Oftentimes when it comes to seeking help for an addiction or substance abuse problem, taking the first step is the hardest. Unfortunately, many end up seeking help after their addiction has caused major legal, personal or physical problems.
It’s important to proactively seek help for addiction
Around 8.6% of the population needs treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol. However, a smaller percentage of these people actually receive treatment. Whether it’s because of shame, belief that the substance use isn’t “that bad” or any other reason against seeking treatment, many individuals wait until the addiction has impacted their life in a nearly irreversible way to talk to a therapist.
We believe that there is no such thing as an untreatable addiction, but we do know that some cases are more complicated than others. For this reason, we are strong advocates of proactively seeking treatment, even if you think it’s not that bad.
If you are at a place where you think you might need treatment, but aren’t completely sure, consider the below signs. This list might help encourage you to reach out to a counselor soon rather than later.
1. Causing harm to yourself and others as a result of substance use
One of the first telltale signs that it is time to seek treatment is if the substance use disorder causes harm to others or yourself. When your senses are impaired as a result of substance use, you are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like promiscuity, driving under the influence or even lawbreaking. This can cause severe damage to yourself and to those around you.
Additionally, you might notice physical symptoms presenting themselves as a result of substance use. Problems with digestion, liver or kidney functioning, in addition to outward signs like bloodshot eyes or discolored skin, might indicate the addiction is worse than you thought.
2. Unable to quit on your own
If you have recognized a problem with substance use but cannot seem to overcome the addiction on your own, it is time to find help from outside sources. Drugs and alcohol alter the physical makeup of your brain, making it incredibly difficult to break an addiction on one’s own. If you have tried, and failed, to overcome an addiction without professional help, no one blames you. However, it’s important at this time to seek that additional help.
Professional detox and addiction treatment centers will not only provide you with a comfortable environment in which to deal with withdrawal symptoms, they can prescribe a medically assisted detox when deemed necessary. This, in addiction to professional counseling service post detox, will provide you with the tools and healthy coping mechanisms you need to maintain recovery and avoid relapse.
3. The addiction is the root of severe consequences
Another telltale sign that it’s time to seek treatment is the substance use negatively affecting other areas of your life. Showing up to work intoxicated or high, or failing to show up at all, could mean the loss of employment. Maybe a mandatory drug test resulted in suspension.
Some other consequences that might indicate addiction include:
- Being expelled from school/college;
- The end of one’s relationship/marriage;
- The inability to perform the duties of caretaker;
- A DUI/DWI.
No matter what events have transpired, when one’s addiction yields loss it’s time to consider treatment.
4. Life revolves around addiction
A critical sign of addiction is when you are no longer able to live your life without the substance use constantly present in the back of your mind.
When you begin to lose important aspects of your life, it means you are likely replacing these things with the substance use. Your friend group, for example, begins to circle around those who enable or support the addiction. You spend much of your time seeking drugs or alcohol, or figuring out how you are going to pay for and when you are going to use next. More time is spent seeking substances and recovering from the high/intoxication than not.
When your life circles around the substance, it might be time to speak with someone who can help you break the circle and live free instead.
When the signs point to addiction treatment
Finding help from substance abuse does not have to happen after a severe accident, damaging consequences or rock bottom. Bravely admitting to addiction, though incredibly difficult, can help you find freedom with the right tools and treatment.