Blog | Drug Addiction

Why Don’t People Get the Drug Addiction Treatment They Need?

Drug addiction is one of the biggest problems we face today. In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users.[1] This statistic doesn’t include prescription drug abuse. Based on these statistics, it is clear that millions of people need help for drug abuse.

Addicted man thinking of treatmentDrug use creates a variety of physical, psychological, financial and social problems. When an individual decides to get high, it affects not only the drug user but also their family, friends, co-workers, and community.The impact of addiction can be far reaching. Cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and lung disease can all be affected by drug abuse.[2]

If you get high while on the job, you are more likely to get injured or do lackluster work. You are also more likely to operate an automobile under the influence and put the lives of others on the road in danger. Despite this fact, only ten percent of those with drug problems seek the treatment they so desperately need. Why is this number so low?

The producers and researchers of the hit HBO documentary series Addiction performed a survey to look closer at drug addiction. What follows are the fascinating results.[3]

Why People Don’t Seek Treatment

  • 94.4% did not feel that they needed treatment
  • 4.1% felt like they needed treatment and did make an effort to get it
  • 1.4% felt like they needed treatment and did not make an effort to get it

Even more interesting are the responses from those individuals who did seek treatment, but did not receive it. These individuals stated the following reasons for not getting treatment.

  • 44.4% said cost/insurance barriers kept them from getting treatment
  • 21.2% said they were not ready to stop using drugs
  • 21.1% named other access barriers
  • 18.5% said they were afraid of the negative stigma of drug addiction treatment
  • 9.4% said they did not know where to go for treatment
  • 3.8% said they did not have time for treatment
  • 0.4% said they thought treatment would not help them

You may think you don’t need professional help and that your substance abuse is not a problem; just talk about it with us. We can help you. If you struggle with drug addiction—in any form—please know you can seek professional treatment. On many occasions, substance abuse treatment is covered by your insurance. With the Affordable Care Act of 2008, it became mandatory for many employers to cover a portion of substance abuse treatment.[4]

If you’re not sure, just give us a call. One of our professionally trained substance abuse counselors or admittance coordinators will walk you through the process so you can get the information you need about the recovery process. Please don’t allow any of the reasons above to stop you from getting the help you need. We offer treatment plans to fit your needs. It’s time to move past drug abuse and get healthy again.


[1] https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013.pdf Results from 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings.

[2] https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/medical-consequences-drug-abuse Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse.

[3] https://www.hbo.com/addiction/pdf/USATodayPoll.pdf USA Today/HBO Addiction Poll.

[4] https://www.samhsa.gov/health-financing/implementation-mental-health-parity-addiction-equity-act Implementation of the Mental Health Parity Act.