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Top 13 Excuses for Avoiding Alcohol Rehab

Top 13 Excuses to Avoid Going to Alcohol Rehab

Everyone always talks a lot about self-improvement and the steps that they’re going to take to better themselves. However, when it comes to actually taking action, it can be easy to talk yourself out of making real changes. This can be especially true for individuals who have an alcohol addiction and might need to attend alcohol rehab. The diverse and varied excuses people make to avoid alcohol rehab are evidence that human creativity has no limits when trying to avoid discomfort. 

To help people make positive changes, we’re tackling the most common excuses we hear people make to avoid facing their alcohol addiction. In fact, these excuses can contribute to worse health, disease, and can lead to a downward spiral to rock bottom. Conversely, recognizing one’s alcohol addiction and making the decision to go for alcohol rehab can be the first step to a healthier and more satisfying life in recovery. 

Now is the perfect time to recognize bad excuses and embrace positive change. Change is difficult—but it’s worth it!

1. “I’ll quit drinking after this weekend—because Saturday is my best friend’s cousin’s cat’s birthday party!”

We’ve all heard different versions of this excuse. It’s the “my diet starts tomorrow” excuse. There’s something going on every weekend, and these events provide convenient ways for people to avoid facing their alcohol addiction. No party is more important than starting alcohol rehab and taking your first steps towards a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.

2. What my kids don’t know can’t hurt them.

Problem drinking affects children in many ways. You might not realize how much alcohol addiction affects your family members. Research shows that children of parents who suffer from substance use disorders are more likely to develop addictions themselves.[1] You owe it to your kids to get better.

3. I can stop whenever I want to…I just don’t want to!

Think carefully about all the big problems in your life—how many of them are being caused (or made worse) by your drinking? You might realize that you actually do want to stop drinking and that you might need the help of professional alcohol rehab to succeed.

4. I don’t have the money to go to alcohol rehab.

There are many ways to fund your alcohol addiction treatment, including specialized loans that can help you pay for EHN Canada treatment programs. Some facilities also offer shorter treatment programs that are more flexible and affordable. Get in touch with us and we can show you some options.

5.   Private alcohol rehab is too expensive—it’s not worth it.

Have you done the math? Multiply how many dollars you spend on alcohol per week by 52 weeks. Then, multiply that by the number of years in the rest of your life. That’s how much your alcohol addiction costs. We guarantee this number is larger than the cost of private alcohol rehab. Private addiction treatment has higher success rates compared to public treatment. Private alcohol treatment allows you to start right away, compared to public treatment programs that have lengthy wait lists.

6. Alcohol rehab doesn’t work.

We realize that not all alcohol rehab programs are created equal, and not all of them have evidence to back them up. We measure our patients’ mental health and alcohol addiction symptoms when they start treatment, and again after they complete treatment, so we have hard numbers to show that our programs work.

7. Alcohol rehab is for people who’ve hit rock bottom—not normal people like me.

You may be well-educated, successful, and an upstanding citizen, but being a good person does not make it any easier to stop drinking. When alcohol addiction gets bad enough, almost everyone needs professional help to be successful long term.  You’ll be surprised by the people you meet and connect with in treatment. The community is strong and welcoming.

8. I can’t be away from my job or family that long.

That’s why quality rehab providers offer a wide range of alcohol treatment programs and will personalize them to meet your needs. You can enter residential treatment, or attend a day program or an evening program. After completing your treatment program, we offer continued therapy and aftercare online in case you live too far away from an outpatient clinic. There are always options.

9. I don’t think alcohol rehab will work for me.

We admit it—rehab doesn’t work 100% of the time for everyone. What we do know for certain is that recovering from alcohol addiction on your own is incredibly difficult, and very few people achieve successful long-term recovery without professional help. The psychological, emotional, social, and environmental factors related to your alcohol use need to be addressed by a counsellor who has experience and expertise in treating addiction—doing so significantly increases your chance of success.[2] Also, you may need medication to help along the way which should be prescribed by a doctor who specializes in addiction medicine. There are no guarantees, but getting alcohol treatment at a top-tier facility will maximize your chances of getting better and staying better.

10. People will judge me if they find out.

Many of us are taught that asking for help is a sign of weakness. However, we see entering rehab as an act of courage—being strong, making a decision, and taking back control of your life. At the same time, we realize that alcohol addiction is still among the most highly stigmatized of mental health disorders. For this reason, the best treatment centers will do everything possible to protect your privacy—so that no one will know you were there, unless you choose to tell them yourself.

11. It’s going to be too hard.

It’s probably going to be tremendously hard. After all, alcohol addiction involves both a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. In alcohol rehab, you can draw on the strength of your peers, your counsellors, your nurses, and your doctor. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.”

12. 28 days isn’t enough.

You’re right. We don’t think so either. The old-fashioned 28-day program length for alcohol rehab is not based on any actual science. Research shows that longer program length produces better results for patients.[3] That’s why the alcohol treatment program at most of our facilities is seven weeks—because our patients asked for more time, and we listened.

13. What if I try and fail?

Not everyone succeeds on their first try—but that’s true of anything difficult—so there’s no shame in it. Many people make multiple attempts at recovering from alcohol addiction before they’re successful. It’s important to have a structured system and plenty of support in place to help you. As we’ve said before, professional alcohol rehab greatly improves your odds—an effective alcohol treatment program can double your chance of success.[4] In fact, many counsellors treat relapse as a learning experience that will help you succeed in the future. The only people who are certain to never achieve recovery are the ones who never try. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get there!

EHN Canada Can Help You

If you would like to learn more about the addiction and mental health treatment programs provided by EHN Canada, enrol yourself in one of our programs, or refer someone else, please call us at one of the numbers below. Our phone lines are open 24/7—so you can call us anytime.

Online Treatment and Support

If you’d like to learn more about our online treatment and support options, please call us at 1-800-387-6198 or visit


[1] Lander, L., Howsare, J., & Byrne, M. (2013). The impact of substance use disorders on families and children: from theory to practice. Social work in public health28(3-4), 194–205. doi:10.1080/19371918.2013.759005

[2] Mclellan, A. T., Hagan, T. A., Levine, M., Gould, F., Meyers, K., Bencivengo, M., & Durell, J. (1998). Supplemental social services improve outcomes in public addiction treatment. Addiction, 93(10), 1489–1499. doi:10.1046/j.1360-0443.1998.931014895.x

[3] Romelsjö, A., Palmstierna, T., Hansagi, H., & Leifman, A. (2005). Length of outpatient addiction treatment and risk of rehospitalization. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 28(3), 291–296. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2004.12.010

[4] Moos, R. H., & Moos, B. S. (2006). Rates and predictors of relapse after natural and treated remission from alcohol use disorders. Addiction (Abingdon, England)101(2), 212–222. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01310.x

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