Treatment Resistance

Treatment resistance is a term that describes someone who does not respond to usual treatment programs. 

Some people struggling with substance abuse or alcoholism have a difficult time staying sober by going to a 30-day addiction treatment center.

You can say that they are resistant to the treatment. 

Some people are in a revolving door of rehab centers. Some are chronic alcoholics or relapsers, or people who cannot stay sober no matter what they have tried. 

This resistance to treatment causes many family members to struggle for a long time, and it causes a lot of suffering and pain. No matter what, these people find it very difficult to stay sober.


Find an Inpatient Treatment Program Now

We are here to help you through every aspect of recovery. Call our admissions team to find the best for long-term recovery.

(877) 389-0500


Where Does Treatment Resistance Come From?

What we have found at our long-term drug treatment facility, Burning Tree Ranch, is that there are a number of factors that can add to a client’s resistance.

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome are lingering effects of drug or alcohol use. They can last several months. Even though alcohol or drugs are completely out of their bodies, people who were once saturated with alcohol or drugs will still have mental side effects. 

They might show anxiety, depression, or irritability. It’s as if they are walking around in a fog. The Burning Tree Ranch clinical team has said that this fog can last 90 days or more, and it is difficult to create real change with a chronic alcoholic until this “fog” lifts. 

Thinking that someone who has been using heavily for many years is suddenly going to wake up is not realistic. 

This is one reason people might be resistant to treatment; they are in a fog that does not allow them to fully be aware of or accept a solution to improve their lives. 

Underlying Mental Disorders

Another reason that other people might seem resistant to treatment is because they have more than one problem that needs to be treated. This is called dual diagnosis when a client has a problem with substance use and they have mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or trauma.

If underlying issues are not diagnosed correctly, then it can appear that someone is resistant to treatment. However, they could just have additional health issues that need to be addressed. 

Undiagnosed Alcoholism

Sometimes the opposite is true. Someone who might be coming to the Ranch will have a bad case of alcoholism, with little to no mental health problems. 

Often they have been diagnosed with bipolar or severe depression, but in actuality, they just didn’t stay sober long enough to untangle supposed mental health problems with true alcoholism or addiction. 

When your loved one goes to a treatment facility from 8 to 14 months like at Burning Tree Ranch, the clinical team has time to sort what is truly mental health and what is alcoholism. 

Resistance to Emotions

The most resistance comes from not owning critical emotions. 

Chronic alcoholics and addicts want to stay away from fear, anger, loneliness, shame, guilt and sadness. They have caused so much of it on their sprees that they will do anything to avoid it. 

Their inner critic is loud, and they want to drown it out. 

This resistance to these emotions is one of the most essential parts to recovery. Being comfortable feeling these emotions is challenging.

Get Help with the Treatment Resistance

If you or a loved one are resistant to treatment, call our admissions specialist, and we will help place you in the best possible treatment facility.

(877) 389-0500