Let’s face it. People at the end of a long run of alcohol and drug abuse are bonkers. And I’m not talking maybe-I-should-see-a-therapist crazy. I’m talking call-Homeland-Security-immediately crazy. The families I talk to find themselves in crisis situations. Their loved one is guzzling booze and/or drugs like its Christmas in Amsterdam, and they usually don’t know what to do. This article will try and approach the topic with a measure of humor, but if you or a loved one need help, it’s no laughing matter.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH DIFFICULT ALCOHOL AND DRUG REHAB ADMISSIONS
The difficult drug rehab admissions cases I deal with usually have one primary characteristic: resistance to rehab. What the person with substance abuse problems doesn’t realize is that, like Darth Vader said, resistance is futile. If they have a serious addiction-related issue, and it’s almost 100% they do if I am talking to concerned family and friends, then alcohol and drug rehabilitation is a fortunate option.
That may sound strange to say – that the fortunate ones end up in alcohol and drug rehab. But it’s the God’s honest truth. Some families I talk to have loved ones incarcerated. Other families have already experienced the death of a loved one from the disease of addiction. It’s the nature of the disease – ugly and devastating.
There’s something I call the “window of willingness.” This is a term that refers to the tendency for people considering alcohol and drug rehabilitation to be open to the concept for a short time. Family might exhaust their energy and resources trying to convince their loved one to go. Yet in almost all difficult cases, it is the substance abuser who provides a host of excuses for why drug and alcohol rehab is a bad idea.
If you are a family member or friend of someone who needs help with alcohol and/or drug abuse, you may encounter one of these excuses (hopefully not all of them). Unfortunately, I see family and friends fall victim to these lame reasons. Don’t feel guilty if you have. Alcoholics and drug addicts are notorious for manipulation. In these situations too, despite age, substance abusers are apt to act like a child throwing a temper tantrum. That’s why I’ll provide a nice rebuttal you can offer in return!
Drug Rehab Excuses – Don’t Get Fooled
1. I have to take care of a few things before I go.
- True translation in alcoholic/addict lingo: I need some more time to drink and/or drug my brains away.
This excuse is really just a stall tactic to buy more time. As we say in sobriety, some people have some “running” left to do. Running, in this sense, refers to more drinking and drugging. What you have to remember is that alcoholics and drug addicts hone their skills of manipulation out of necessity. No one using alcohol and drugs in grotesque amounts can live an honest, presentable life.
- Rebuttal: You can pry and ask what things they intend to take care of; however, the most effective stance is to firmly let them know they can take care of it when rehab is complete.
2. I can’t leave/quit my job.
- True translation in alcoholic/addict lingo: I’m probably about to lose my job anyway, and I’ll need that paycheck and additional time to pound the bar at 3am on a Tuesday.
This is probably the most popular excuse I hear, both from family and friends. The truth is that they are probably about to lose their job, and excessive alcohol/drug abuse presents immediate dangers. If the situation is so serious that alcohol and drug rehab is a genuine consideration, it’s time to have a frank discussion with your employer. There’s a very good chance they know already.
Despite alcoholics and addicts, like myself, thinking we are the James Bond of the substance abuse underworld, truth is that many people already know we have alcohol and drug problems. An honest conversation with an employer may actually salvage a job.
I understand that, in today’s economy, it can be difficult to find employment. But you are going to be a better employee sober. A lot better. In Nashville, where Discovery Place is just a short drive away, we have weathered the economy like a boss. Guests coming out of our 30-day residential program and long-term program have no problems finding employment, especially ones with a professional background.
- Rebuttal: You’ll be a better employee sober. And your life is on the line here. That’s the priority. You can always find a new job, but you only get one shot at life. (full disclosure: some alcoholics and drug addicts have been resuscitated and brought back from the dead, usually after an overdose)
3. I’ll only come if I can (any number of reasons like… drive my car to rehab… bring a cell phone with me… use a computer while I’m there… call my girlfriend on an hourly basis…)
- True translation in alcoholic/addict lingo: Allow me to employ my skills of manipulation honed over years of alcohol and drug abuse to get what I want… again.
The “I’ll only come if…” excuse always comes with a certain condition a substance abuser offers in exchange for agreeing to go to alcohol and drug rehab. I’ve talked to future guests of Discovery Place’s 30-day residential program who’ve told me they’ll show up when a few areas of their life improve. Here’s the twisted irony: they probably believe what they are saying.
The honest truth is that if I am talking to a future guest of Discovery Place, or his family, there’s an almost certain chance life his not going to improve without a thorough introduction to sobriety and recovery in a residential setting. I say sobriety and recovery because there’s a difference between the two. Many get sober for periods of time, usually short-lived; but in Discovery Place’s experience, the only men who stay sober and live happy get involved in recovery.
- Rebuttal: It’s time to start playing by the rules of an organization that knows recovery. And Discovery knows recovery. If a facility prohibits cell phones and personal vehicles, there’s a good reason why. This is not a negotiation. You are going to rehab.
4. Everyone will find out I drink too much/use drugs.
- True translation in alcoholic/addict lingo: I have this seriously warped sense of reality because I am drunk and high all the time, so I think no one knows I’m the reincarnation of Cooter Brown.
I remember a Discovery Place guest telling me about the time he told his mom he was an alcoholic. She looked at him and said, “…now everyone knows.” Alcoholics and drug addicts are usually the last to accept the fact that using substances successfully is not an option.
With all the crazy behavior that comes with partying like a rock star, most people who knew me when I was in active alcohol and drug abuse were all too familiar with my substance problems. Hell, even people I didn’t know heard the rumors.
Despite thinking I was a clandestine drunken junkie, maybe even the world’s most interesting man, reality didn’t fit my perception. Everyone around town knew I had monster issues with alcohol and drugs. I was even featured on the five o’clock news… primetime baby! A few years later, I won the award for best car chase with the cops and had a nice newspaper article with my full name. My mom and dad were so proud.
- Rebuttal: Most people already know.
5. There’s no way I’m letting you guys pay that kind of money for me to go to rehab.
- True translation in alcoholic/addict lingo: I need the money you guys usually give me for alcohol and/or drugs… not REHAB!
Chronic enabling is traditionally present in almost all potential drug rehab admissions. There’s usually a family member or friend providing a place to stay or some money for a substance-abusing loved one.
Someone who offers this excuse is really saying they don’t want to go to rehab. I can assure you that active alcoholics/drug addicts’ concern for your financial stability is similar to Bernie Madoff’s concern for his client portfolios. Give them money, and everything is cool. Offer to help them change their life in profoundly positive ways, and an addict’s mind goes berserk.
- Rebuttal: We want to help you change, and it’s time to change. You never complained when we gave you money in the past. If you’d like, you can pay us (family and friends) back when you get on your financially stable and sober.
Drug Rehab Admissions Help
The best way to help an active alcoholic or drug addict find alcohol and drug rehab is through consultation with a qualified admissions coordinator. Discovery Place employs three non-commissioned men with quality sobriety and experience with drug rehab admissions. We’ll even pick you or your loved one up for free or utilize the services of a qualified interventionist. If we can help, give us a call or schedule a call in the form below.