When Will You Know You Are Ready for Treatment?
While some people who’ve become addicted to alcohol and drugs have to hit rock bottom before they’re ready to accept treatment, most realize or can be convinced of the need to get professional help long before such a calamitous event.
As for the timing, knowing when you are ready for addiction treatment, it’s different for everyone. There is no “right time” or “best time” to go into treatment. But you may still be wondering, “How will I know it may be time for me?”
It may help to know some of the common signs you’re ready to take the crucial next step of finding help for your addiction.
You’ve Had Enough — And So Has Everyone Else
The list of addictive behaviors is long and varied, including problem drinking and alcohol abuse that descends into alcohol use disorder, substance use disorder, addiction to prescription or illicit drugs, workaholism, compulsive shopping, gambling, gaming or sexual behavior, eating disorder, or co-occurring disorder (a combination of substance abuse and a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety), there will come a day when the realization hits that you’ve had enough. Likely, so has everyone else. This includes loved ones, family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances. Your life is a mess, and it’s getting worse. Experiencing sleepless nights, numerous physical and mental complaints, noticing a steep decline in performance at work, relationships in jeopardy, stacks of unpaid bills, and hating to look at yourself in the mirror aren’t uncommon. While the real you is still there, it’s hard to see because of your addiction. At this point, you have two choices: accept you have a problem and get treatment or remain on the path of self-destruction.
You Realize Your Life Is Joyless
When life is something you dread, where you can’t stand everyday existence, or barely make it through the day, it may be now that you realize there’s no joy. No one should live this way. The usual ways of coping with stress, dealing with troubles, and masking the pain just make the problems worse. What worked before isn’t sufficient, since now you find you need alcohol, drugs, or other addictive behavior in increasing quantity or frequency. In addition, you’re likely either totally out of control, or nearly there. When the recognition that life is joyless crystalizes, it’s time to accept treatment.
What Others Say May be Right
Maybe there’ve been brochures or pamphlets about addiction treatment left in plain sight at home or in the office. Someone close to you may have been trying for some time to convince you that you need help. Tensions and a decidedly chilly atmosphere at home may be due to your addictive behavior. Perhaps loved ones even staged a professional intervention to get you into treatment. Instead of rejecting their heartfelt pleas for you to get help, think for a moment that what they are saying may be right. Take the next step and do something to overcome your addiction by going into treatment.
Maybe It’s Time to Assess Your Situation
Many people schedule an annual physical, or regular dental checkups, so the concept of doing a health self-assessment, including any addictive behavior, might be a good idea. What accounted for money expenditures, if they didn’t go to pay for monthly bills? Perhaps it’s become harder to pay those bills because the money’s been used to pay for alcohol, bar tabs, illicit or prescription drugs obtained illegally and used for non-medical purposes.
While trying to hide the hole in the bank account statements or grabbing credit card bills before a spouse sees them, eventually these stalling tactics can’t hide the truth about family finances. Assess the situation from a fiscal standpoint. Two choices emerge once again: Keep draining household finances to continue funding addictive behavior, or stop funneling that cash and decide to get professional treatment.