If you are suffering from a dysfunctional relationship with substances such as drugs, alcohol or prescription medications, there are a few different ways to establish whether or not a stay in a rehab center could be advisable for your condition. If you, or your loved ones, are concerned enough to be even contemplating the idea of getting help from a treatment facility such as NP Addiction Clinic, you can be sure there will be certain telltale signs pointing to the need for professional treatment advice.
The diagnosis and advice of a mental health professional are always beneficial. However, you can start by conducting your own evaluation of your drug and alcohol use patterns and behaviors. If you are relatively self-aware and able to be objective and unbiased with your self-examination, the following questions should help you begin to see your current condition more clearly:
· Has the getting and using of drugs become a major preoccupation, or maybe even my overriding priority?
· Am I experiencing financial difficulties due to uncontrolled spending on my habit?
· Do I frequently, or perhaps almost constantly, crave drugs or alcohol, or regularly experience withdrawal symptoms?
· Have I noticed a progressive trend, showing that my alcohol consumption is increasing, my drug addiction getting worse, or my substance abuse in general escalating?
· Has my physical health begun to suffer?
If you’ve answered yes to the above questions, you would probably be well advised to reach out for professional help and possibly seek treatment, as you may find your mental health is also at risk. Ask yourself:
· Have I ever hit rock bottom, felt utterly helpless, or completely desperate to quit my using?
· Have I ever tried my hardest to quit, on my own without support, and failed miserably?
· Have I reached the stage where I have genuinely suffered enough, and am desperate to be free of my substance addiction or alcohol use disorder?
If you are lucky enough to be able to have difficult, open and honest conversations with family members and friends, it could be worth discussing a drug and alcohol rehab as an option with them. They may well have noticed things in you – changes or uncharacteristic behavior – which you had not been aware of. After all, everyone has their blind spots. For example, they may find you have become more irritable or moody, more erratic, more withdrawn and less communicative, less sociable, secretive, preoccupied, or emotionally unstable, to name but a few. They may have become really worried, for example if you suddenly stop answering messages for days on end.
As people who abuse substances in a problematic way, it is easy for us to develop a very distorted image of how people see us. On the one hand, we can become extremely good at hiding our using habits, while on the other we can be totally delusional about how successful we are at concealing our secret self-medicating. In short, if your family and friends have picked up on numerous signs you are in trouble and at risk, you would undoubtedly benefit from taking their opinions seriously.
If you have heard about, or are acquainted with, the 12-step recovery fellowships, you will probably have come across step one, which states: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (or whatever our drug of choice), and that our lives had become unmanageable.” This step can be a useful yardstick by which to measure how far our dysfunctional relationship to addictive substances has progressed. For many people, this sentence may seem self-explanatory, but if you’re a little confused, consider the following. If you:
· cannot, or only on rare occasions, resist the urge to pick up a drink or a drug;
· systematically find that the first drink or drug sets in motion a major binge
· cannot predict when or how the urge to drink or use may suddenly appear out of the blue (even if you can recognize certain triggers)
If your life has become unmanageable, it simply means that the adverse consequences of your substance use disorder or drug and alcohol addiction, have rendered you unable to function as a normal, responsible person, a reliable employee, a dependable spouse or parent, or a person who holds themselves accountable for their actions and can lead a stable and productive life. If in spite of your best intentions you have lost control of your using, then you may well need rehab to help you fulfill your true potential, in your new life in recovery.
Not everyone using drugs or alcohol will be at the stage where their condition is life threatening, but prevention is better than a cure. Reaching out to a medical provider about your health issues and drug or alcohol use is helpful. Their drug or alcohol abuse experts will be able to assess whether or not your condition is heading in that direction. Also, their mental health services will also be able to offer an opinion whether substance abuse treatment is appropriate for you at this stage, be it in the form of an addiction treatment program, a drug rehab, or a different treatment modality.
The American Psychiatric Association generally refers to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders (DSM-5-TR), when establishing diagnoses around substance misuse. Using specific lists of criteria, they determine, from a medical perspective, what condition a person may be suffering from.
Symptoms may point to straightforward drug or alcohol addiction, substance use disorders, chronic disease, mental illness, physical dependence or others. Doctors can then recommend anything from an initial medical detox, to rehab treatment or rehab programs to address the deeper causes of alcohol and drug use. Subsequent and continued support from treatment centers can help overcome addiction in the longer term.
According to Gabor Maté, addiction begins in early childhood, and has its roots in the trauma we experienced as children, which will eventually lead to us starting to self-medicate with addictive substances. In the most tragic cases, alcohol and drug abuse can lead to an untimely death, or permanent damage to health. But there can also be an end to active addiction, the possibility of a sustainable life free from substance abuse.
The prospect of going to a rehab or treatment center can be a daunting one, and the decision a tough one to make. But a treatment program doesn't have to feel like a punishment - it can, instead, mean being held and supported in a safe space, surrounded by caring professionals. At NP Addiction Clinic, our primary concern is offering the best possible care to its clients, and in some cases, the outpatient option may be deemed less challenging or more workable than a stay as an inpatient.
This is one of the best ways to discuss your alcohol abuse or drug use and discuss how a rehab program might help you. At NP Addiction Clinic, our recovery specialists are available 24/7 and will be delighted to tell you more about what we're doing and discuss how we might best be able to assist. Our website's main phone number is on every page of our site, so you can't miss it!
If you are in another part of the US, you can look for a specific treatment provider that would best suit your needs by Googling addiction or recovery centers in your area.
Drug and alcohol addiction can be among the most serious and soul-destroying afflictions a human being can experience, and they may be incredibly difficult to overcome. But you are not powerless or helpless in the face of this: you can take stock of your life, keep your using patterns under observation, reach out to family, friends, medical professionals, institutions and so on, and detect the early warning signs, or bravely face the plain facts, that tell you you need treatment. We do recover - so let's do it!
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