Why Is It So Hard to Recover from Substance Use Disorder?

Why Is It So Hard to Recover from Substance Use Disorder?

Why Is It So Hard to Recover from Substance Use Disorder?


By Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, LPC, AADC

“You only have to change one thing…everything” ~Source unknown

The idea of getting sober can sound simple to those less familiar with the process.  “Just don’t drink/use.”, “Why can’t you just stop?”, “Can’t you find another way to handle stress?” are some of the overly simplistic thoughts that many individuals with Substance Use Disorders (SUD) have heard.  

When people try to simplify the recovery process or make a seemingly easy request for their loved one to stop using, it can be confusing for everyone.  Individuals with an SUD may feel shame and embarrassment that it is so hard for them to stop using and to make healthier choices.  While loved ones continue to be baffled about why it is so challenging to “just stop using”.  

However, there are so many differing reasons why individuals may have started using alcohol and drugs, the role that the substance continues to play and how it may have led them to avoid dealing with problems in their lives.  Addiction contaminates every aspect of an individual and infiltrates every life domain including: social, spiritual, emotional, physical, vocational, family, home environment and more.  While use may have begun for “fun” or social reasons, through the years it often becomes more enmeshed into an individual’s and family’s life and therefore, harder to untangle.  

So how does an individual get sober??? Simply figuring out where to begin can be unclear and feel overwhelming. The key is finding quality providers and a team that connects with the individual and family and is interpersonally, logistically and financially appropriate.  

The In-Home Addiction Treatment model has been created in order to overcome any of the common barriers to addiction treatment.  In the past, scheduling, logistics, rapport, financial, privacy concerns and social barriers were often cited by those who did not successfully obtain help.  The IHAT model has created a Care Team and a Family Wellness Team and an innovative structure that eliminates these barriers and allows treatment to be easily delivered in an affordable and comprehensive way.  This model takes the guesswork out of the beginning, middle and maintenance aspects of the process and leads clients and families through an organized treatment process addressing all life domains in their home environment and community.  

The IHAT Institute is training staff in CT, MA, NH, ME, FL and IN and giving them the opportunity to explore this innovative model of addiction treatment.  This past year has shown the need for flexibility in treatment, and the IHAT model is able to provide a hybrid of in person and remote services that allow for greater client compliance and engagement.  


1 Comment

Aaron Randy
This new model is needed in the field of substance abuse disorder. IHAT is one of the best forms of treatment I have ever seen and had the privilege to work with. It will save lives and provide access to treatment for many people. We will see a major change in the history of Substance Abuse Disorder and access to treatment. It's my honor to see an effective black woman in a leadership position. I am excited to see what the IHAT model will do in the field of addiction. I cannot wait until this model becomes accessible to everyone that suffers from substance use disorder, especially those with state insurance coverage.

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