Enough excuses, get the help you need – now!

Excuses, excuses

It’s been a great summer of fantastic weather, the kids are off school and we’ve been engrossed in the World Cup. Have you been too busy making excuses to get the help you need?

Truth is, there are many people who need addiction treatment right now, but keep making excuses and putting it off.

Addiction is the only disease whose primary symptom is denial; a symptom of addiction is that the person doesn’t believe they are an addict, so the need for treatment in their mind often is secondary to other things taking place in their life.

Some people do finally decide they have had enough and look for treatment willingly. They’ve had enough of the drink, or the drugs, or the prescription medication, or gambling, or fighting an eating disorder. They’ve made a decision to turn their life around and recover. But that’s rarely the case.

Most people enter treatment angry, having some external motivation pushing them into receiving treatment. With friends and family pleading with them to get help, most addicts will make any number of excuses as to why they are not able to go receive treatment. Such is an addicted person’s mindset, every one of these excuses is valid. However, loved ones know the truth: None of these excuses are important enough to keep a person with addiction from the necessary life-saving treatment they need.


Do any of these sound familiar?


“The timing isn’t right”

I have to work. I have a wedding to go to. I’ve booked holidays. We get it: There is never a right time to seek help for an addiction. No-one ever planned their life by saying: “I’ll graduate from college and then I’ll get married and then I’ll go to treatment and then…” It doesn’t work that way.

There is never “the right time” or “the best time”. The only time that matters is NOW. Go now. Getting better and getting healthy and getting clean and sober takes place based on what you do, not what you plan, or what you say you are going to do. Change happens based on action. So, in truth, NOW is the right time to go. There isn’t any other better time.


“I can’t afford it”

If you’re addicted to alcohol, drugs or gambling – you can’t afford to not get into treatment. Think of what you’re spending on obtaining your drug of choice and then think of all of the collateral financial damages like lost wages etc. The cost of your addiction is massive.

Still think you can’t afford it? Luckily, there are many ways to make treatment affordable; all you have to do is ask!


“I don’t need help. I can stop on my own”

Almost anyone who has been in active addiction will tell you, they’ve been in this type of denial. Based on life experiences – you’ve made goals and met them before. Why should addiction be any different?

Truth is, you can’t think your way out of addiction. It’s a disease that will manipulate you into thinking you’re smart enough to beat it without help.


“I’ll lose my job”

This is a go-response for anyone who is still functioning at a fairly high level in their addiction.

First, legally a person cannot lose their job for seeking treatment for addiction. Most companies provide sick leave. Use it.

Second, if you’re in active addiction, chances are you’ll lose your job at some point anyway – so you might as well get help now, while you still have income.

Finally, if you don’t get help for your addiction – you won’t be able to work if you are in hospital, Garda custody – or worse.


“My family need me”

This seems valid. However, if a parent is unable to get through the day without a drink, a pill, a line of cocaine, visiting a bookie (virtual or real) or obsessing about food – what kind of a mum or dad are they?

If you are a single parent, you will need help while receiving treatment. Most people are willing to step up and help care for children while a parent is receiving the help they need. Don’t be afraid to ask.

If your significant other “couldn’t cope without you” – ask yourself why?  If they loved you, they would ask you to get the help. However, if they are blocking you, or if they don’t want you to get help, then the question arises: Are you using together? Is there a co-dependency issue here? Why wouldn’t someone you love support you in getting the help that you need?


“I’m afraid” 

One constant in addiction recovery is change. The fear of this change and of the unknown can sometimes deter people from seeking treatment. Fear is not something that should hold you back from overcoming addiction. There are several ways to face these fears.

Your recovery journey will involve a support system of people who will support you. If you are hesitant about seeking treatment, create a list of pros and cons. Consider your life as it is and the challenges you face. What is working well and what is not? Then reflect on what you can gain from recovery – your health, relationships, new interests and opportunities.


Tabor Group

Tabor Group is a leading provider of residential addiction treatment services in Ireland. We provide support and care to hundreds of clients suffering from addictions to alcohol, substances, gambling and food. For more information on Tabor Group’s services click here.