Common Excuses Used for Substance Use

Common Excuses Used for Substance Use

Accidental overdoses often occur when people have a substance use disorder, become dependent on it, and gradually build a tolerance to it.1 In September 2019, Maricopa County reported a total of 1,078 overdose deaths.2 When a person has a substance use problem, it is hard for that individual to see.

Common Excuses Used for Substance Use

Friends, family members, and colleagues are often the ones who notice the signs and behavior changes. It is natural to want to help a loved one avoid an overdose or destructive life choices. If you suspect that someone you know is misusing a substance, remember these common excuses that you may hear. Be sure to check out our best practices for breaking through excuses and getting someone help, ideally at an addiction treatment center in Arizona. 

“I Can Still Function”

People often state that they can still maintain a job, social life, or family life. Those who can still maintain their responsibilities with an addiction are often called high-functioning.3 The problem is that they become burned out at some point, and their problems can quickly worsen or multiply when that happens.

I can function - so I don't need rehab

“Substance Use Helps Me Perform Better”

A person who is addicted to a substance truly believes that the substance makes the difference. In some cases, it may feel like it helps. For example, a stimulant may make a person feel better and function better for a short time if the individual is depressed. However, the effects of misusing the drug cause more harm than good, even if the person does not see it that way.

“I Need This to Cope”

Life has been especially hard for everyone recently, and this is a common excuse people make for substance use. The problem is that people often use a substance to self-treat a severe mental health issue. There are practical and healthier ways to treat every mental health issue.

Excuses to Avoid Rehab for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

“I Can Stop Whenever I Want”

This is one of the most dangerous excuses people make, and they often believe it. Unfortunately, substances that people commonly misuse affect how the brain sends and receives signals. Even though they are not aware of these changes, chemical changes lead them to seek more substance with stronger urges. Addiction develops when a person cannot stop using a substance and is aware of the adverse effects.4

“Other People Are Worse”

Deflection is a common defense tactic. When you mention a friend’s possible substance use problem, you may hear the person bring another individual who supposedly has more severe problems. If someone can compare another person’s life who has worse substance issues, it can make it seem believable that their problem is not as bad. Problems worsen as addiction develops and remains untreated.

addiction rehab excuses to not get treatment

“I Only Hurt Myself With Substance Use”

If a person knows that you know there is a substance misuse problem, the individual may not try to deny it. Instead, you may hear this excuse. People may not see or refuse to acknowledge how their addiction negatively affects those around them. This is one of the reasons why interventions are often effective at showing people how far-reaching the effects of addiction are.

“Everyone Has a Vice”

People often mislabel addiction as a vice. A vice suggests an unacceptable behavior that a person chooses to do. However, addiction is a brain disease, and it significantly impairs judgment.5 When someone develops an addiction and cannot stop using a substance, the person may still be in denial and may think that stopping is possible. People often say that they will stop when a specific part of life improves. There are always excuses to avoid treating addiction, and life will only worsen until a person seeks professional treatment.

ways to help someone realize they need help for addictionHow You Can Help Someone With a Substance Use Disorder

There are several ways to help someone misusing a substance without lecturing, judging, or scolding. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Start a conversation, and take a genuine interest in the person’s life.
  • Be a source of emotional support and a good listener.
  • Take care of yourself as well.
  • Normalize mental health care and encourage the person to reach out for help.

Once a person with an addiction trusts you, values your relationship, and listens to you, it will be easier to suggest treatment. However, some people may require intervention with consequences to seek treatment.


How Addiction Treatment in Arizona Helps

Addiction treatment is a comprehensive service that helps people in these ways:

  • It helps them learn the keys to breaking the cycle of addiction.
  • Teaches them how to develop healthier habits.
  • It helps them identify and change behaviors.
  • Treats underlying mental health issues that relate to addiction.

At Desert Cove Recovery, our outpatient facility in Scottsdale is here to help you or a loved one struggling with drug or alcohol misuse. To learn more about addiction treatment in Arizona, please get in touch with us.