Exploring 4 Common Barriers to Addiction Treatment

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The saying goes that you can’t help an addict who doesn’t want help. But, what happens when a person wants help but faces extensive barriers to drug rehab in California? Sadly, this is the case for many individuals. They may be willing to seek treatment but lack the funds, support and treatment options they need to move forward.

The media often portrays interventions as being the golden key to getting help. In shows like A&E’s Intervention, a caring family has the bags packed, a treatment facility lined up and childcare is taken care of. However, some addicts don’t even have this. It’s up to them to get the help they need.

Below we’d like to address the most common barriers to treatment and how to overcome them. Even in the most desperate cases, help is available.

Barrier #1: Not Having Health Insurance

Insurance is a tricky topic. Insurance can help pay for the cost of alcohol rehab in California, but not everyone has insurance. This includes:

  • People who can’t afford insurance
  • People who are out of work
  • People who have lost Medicaid
  • People who don’t receive insurance through their employer
  • People who have had a change in family status
  • People who choose not to carry insurance

In the United States, 44 million people do not have health insurance. Another 38 million have inadequate health insurance. In other words, one-third of America’s population has trouble accessing quality healthcare services, including addiction treatment services. This is a major problem that affects many, many families.

What You Can Do: Apply for Medicaid and Seek Affordable Drug Detox in California

Not having health insurance is not ideal, but it’s not the end of the road. First, you can apply for Medicaid or Medicare, which are state- and federal-funded programs. The ACA requires that all insurers, including Medicaid, provide coverage for addiction treatment services. There are also low-cost rehabs in Pasadena that are open to certain populations.

Additional suggestions include the easing of licensing standards so that more treatment centers can accept Medicare. Also, to increase the quality and comprehensiveness of the care received, more rehab facilities should treat substance abuse and mental health disorders in tandem, something called dual diagnosis treatment.

Barrier #2: Having Health Insurance, but it Doesn’t Cover Enough

In other cases, people do have health insurance, but their plan doesn’t cover addiction treatment. The ACA does require addiction treatment services to be covered by insurance, but not all health insurance plans are managed by the ACA. Even when plans do cover addiction treatment, this does not mean that it’s easy to get. Some rehabs only accept insurance from select carriers, and many will not accept ACA insurance at all.

Private insurance can be a better option if you have it, but there are still hurdles to cross. For example, your specific plan determines where you can receive drug detox in California, how long you can receive treatment and what portion will be covered. Some people only have to pay a deductible, while others have to pay a certain percentage of the total cost. It’s also common for insurance to max out, meaning that after a certain number of days in treatment, additional costs need to be paid in full by the client.

What You Can Do: Choose an Affordable Rehab that Accepts Your Insurance

The first step is to call your insurance company and ask for a list of treatment centers that are covered. Find out the details before you make assumptions. You may be surprised to learn that your insurance covers more than you thought. Also be aware of situations where your insurance may decline coverage, such as for unlicensed treatment facilities and programs that use experiential therapies.

It’s also important to speak with the drug recovery program in Pasadena of your choice about what costs you can expect. If you choose a lower priced rehab, your insurance will have to pay less, which means less out-of-pocket costs for you, too. Luxury treatment centers do not mean better treatment, so don’t get pulled into these sales tactics. Choose a quality, licensed substance abuse treatment center that follows evidence-based therapies.

Barrier #3: Lacking Treatment Options

There are tens of thousands of treatment centers in the U.S., but they tend to be located in heavily populated areas like Illinois, Florida, California, and New York. In fact, 92 percent of substance abuse treatment centers are located in urban areas. Those living in rural communities have fewer treatment options and are often placed on waiting lists until they can be given a hospital bed.

One might assume that someone living in a rural community could seek treatment at an out-of-state facility, but this may not be an option. Poverty rates are higher in rural America compared to urban areas. According to a 2015 government study, the median household income for rural families was $52,386, whereas, for urban families, it was $54,296. Roughly 13.3 percent of people in rural areas live in households with incomes below the official poverty rate.

What You Can Do: Start a 12-Step Program and Utilize Online Resources

Clearly, there is a need for more treatment centers in and around rural communities. For now, traveling may be the best option if you need help and live in a rural community. You can be selective in the type of treatment program you choose and separate yourself from toxic relationships and triggers.

Don’t forget that while you do wait for treatment, you can take part in a 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. You can also meet with an addiction specialist who can help you develop healthier ways of coping with stress. Offering phone consultations and online counseling can also be beneficial.

Barrier #4: Stigma of Being an Addict

Addiction still carries a stigma, and this stigma can affect a person’s decision to seek recovery at a Pasadena drug and alcohol treatment center. Some addicts admit that they would be embarrassed if their friends or family found out about their drug and alcohol use. Others say that it’s the fear of talking in groups and sharing their lives with others that stops them from getting help.

Women, in particular, tend to show a greater fear of being stigmatized. Many women are mothers, and they fear having their children taken away from them. While it’s understandable to have some concern over what others may think, it’s worse to continue hiding these behaviors. Eventually, they will come out, and the consequences could be much dire. There is nothing weak about admitting a problem and getting help for it.

What You Can Do: Seek Private, Sober Living in Pasadena

If you don’t want others knowing your business, you can get help from an outpatient treatment center that will allow you to continue working or going to school. No one has to know that you are part of an outpatient program. These services are flexible and work well for households with children. Outpatient rehab in Pasadena is more affordable as well, and you can choose 12-step programs outside your local vicinity.

Another option is an out-of-state inpatient treatment facility. While you will be gone for an extended period of time, you don’t have to worry about running into friends and neighbors and explaining where you are headed. You can focus entirely on your recovery without any distractions. There are also laws that protect you in the workplace, so talk to your HR department to know your rights.


There will always be barriers to seeking treatment, especially for certain populations, such as women, low-income individuals and those living in rural communities. While the solutions aren’t always simple, it’s clear that we have a lot of work to do that involves improving funding, increasing the number of providers in rural areas and offering more dual diagnosis treatment solutions.

Pax House Recovery provides substance abuse treatment that is grounded in the 12-step recovery program. We offer cutting-edge treatment, caring and compassionate staff members and programs that are continuously monitored for Quality Assurance. We believe in helping those who want it. Contact us today at 877-837-3191 to learn more.

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