According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 20 million Americans suffer from some type of substance addiction.  HSDUH also indicates that only about four million of those with substance use actually receive addiction treatment, which means a whopping 80% of people, for several reasons, do not receive the help they so desperately need.

To complicate matters, substance abuse treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution; not every program works for every person, and finding the right option can be a challenge. With inpatient detox, intensive outpatient therapy, group therapy, sober living houses, private sessions, and 12-step programs, you can see why finding a good fit can be overwhelming. Even if you can find a drug addiction treatment program, you come across other barriers that prevent you from getting the help you need. Let’s consider some of these barriers and see how to overcome them on your road to recovery.


Intensive addiction treatment comes at a price, and not everyone is able to cover the expenses. While most health insurance plans as well as Medicaid do offer some sort of coverage for substance abuse treatment, out-of-pocket co-payments, deductibles, and other outlays may make treatment unaffordable. If you don’t have health insurance, you may feel getting professional help isn’t an option.


The medical community considers substance use a disorder, but not everyone understands the severity of the problem. Without a support system of friends and family members who are nonjudgmental, you may be hesitant to seek treatment. The reality is that there is no humiliation in getting help for a medical condition, and, in fact, you should be proud for taking steps to get well.


Smaller communities and rural settings may not have the variety of addiction treatment options that a city or urban area can offer. If transportation is a challenge for you, you may not have access to an effective drug addiction treatment program, or there may be a waiting list for an opening to participate because of a shortage of options.

Work Concerns

Taking medical leave for substance abuse treatment may leave your job in limbo. The last thing you need to worry about is losing your position, yet some people do find that work can limit their access to both inpatient and intensive outpatient programs. Not every employer is sympathetic to your recovery, and you may be uncomfortable discussing it at work.


The need for childcare during your treatment can limit your access as well. Without someone to care for your children, how are you able to attend meetings or therapy sessions? Family responsibilities can be at odds with recovery, especially if you have limitations on your ability to seek care for yourself.

The Right Time

Perhaps the biggest barrier to seeking treatment is you. You may not have accepted the reality of your addiction, or you may not be ready to get help. Making changes in behavior can be intimidating, as can working through the emotions and choices that go along with substance use.

The staff at Real Recovery understands why you may be hesitant to begin treatment, and we can counsel you through the process. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you on your recovery journey.