If you’ve been thinking you may have a drug or alcohol problem…guess what? You probably have a drug or alcohol problem. If you’ve tried any of the following techniques to control or manage your relationship with substances, without any significant degree of success, you have substance abuse issues.
- Substituting (exchanging one substance for another)
- Only using after _______ o’clock
- Adherence to religious practices
- Financial budgeting (I’ll only spend x each week on this)
- I’ll quit when ________ happens
- I’ll never do THAT again (only to be doing THAT again somewhere in the near future)
If you’ve battled any of the above scenarios at some level, yet using mind altering substances is still causing you significant problems, checking out of life and checking into a controlled environment is probably a good idea.
Check Out and Check In
Likely the mental obsession and the physical compulsion to consume are too great for you to stop using on your own. Your body and mind have become addicted to either the stimulus or numbing effects of the substance. Unless you remove yourself from the environment, the abusive cycle of substance abuse will only continue to produce more negative consequences.
Quality inpatient drug and alcohol rehab centers and the format used at most of them have been around for over 6 decades. These institutions exist because in order to break the addictive cycles, one must almost assuredly remove themselves from the environment that is either a. making the substance abuse necessary in the first place or b. providing the justification for the abuse.
What Should I Look For?
Support and structure are the key components to any successful drug and alcohol treatment center. People experiencing the pangs of the early stages of abstinence require enormous support and meticulous structuring if they are to make it through the difficulties of abstinence and hopefully into a state of recovery.
It is largely suggested you find a drug and alcohol treatment center that utilizes a platform designed to sustain abstinence from substances once you’ve left the center. Obviously the most famous are 12 step programs, but several others including SMART Recovery, Refuge Recovery, Celebrate Recovery are available.
Am I an Alcoholic/Addict?
Try not to get caught up in the ‘Am I an alcoholic/addict?’ argument in your head or with the clinical staff. There is a reason you are in a drug and alcohol rehab center. Accepting the label of alcoholic or addict is of little consequence. Drugs and/or alcohol are creating problems in your life. Period. You are in rehab to do something about it.
Analytical yet Open Mindset
While in drug and alcohol treatment you will receive an education designed to increase your knowledge of the condition. Topics will range from a study on the effects of drugs/alcohol on the brain and body, addiction science, recovery topics and psychological theory. The ideal mindset for you to have during your time in drug and alcohol rehab is to question, inquire, absorb, analyze and learn to apply the concepts being taught. Ultimately, everything you will learn is theory until you leave and begin to apply that which was learned in real life scenarios.
Does Drug and Alcohol Rehab Work?
Just like everything else in this life the education, therapy, advice and suggestions you receive in drug and alcohol rehab will only be of value if you follow through on them. Rehab and really therapy of any kind, do not work magically. Radical change requires work, confronting unpleasantries, accepting certain realities and living with degrees of discomfort. Which is why the analysis of data from the industry is so difficult to study and interpret. Learning, change and growth take time and cannot be measured linearly.