excuses addicts employ to avoid rehab

Addicts are extremely clever, devious even, and experts in the game of denial. When faced with rehab or bust, they will fight the good fight to hold onto their addiction. Be prepared to counter their attempt to grasp at straws.

Don’t work harder, work smarter. Bust through all the excuses all the way to the intake office.

Just watch a few episodes of intervention and you will get the gist of how dedicated an addict is to avoiding treatment at all costs.

According to addicts, the world revolves around them.


“I can stop whenever I want,” is a manifestation of the illusion that you have control over your substance. You don’t. Tried going 24 hours without drinking or using, or popping that pill? Yeah, didn’t think so.

It doesn’t take much for your body to become dependent on a substance to function. Dependence does not always lead to addiction. Once you have experienced withdrawal symptoms the thought of running out or not having access to your drug of choice will leave you in a cold sweat.

They don’t call it a ‘habit’ for nothing.

You can’t stop, or you would have.


There’s a saying that goes ‘when you point your finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you.’ Pointing your finger at another person saying “at least I’m not as bad as (names a celebrity who had a public meltdown),” is a losing argument.

You may not be as bad as half the original rock star population, but you’re bad enough that you are faced with treatment or bust.

If you’re on the radar, you’ve got a problem. Comparing yourself to another addict is pointless. Once you lose control of your drug use, you’re toast.


Holding onto that job, paying bills, raising kids, in a relationship, no legal problems… congrats, you are a high-functioning addict.

Hold on though. Addiction is a progressive condition. You may well have the veil of illusion firmly wrapped around you for a decade or more, but all good things come to an end.

What is it that you do with your evenings and weekends? Who is on speed dial in your phone? DO you leech alcohol out of your pores each morning? Count down the hours until the end of the day? Take long lunches to catch up with your contact? Call in sick because you overdid it the day before? Make a beeline for your dealer or liquor store on the way home? DO you carry a tab with your dealer?

It’s not how much you drink or drug, it’s the pattern of use. It is the compulsion and urges to seek, procure, and use your drug of choice.

Someone has noticed your use or you wouldn’t be confronted with treatment.


If no one knows about your drinking or using, you don’t have a problem, right? Waiting for the kids to go to sleep, or after a significant other leaves the room does not negate the fact you’re sneaking around.

Do you hide bottles around the house? Is there paraphernalia hidden in special spots? Do you uncover paraphernalia when least expected? What’s under the seat in your car? What’s in your boots in the closet or the winter coat pockets in the hallway closet? At lunch or dinner out, do you order an extra drink or two?

What ‘special’ containers or places do you have your drug of choice hidden for those quick moments alone or when your stress gets too high and you ‘just have to’?

Just ‘cause no one can see it, doesn’t make it right.


You mistakenly assume that the world will simply stop turning if you go to rehab.

Do you even think you have been living in the ‘real’ world for the past however long?

Chances are the relationships you have are dysfunctional. Codependency, enabling, controlling, abusive… you name it, it’s rife with addiction.

Stepping away for a few weeks will help you gain clarity about your world and how you have been operating.


Of course, you have WAAAY too much responsibility to go to rehab.

Chances are you have not been physically or emotionally invested in any of your responsibilities as your addiction took root. Your focus is on continuing to use.

You do have legitimate concerns where children, relationships, and pets are involved. Help is available to you. If people care about you enough to confront you, then they will help you out during your stay in rehab.

Jobwise, it may be time to let it go and start fresh. Alternatively, a lot of companies have personal leave politics or EAP programs where you will not lose your job while you are in treatment.

If you’re in school, take a semester off and regroup. Your sole focus should be on getting well.

And if you’re more worried about your house plants drying out than you are about saving your life… then rehab is for you!


Fear of stopping forever… this is indeed a struggle. The thought of never, ever, ever, touching the stuff again and therefore going through life without a crutch is monsters under the bed scary.

This is one of those times where I question the wisdom of hitting addicts straight out of the gates with. It is the truth; you can never go back to that. BUT, so far life has been a bunglefuck and has descended into complete chaos.

Comprehending a better life… down the track… is almost impossible.

When all you think about is drugs and alcohol 24/7, there’s little room for anything else to soak through your addled mind.


