful. 

Finding a way to objectively measure one’s use is paramount for addressing this barrier, as many may not realize how much of their time and money are affected by addiction. Documenting the amount of money spent each week, as well as the time engaging with or thinking about the substances can be very revealing. All of this time and money is being diverted from other goals, such as personal hobbies, time with family, or pursuing personal and professional ambitions. 

#2. Addressing the Stigma of Recovery

Even words themselves can act as major barriers. Words like “addiction,” “recovery,” or “treatment” can all carry negative connotations, despite their positive outcomes. The stigma that surrounds these words can be incredibly difficult to process. Feelings of shame, guilt, anxiety, or depression can all surface when they are used. However, this barrier can also be overcome by advocating for oneself and their needs.

This barrier is inherently concerned with how others may perceive an individual. However, recovery is a very personal and intimate journey that is not concerned with anyone else’s perspectives or opinions. Recovery is a powerful and transformative undertaking. Embracing the personal nature of recovery can help an individual detach from the opinions or judgments of others in order to focus wholly on themselves and become stronger in their personal identity. 

#3. Finding a Treatment Program

Making the decision to seek treatment is a major milestone. However, it can immediately be met with yet another barrier: Where to go for treatment. There is a deluge of information on the internet, all promoting different treatment facilities, recovery programs, and therapeutic approaches. While overwhelming at first, the sheer number of options available means that a person can find a treatment center and recovery program that fits their individual needs.

Finding the right place to start treatment is more important than going to the first place available. When looking, consider researching the following:

  • Collecting pamphlets and visiting websites of local facilities 
  • The substance use and mental health disorders they treat 
  • Types of treatments and therapies offered
  • The average size of groups or residential living spaces
  • Any amenities included
  • Their approaches in regards to addiction to drugs, alcohol, mental health, and dual-diagnosis
  • Their community demographics

Knowing the therapeutic approaches used can help an individual select the facility with the right methodologies and philosophies that resonate with one’s own goals in sobriety. Educating oneself on community demographics can help reinforce a space where one will feel comfortable, accepted, and more willing to participate. Taking the time to research and select the best facility for one’s needs is a crucial decision that can help ensure a long-lasting recovery.

There can be a myriad of barriers when seeking treatment for substance use and addiction. At Everlast Recovery Centers, we are ready to help you address and overcome these barriers to create your own healthy, transformed future. Your time with us can be personalized to fit your unique needs and goals, all while addressing any barriers that you may face on a daily basis. By exploring a number of new therapeutic approaches, we are ready to help you begin to navigate your own journey to sobriety through education, individual and group therapy, art, yoga, mindfulness, and more. From detox and residential care to aftercare as program alumni, we are ready to support you as you navigate all of your transformations. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (866) 388-6925.

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