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Barriers to Addiction Treatment for Executives

Jul 30, 2022

The single most significant career investment you’ll ever make is in your own health and well-being. Without these things, creating and sustaining success in any field is far more challenging. For those who have resisted the need for treatment, let’s look at how to face and overcome the barriers to addiction treatment for executives. 

Executives and other business leaders who address substance use issues proactively with treatment can continue to grow their careers while working on their sober goals. Overcoming barriers to treatment is a necessary first step. Barriers you could face are not being ready to quit using, feeling stigmatized by addiction, and wanting to avoid the withdrawal process. With the help of a support system, overcoming these barriers by starting a treatment program can become a life-saving and career-saving investment. 

If you or a loved one need help, call our admissions team today at 561-270-1753.

Barrier: You don’t believe you need treatment.

Overcoming: No good business decisions get made without looking at the facts involved. The same thinking applies to addiction treatment for executives. The need for it doesn’t come from a personal judgment call. It comes from specific criteria used to assess your substance use history. At Headwaters, a client assessment is a first step towards a personalized treatment plan that can be created for you. The goal isn’t to convince you that you need help with sobriety. It’s to uncover if there are reasons why treatment would be beneficial and help you make an informed decision. 

Barrier: You don’t feel ready to quit using.

Overcoming: The idea of being “ready” comes from relying on a state of mind to propel your actions. When you realize there’s no one moment that anyone is ever ready, you can look at how simply talking about potential treatment may change how you think about your readiness. In this approach, it’s the behavior that’s leading the thinking. The team at Headwaters recognizes a client’s commitment to treatment will rise and fall throughout a program. Support is provided daily through staff to help you understand how to start working on wellness goals if you don’t feel ready to quit.

Barrier: You’re concerned about negative perceptions of recovery needs.

Overcoming: It’s natural to wonder how other people will respond to news about your absence from work. It can create a vulnerability as you feel no control over how they perceive what you’re experiencing. It’s important to remember your recovery needs must be a priority, regardless of what others think—and recovery is a private and personal matter you do not need to disclose. At Headwaters, clients can learn how to shift their destructive thinking patterns into positive ones. That can include the negative self-talk you’re engaging in bout your choice to focus on your wellness.

Barrier: You want to avoid discussing mental health needs.

Overcoming: As unmet mental health needs are commonly linked with substance use, you may feel a sense of apprehension over sharing anything about depression, anxiety, or trauma. Again, the symptoms you feel and the past experiences you’ve had can make you feel vulnerable. Headwaters can help you recognize the connection between these two disorders and how they intensify each other. Working on your mental health needs and recovery needs at the same time allows you to see your body, mind, emotions, and behavior as all interconnected. And again, it is important to remember that you need not share your therapeutic experience with colleagues or acquaintances who may not understand.

Barrier: You are reluctant to experience withdrawal.

Overcoming: At its best, withdrawal is uncomfortable. At its worst, it can be dangerous and even life-threatening when unsupervised. The desire to avoid withdrawal can be powerful. If you’ve only experienced withdrawal at home, you may not realize the difference in choosing medical withdrawal. With the care of a professional medical team and under 24-hour supervision, going through the withdrawal process is far more manageable, even for individuals with anxiety. Headwaters provides medical detox before a program commences, so every client is physically ready to begin the necessary work. 

Barrier: You’re concerned about your privacy in a treatment setting.

Overcoming: Anyone in a high-profile place in their career wants to ensure information made available about them is carefully managed. You spend time curating your accomplishments and achievements, and treatment isn’t one to be made public. Headwaters recognizes your need for privacy. Our treatment facility is in a private location, and the confidentiality of each client’s identity and treatment is a fundamental part of our culture. 

Barrier: You have too many commitments to make the time for treatment.

Overcoming: A residential stay takes you away from work, family, friends, and obligations. It can be easy to see how these commitments must be met daily or weekly and spare you no time for anything extra. At Headwaters, you can still take care of your professional obligations and get well. Our program is tailored specifically for the busy executive in mind. Treatment, however, isn’t an “extra” activity to add to a calendar. It’s intentional time you set aside to fully focus on the recovery work you need right now. When it begins intentionally and intensively, you’re setting yourself up for success later, and you work to sustain your sobriety. Headwaters provides you with a bigger picture of the road ahead for you and your sober goals. After a residential stay is completed, the investment of time can be reduced as long as you’re doing the work to stay in recovery through continuing care resources. 


Headwaters is a well-known care provider offering a range of addiction treatment programs for executives and their families targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561-270-1753.

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