I have never heard of a treatment center that will not work with a client to get them to court dates, provide letters, or otherwise work with the judicial system.

By the time you cop a case, your priority is not going to be to show up on the day. You are more likely to blow it off, and play hide and seek for the longest time possible.

If it’s your first case, then… meh, you might show up, under the influence or in straight-up withdrawals.

You have a much better chance of actually taking care of your shit if you are in rehab.


If you think you can’t afford treatment, what value are you placing on your life?

The in-your-face retort to not being able to afford treatment is to look at how much effort and money is going into your addiction.

You absolutely can’t afford it if you’re looking at the high-end range of 50K+, that’s out of most of our price range.

In 2011 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed which means insurers must provide SUD treatment options. This supposedly removes the financial barrier to treatment.

There are county programs and private pay centers that are around 7k a month.

Once you decide to get help, there are outpatient options as well as an inpatient that will meet you where you are at financially.

Finances should not prevent you from going to rehab.


Purporting that you like the life you have and you don’t want to change it, especially if rehab is work belies the fact that you have worked extremely hard to stay in your addiction.

Once you get the hang of it, rehab is a lot less complicated than the effort it has taken you to stay in your addiction.

None of us likes our comfort level to be ripped out from under us and thrown into a fray of learning something new.

Rehab is work.

You have been taken over by the body snatchers down to a cellular level. It’s going to take some time and work to reclaim your physical and emotional health and learn how to stay clean and sober.

If you stay where you are, you could well end up dead.


You may feel like no one can help you. Mistakenly you may believe that your self-medicating is helping you cope with a mental health condition.

Realistically, your addiction is exacerbating your symptoms and nullifying any prescription medication you are taking.

Your moods, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions are being driven by chemical imbalances.

You cannot adequately control a mental health disorder while actively using. To properly treat mental health issues there needs to be a baseline to work from.

Your addiction is making your condition worse.

If you go too far, your sanity may come into question and you could be committed to a facility on a 72-hour hold (5150).

You probably don’t want that. But you may need that.


Minimizing, rationalizing, blaming, projecting are all methods of avoiding the issue.

Lying about the amount of alcohol or drugs you use, straight up hiding the truth, or pretending that the negative consequences are not so bad, is denial.

Making excuses for your use like needing to self-medicate, or citing stress, or family, or any other reason to use is denial.

Playing the victim is a favorite of addicts. Shifting any and all responsibility onto another person or citing an event as a reason to use, while wailing about how awful you are being treated by other people, is denial.

Criticizing other people, getting angry and pointing out failures, accusing others of certain actions, calling people names, pointing out character flaws, are all ways you project your own insecurities, unresolved issues, and character flaws onto others.

You are so mixed up you have no clue who you are.

Justifying a toxic and deadly habit by using negative or positive cues as an excuse to pick up. Stressors, relationship issues, death, the end of major life milestones, self-medicating or using ‘just because’ are negatives. Giving yourself permission because it’s the weekend, you’re on vacation, the sun is out, or that you deserve it are positive spins on using,

There are so many ways you can spin your tale, but it will always be just that, you making up stories to brush off your addiction.

You can resist as much as you want, eventually, your excuses will run out. Your jumbled mind and life will trip you up and down you’ll go.


Right now you are mired in chaotic thinking and short-term gain. You probably don’t think more than a day or two ahead.

Resisting rehab because you can’t see the benefit of it, think it’s dumb and worthless, or you don’t feel like being dumped in the middle of people you don’t know is not going to serve you.

Within a year of completing rehab, a continued program of wellness, and the slow rebuilding of your life, you will be a lot happier.


These are just some of the excuses you will use to avoid rehab.

I get it. Being forced into rehab can suck. The fear of losing what little you have is real. There are still people, places, and things that are part of your heart.

There are counterarguments for all of your excuses. If people are concerned enough about you to confront you, then go.

Focus on what you will be gaining by going through the process. In the long run, it is so worth the time and effort.

Rehab is an opportunity to really dig deep and identify the real you and how you want your life to look.

A 28-day rehab goes by in a blink of an eye.

Stop fighting it. Just go.


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