02 Mar What Keeps Men From Seeking Addiction Treatment

Only 1 in 10 people who are struggling with addiction ever receive treatment, and men are less likely to seek treatment than women are. Of those who need treatment but don’t get it, over 95% feel that they don’t need any help. Men who do seek treatment for addiction have already been struggling with their addiction for an average of 15 years. What is it that keeps men from seeking treatment for addiction?

Self Reliance

Perhaps the biggest reason that men don’t seek treatment for addiction is the false notion that addiction is a sign of weakness, or is caused by a lack of self control. Men feel that if they could only be stronger, they could overcome the disease on their own. This misguided sense of self-reliance keeps a man in the clutches of an addiction that has physiologically changed his body, and that needs medical intervention to heal, just like with any other disease.


Just about every addict has declared at one time or another, “I don’t have a problem!” Oftentimes men think that if they are able to hold down a job or meet other responsibilities, then their habits of substance abuse don’t add up to an addiction. In reality, it’s impossible to keep all of the balls in the air, and your life is falling apart in some area—DUIs are mounting, your health is failing, your marriage has ended, etc. A failure to recognize this equates to denial and is often what keeps men out of treatment.

Concerns About Work and Family

A major concern for men who need addiction treatment is that taking time away to get better will have a negative impact on their job, or on their family. The worry is that admitting that you have a problem and seeking treatment will bring the judgement of others down, and harm your professional and personal relationships. The truth is that anyone close to you probably already knows you have a problem and will be relieved to hear you’re seeking help. Outpatient treatment may allow you to continue working as you progress through recovery. Most companies have policies in place to deal with employees who need addiction treatment, and many times your job will be waiting for you when you get back if you attend residential treatment.

Financial Limitations

The cost of high-quality addiction treatment can be daunting, but this is true of healthcare costs for any serious disease. The good news is that there are lots of options for help to get your treatment paid for. Most insurance plans cover addiction treatment. Other forms of financial aid are available too, so check with the financial aid office of the rehab center to get more information. There are also free 12-step groups and other programs available in just about every community to help addicts through recovery.

Mike Keenan is a Licensed Substance Use Disorder Counselor (LSUDC) and is continuing his education by pursuing a degree in Social Work at the University of Utah. Mike began his career in 2008 working in youth residential treatment. Soon after, he identified his passion for working with the adult population suffering from addiction and chemical dependency and transitioned into adult residential, in-patient, and out-patient treatment. Mike has excelled in a variety of supervisory and director level positions, and is currently succeeding as the Director of Client Relations at Therápia. In addition, Mike has been practicing as a Certified Equine Specialist, using the EAGALA Model, since 2008. Using the EAGALA model, he works in a team to facilitate Equine Psychotherapy and Equine Life-skills sessions. Mike grew up in St. George Utah and has always taken advantage of the wide array of outdoor and recreational activities Southern Utah provides. He has capitalized on his love for and expertise in the stunning surrounding environment to facilitate experiential therapy and metaphorical learning.

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