Resistance to Addiction Treatment

When someone has a drug or alcohol problem, it is common for family members and loved ones to want the individual to seek help before he agrees that a problem exists. This situation can often strain relationships. Remember, when someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he is not thinking clearly. As a result, he will often act differently. Most drugs affect the brain’s “reward circuit” by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. The individual’s body adjusts, and he starts to crave more of the drug to get high and even to feel normal.1

This new form of behavior has a direct impact on the health and well being of those in the individual’s environment. The National Institute on Drug abuse estimates that alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription drugs cost an estimated $700 billion a year in terms of health care costs, crime, and lost productivity in the United States.2 We all have a lot to gain whenever someone chooses the path of recovery and know that you are not alone.

Mom comforting daughter

Signs of a Problem

While you suspect a problem exists, it is always a good idea to know the warning signs. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the following symptoms, a problem may exist:

  • Experiencing urges to use the drug every day, or many times a day.
  • Taking more drugs than you want to, and for longer than you thought you would.
  • Always having the drug with you, and you buy it even if you can’t afford it.
  • Using drugs even if it leads to trouble at work or makes you lash out at family and friends.
  • Spending more time alone.
  • Not taking care of yourself or care how you look.
  • Stealing, lying or other dangerous behavior such as driving while high.3

As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both the brain and behavior. So even if some of these above symptoms are present, the individual may still say there is not a problem. Denial is often a common factor with any kind of drug problem.


How to Overcome Addiction Treatment Resistance

If your loved one denies that any problem exists, please do not give up hope. You can always talk to a medical professional that has been trained to handle those facing substance abuse challenges. Counselors have been trained to defuse or inflame the situation so the individual can get the help he needs.Therapists know to give the client permission to take what he finds helpful and leave the rest. This approach allows the individual to feel he is not powerless in the treatment process.

Loved ones can make the mistake of trying to push an addicted person into a treatment program, but long-term sobriety rates are much higher when the person is committed to their own recovery.

While family support is important, the individual with a substance abuse problem needs to take responsibility for his own sobriety. When he feels like he is in control of his destiny, he is more likely to make the changes necessary.

How You Can Get Help Today

If you or someone you love needs help for an alcohol or drug problem, please call The Oaks at La Paloma’s toll-free 24-hour helpline today. We understand how you feel and can offer you the support you need to help your loved one. We treat the entire person, so we also treat the underlying reason for the substance problem. If you know your loved one has health insurance and you have access to this information, please have that ready. We can tell you what forms of coverage are covered by his health insurance.

Our approach ensures that each individual receives the highest quality care available. A simple phone call can have a tremendous impact in the life of your loved one. Your call is completely confidential. Please call now.

1Understanding Drug Use and Addiction.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, Accessed April 10, 2018.

2Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, Accessed April 10, 2018.

3What Is Drug Addiction?” WebMD, Accessed April 10, 2018.

Articles posted here are primarily educational and may not directly reflect the offerings at The Oaks. For more specific information on programs at The Oaks, contact us today.