Concerns about your Alcohol Use; What’s stopping you from looking into getting some help?
According to recent estimates, alcohol use affects the physical, mental and financial health of nearly 20 million Americans, a number that is increasing each year. In the face of this growing challenge, programs like the ones here at New Hope have been developed to effectively help people with concerns about their alcohol use. While this is the case, the vast majority of those who would benefit from help may not use these services or even recognize the need for them.
By way of illustration, a National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that fewer than 10 percent of those individuals that would benefit from help with alcohol use concerns actually received any specialized care. Of those who did not receive care, only about 5 percent recognized that they needed help. The remaining 87 percent neither received care nor perceived a need for it.
Common barriers to seeking care
In the NSDUH survey, those who did not receive specialty care, but felt the need for treatment were asked the reasons for not receiving it. Their answers are revealing.
The most common were that they were simply not ready to stop using alcohol (42 percent), followed by cost or insurance coverage issues (34.5 percent). Other reasons included the social stigma associated with receiving treatment (18.8 percent), lack of access (11.7 percent), the belief that they could handle their problem without treatment (11.6 percent), and not knowing where to go for care (11.1 percent).
These finding highlight the need to create broader awareness of the signs of problematic alcohol use; for increased alcohol use screening in all medical settings; and the wide distribution of information on treatment, what it costs and insurance coverage options.
But what of those who fail to perceive a need for treatment? Perhaps you or a loved one fall into this category and think perhaps think that “going to rehab” is the only option. Well this is far from the truth.
As with any medical problem, there are different approaches that can be taken when addressing alcohol use concerns. The key is getting the information you need so that you can better understand and evaluate your options in consultation with a treatment professional. This is so that you can ultimately make the choice that is right for you.
If you would like to schedule a confidential appointment to discuss the various alternatives and desired outcomes, we invite you to reach out to us at (800) 705-HOPE (4673), and choose Option 3.