If you’ve started to realize that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, that’s the first step to recovery. Now you have to decide how you want to get sober. Do you need to go to rehab, or can you do it on your own?
It’s a common question. Some people feel that rehab is only for those who have hit rock bottom, and maybe you’re one of the lucky ones that hasn’t hit that point yet. Some people feel they can handle the problem themselves. But sobriety can be hard to achieve, and most people benefit and prevent relapse when they get help.
How Severe Is Your Addiction?
It’s time to get honest with yourself. Is your substance use negatively affecting your life and your relationships? Still not sure? Consider the eleven criteria for addiction:
- Lack of control
- Desire to quit but unable to
- Spending a lot of time trying to get the substance
- Experiencing cravings
- Lack of responsibility
- Problems with relationships
- Loss of interest
- Dangerous use
- Worsening situations
If you meet 2 or 3 of those criteria, you most likely have a mild substance use disorder. The severity of your addiction goes up with every one of the criteria you check that fit your life.
Even if you have a “mild” addiction, beating it requires more than just quitting cold turkey or easing off on your intake. It’s important to address the behavioral issues and the psychological aspect of addiction. Simply put, you need to change the way you think, feel and behave—and that requires a lot of support.
First, you’ll need to detox or eliminate the drugs or alcohol from your system. Doing so with medical or professional help is much safer than trying to do it on your own. Those professionals can help you cope with any withdrawal symptoms. Family and friends may be well-meaning and say they will help and support you in kicking your habit, but most of the time, they won’t have the knowledge, experience and resources that you will need.
If you’re still unsure about which treatment may be right for you, or if you’re looking for help for a loved one, please call the Painkillers Kill 24/7 HOPE line at (855) 969-HOPE. Our team of professionals can better help you make that assessment and link you to the appropriate services.