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National Addictions Management Service

Overcoming Roadblocks

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Holding back from seeking treatment

Even though you may realise you have a problem, something may be holding you back from seeking treatment. Each woman who faces a problem with addiction will have her own set of roadblocks in her path to recovery. The list shows has some common reasons that women cite:

  1. I am tied down by my responsibilities and duties to my family
  2. I don't have family support to get treatment
  3. My spouse or partner is also abusing substances
  4. I am afraid that the authorities will take my children away from me if my problem is known
  5. I feel shame and guilt about my problem
  6. I see myself as a failure, especially as a mother/daughter/wife/sister
  7. I feel overwhelmed by my problems and unable to see a way out
  8. I am not sure if treatment will make things better
  9. I believe I can quit/reduce the substance use or addictive behaviour on my own
  10. I do not have enough money to pay for the treatment

Overcoming Your Roadblocks

We shall now address these concerns that may be preventing you from seeking treatment.

​Un​derstanding the Costs and Benefits

The cost of treatment may appear to be expensive in the short term, but you also need to consider the costs​​​​ of not going for treatment.

Take a sheet of paper and draw a line in the middle. On the left side of the line, write down all the consequences and losses you of your substance abuse or addictive behaviour. What did the addiction cost you socially, emotionally and financially? If you continue, what other losses will you incur?

On the right side of the line, write down the benefits you will gain if you addressed your addiction problems with help of treatment. What are the positive changes in your life that you can look forward to without addiction?

For example, because of your addictive behavior, you may not be the best mother you wish to be. If you continue, there is a high chance that things at home will worsen and authorities might get involved. You might end up losing custody of your children. On the other hand, if you get treatment, you can build a better relationship with your children and even become a good role model for them to follow.

This activity may help you to have a better understanding and make a better decision regarding seeking treatment.

Know What is Important to You

Asking yourself these important questions can help you reflect on the impact of the addiction on your life.

What gives your life meaning? Is it your work, children, spouse, friends, family, faith/spirituality, health, personal growth, community service or even your favourite hobby?

How does your addictive behaviour get in your way of achieving what you want in life?

Addiction may not look like a medical emergency but is a disease with major long term consequences, that affects you and your loved ones. Don’t delay in seeking treatment.

Know that You are Worth It

There is a stigma attached to the female with addiction problems, which can make a woman feel ashamed and guilty. While these feelings are understandable, do not let them back you from the other positive feelings you have, eg. your care and love for those around you. Entering treatment can help you address these feelings of guilt and shame and set you on the path to recovery.

Look for Support

Seek the support of your family or close friends during your recovery journey. Loving family and friends can boost your motivation with their care, concern and support.

If you are unable to find support within family or friends, you can approach the Family Service Centres (FSCs) to speak to a social worker. Based on your situation, they may be able to provide help with childcare arrangements so you can seek treatment with some peace of mind.

Lastly, do not let money stop you from getting help. At NAMS, our Medical Social Workers (MSW) will assess your situation and provide the necessary financial assistance. They can also link you up with an FSC within your neighbourhood for further support in the community.

Take the First Step…

At the end of the day, the decision to seek help and get the treatment you need for your addiction lies in your hands. Overcoming the various obstacles to treatment and entering treatment itself is not only life changing, but also life-giving for you.

"Faith is taking the first step when you cannot see the whole staircase." – Martin Luther King Jr

​For more information on the types of treatment available at NAMS, please click here.
For direction on how to get to NAMS or contact us, click here.


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All addictions: 6-7326837, Gambling helpline: 1-800-6-668-668