Many people who abuse alcohol or drugs know they have a problem and want to do something about it. They often decide to “going it alone” and attempt time after time to slow down or quit. In fact, it’s estimated that about 22.7 million Americans suffer from addiction but only one percent seek help from a structured rehabilitation program. Once substance abuse reaches a certain level, it’s very difficult to break free on your own even if you aren’t physically addicted. You may know you have a problem, or you may only suspect it. This list of six signs can convince you that you need to go to rehab.
1. You’ve Experienced Negative Consequences
Has your freedom been threatened because of something you did under the influence? Maybe you’ve gotten a DUI, become violent while intoxicated, or arrested for being drunk in public. The consequences of these actions always involve jail time and probation. If you’re on probation, one of the stipulations is almost always to abstain from drugs and alcohol. And if you’re caught again, it means even more jail time. Your actions may have cost you a job or compromised a search for one. Perhaps you’ve lost a spouse or significant other over your problem. You must ask yourself if all these consequences are worth not seeking help.
2. Friends and Family Have Expressed Concern
If friends or family have told you they’re worried about your addiction, it could be a sure sign you need help. That’s because our loved ones are often reluctant to say anything, so when they do, the addiction has progressed to a higher level. You may feel like you’re being judged or lectured, but they do so because they care. This may cause you to start avoiding social functions alongside them. You stay home to do your drug of choice. Your addiction is hurting them because they want the best for you.
3. Using is Your First Priority
Putting your substance of choice as your main priority is a sure sign you need help. Using becomes your main focus for the day, and you spend effort, time, and money into making sure you have the drugs or alcohol you want. You may find that as the addiction progresses, activities and interests take a back seat to your drugs of choice.
4. You’ve Built up a Tolerance
The first time someone does a drug like heroin or amphetamines is often described as the “best high of all.” That’s because they’re not accustomed to the effects so the feeling is intense. But over time, your body begins to adapt through tolerance. As this tolerance grows, you need the drug more frequently and in higher amounts. Along with alcohol, drugs like these are depressants. In large amounts, they slow breathing and pulse to dangerously low levels. This can lead to coma or even death. The phenomenon of tolerance makes seeking help even more urgent.
5. You’ve Experienced Withdrawal Symptoms
We often hear from smokers how hard it is to kick the habit. Nicotine is an addictive chemical, and quitting causes a host of unpleasant symptoms. Of course, no one goes to rehab to quit, but there are smoking cessation programs they can attend. The withdrawal symptoms for quitting drugs and alcohol are similar but magnified. These symptoms include the following:
These symptoms happen a few hours after your last use and get worse. This is how addiction gains its strength. Rehab centers offer detox programs with medication to help get through the worst of the symptoms. Follow-up treatment programs help with achieving long-term sobriety.
6. Your Health is Suffering
Your doctor may not have told you that you have health problems caused by abusing alcohol or drugs yet, but over time, substance abuse will take its toll on your health. Alcohol causes damage to the liver, heart, and lungs. Opiates slow your breathing and can eventually lead to brain damage. Continued use of some stimulants can cause heart failure and psychosis. Dirty needles increase your risk of HIV or hepatitis C. The overuse of drugs and alcohol can also affect your mental state.
You may suffer from anxiety, depression, and even psychosis. The cycle of hangovers, withdrawals and constantly planning for your next drink, hit, or fix gets exhausting. You want to stop the cycle, but you don’t know-how. It’s important to not think of this as a weakness or failure on your part. The first step to recovery is recognizing that addiction is a disease, and like most any disease, it’s treatable. Call us today at 888-534-1951. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. We can help you beat the disease of addiction.