Eliminating and Overcoming Barriers to Addiction Treatment


Around 90% of people struggling with alcohol or drug addiction will not seek treatment.1 Despite rehab treatment programs significantly increasing their chances of success and long-term recovery, the individuals who most desperately need help are the ones most often overlooked when designing a rehab’s admissions and treatment process.


Common Obstacles to Seeking Treatment

More often than not, people addicted to drugs or alcohol will forgo treatment because of the various challenges they face while trying to get help.

The most common barriers discouraging patients from obtaining treatment for their addiction include:



Despite growing awareness of substance use disorders’ nuances and widespread nature, many potential patients still feel stigmatized.

In some societies, asking for help is seen as a sign of weakness, while many believe those struggling with addiction should simply quit through sheer willpower.

People who struggle with addiction experience stigma through workplace discrimination, public ridicule, rejection by their families, and self-loathing. All these factors contribute to discouraging people from entering rehab facilities or voicing their need for help.


Cost and Insurance

Another major barrier to getting addiction treatment is rehab costs and insurance coverage. For those who have health insurance, finding out whether their plan covers their chosen treatment program can be challenging.

Others, who are not part of an insurance plan, can face expensive out-of-pocket costs to get treatment.

Factors affecting the costs of rehab include:

  • Inpatient vs. outpatient treatment
  • Treatment length
  • Need for prescription medications
  • Facility location and amenities


Difficulty Accessing Care

Deciding to get help is often described as the most difficult step on the road to recovery, but that’s not always true. Arguably, the most challenging step towards sobriety is finding the right rehab facility.

There are thousands of treatment centers out there, and each has its own programs, protocols, and methods of addressing addiction. Trying to find the best center can be not only time-consuming but overwhelming.

Without the right information and support system, many potential patients go no further than searching for rehabs in their area online a few times and never reach the point where they commit to getting the help they need.


Lack of Personalized Care

One in four adult Americans has a diagnosable mental illness.2 However, very few centers for treating addiction to alcohol or drugs also offer help for patients with co-occurring mental health disorders.

Mental illnesses that most commonly accompany substance abuse include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Treatment facilities that offer counseling, therapy, and support groups for substance abuse and mental health issues are often more successful in helping their patients reach and maintain sobriety.

There are many other special requirements potential patients may have that are not readily available in most rehab centers, including:

  • Religious or spiritual programs
  • Non-religious programs
  • Gender exclusive facilities
  • Dietary restrictions


How to Help Patients Overcome Barriers to Addiction Treatment

Adapting your treatment center or program recommendations to counteract the barriers to recovery experienced by potential patients can help raise success rates.

Providing access to personalized care and an easy-to-understand admin process can greatly improve people’s experience turning to you for help.


The Benefits of Streamlining Access to Care

If patients can choose from a vetted list of treatment facilities that suit their budget, special requirements, and rehab goals, it dramatically increases their chances of reaching and maintaining sobriety.

Other significant benefits of providing simplified access to care include:


Fast Treatment Means Less Time To Change Their Mind

Choosing to seek substance abuse treatment can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride, with patients ready to commit one minute and hesitant the next.

The symptoms of withdrawal, interspersed with using their substance of choice, can produce turbulent emotions switching from complete confidence that they can quit to desperate cravings within hours.

A streamlined treatment selection and admissions process leaves potential patients with much less time to change their minds. This ensures as many individuals as possible are given a chance at recovery.

Woman Speaking At Support Group Meeting For Mental Health


Improved Patient Outcomes

A simplified, clearly defined addiction recovery journey can provide patients with the peace of mind to focus on their health and wellbeing. Patients who are calm, focused, and confident typically have much better outcomes than those who still have to worry about the details of their admission, fees, and treatment schedule.


How RecoverWell Streamlines Access to Care

RecoverWell provides optimized access to rehab and health care treatment.

This is achieved through our matching algorithm, which connects patients to the best rehab facilities for them based on:

  • The substance they abuse
  • The level of care they require
  • Their insurance coverage and budget
  • Mental health dual diagnosis
  • The presence of comorbidities

Based on these categories, RecoverWell can match patients with the treatment programs and facilities best suited to their needs. RecoverWell simplifies the admissions process and allows patient advocates to place bookings for their clients within minutes through a simple online application and personalized onboarding process.


  1. https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/opioids/90-who-need-substance-use-disorder-treatment-don-t-get-it
  2. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/mental-health-disorder-statistics

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