Addiction doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol, whether you are able-bodied or disabled in some way. In fact, around 21.5 million men and women in the United States are struggling with some type of substance use disorder, according to a recent survey by the National Survey on Drug Use and Help. It’s a problem that affects men and women, young and old, able-bodied and disabled.
If you are dealing with physical disabilities in South Jersey, you will still be able to take part in rehabilitation services. However, you may face some challenges along the way if you have a physical disability that limits you. While there are many treatment options that will help those with a physical disability, that doesn’t mean that every treatment center has the necessary accommodations. Not every rehab has the resources to handle a person with a physical disability, and they may not have the proper programs in place that are necessary for growth and development. In order for a treatment center to assist clients with disabilities, they must first understand the special needs this particular demographic has.
Understanding Addiction and Disabilities
There is still a lot of research being done on the connection between substance and alcohol abuse and disabilities. Research has shown that more men and women in the disabled community become addicted than those in the general population. Those who are dealing with multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and deafness have double the amount of addicts that those who do not. When it comes to mental illnesses, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury, this population abuses drugs and alcohol 50 percent more than others. Additionally, many people with a disability also have a co-occurring substance abuse problem. In the United States, this number is around 4.7 million.
With so many men and women dealing with disabilities and addictions, the need for treatment that fits their needs is crucial. Unfortunately, not all treatment centers are equipped to take on these special cases. This, in turn, causes this population to shy away from treatment altogether.
Access to Treatment
One of the barriers that many people come across is the lack of proper education about disabilities, even among the healthcare population. Many doctors are not willing to give their patients the care and time that they need to fully understand the disability. In fact, when a doctor doesn’t know how to handle a physical disability, they won’t be as willing to provide the patient with the right accommodations. Since doctors and nurses are a big part of the rehabilitation process, it is crucial that they understand various disabilities in their patients.
Participation in Rehab
People with disabilities find it much harder to participate in support groups or rehab centers, especially if they are blind or deaf. One reason is that only 27 percent of the nation’s opioid treatment centers offer interpretation service for patients who have impaired hearing. Unless the patient is willing to pay for their own interpreter at all times, they won’t be able to utilize the drug rehabilitation services offered to them. Instead, they simply ignore the need for rehab.
Another major issue when it comes to those people with disabilities is that many friends and family enable their loved ones. They feel pity towards their disabled friend, family member, or co-worker, so they may look the other way when it comes to drug and alcohol use. Many are afraid to even broach the subject for fear of sounding unsympathetic. They may pretend that there isn’t a problem or that it isn’t that bad. This makes it even harder for the physically disabled addict to get the help that he or she needs. Enabling anyone who is an addict, disabled or not, is never a good idea.
Finding Treatment Options for the Disabled
If you or someone you love is disabled and an addict, there is help available. There are facilities that exist that can accommodate the needs of someone who is physically or mentally disabled. Start by talking to your doctor about available options. They may have information of rehabs that can accommodate certain disabilities. If you have insurance, talk to your representative to find out what services they cover and if any of them will help the disabled. Check into disability rights and advocacy programs in your area as they can point you in the right direction for treatment.
When you are tired of living with an addiction and want to make a change, let us help. Stop in or call 833-610-1174 today.