You’ve recently realized that your drug or alcohol use is increasing beyond what you once considered normal. Perhaps you’ve started going through more drugs than you used to, or you may have noticed that you tend to drink more than your friends when you all go out. While you may even be certain that you have a problem with addiction, you may still be unsure if you are in deep enough to require a trip to rehab.
The effects of drug and alcohol dependency can look a little bit different for everyone. While one person may experience severe physical withdrawal symptoms, others may have strong psychological cravings when they try to stop using on their own. In fact, just suspecting that you are in trouble signifies that you may already be grappling with a serious dependency. Now that you have started to question your drug or alcohol use, take a look at these 10 signs that you need rehab and ask yourself honestly if any apply to your situation.
You Feel the Need to Hide Your Substance Use.
Secretive behavior is a common sign that you know deep within your heart that you are misusing drugs or alcohol. You may have started out drinking alcohol openly in front of your loved ones, but now you feel the need to hide the bottles because you know that you drink more than the recommended daily amounts that are associated with moderate consumption.
Hiding substance use can take several different forms. You may hide the obvious physical evidence such as bottles, pipes, and lighters. Alternatively, you may begin to shift your finances around so that the people you live with cannot see how much money you are spending on your habit. You may also choose to do drugs or drink alone when others are not around to judge your behavior.
You Have Driven Your Car While Under the Influence
Driving under the influence has severe consequences that can ruin both your life and the lives of innocent people. While you may know that you should never get behind the wheel after you have been drinking or doing drugs, you may have made the choice to do so for a variety of reasons.
Severe substance use disorder could cause you to be high or drunk the majority of the day. If this is the case for you, then you may feel the need to drive just to accomplish your daily tasks. You may have also tried to drive to get more drugs or alcohol after you ran out during a session of use.
Denial is also a powerful force that could cause you to refuse to accept that you are out of control or over the normal limits for drinking. As a general rule, you should consider going to treatment if you have driven under the influence recently, even if you felt like you could still drive safely. The truth is that doing it again could cause you to have a severe accident or harm someone else.
You Get Withdrawal Symptoms
Your body develops a physical dependency on drugs and alcohol when you continue to use them over time. Withdrawal symptoms can occur within just a few hours after you stop using drugs or alcohol, or they can kick in within the first few days. Listen to your body for these common withdrawal symptoms that signify a need to go to rehab:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Body aches
In some cases, withdrawal symptoms can be severe enough to require immediate professional care. Even mild symptoms can be strong enough that you feel the need to return to your former habits just to get relief. Professional treatment programs offer services that can help you through the initial withdrawal process so that you have a stronger chance at making it to long-term recovery.
You Have Tried to Quit Before
You may have already reached the point that you decided to try to stop on your own. Unfortunately, trying to quit drugs or alcohol without professional help leaves the underlying reasons for your addiction unaddressed. For instance, you may have chosen to start drinking again after you had another fight with a family member. Alternatively, you may have turned back to taking prescription painkillers as a way to escape from the pain of past trauma. Going to rehab gives you immediate support for overcoming your personal challenges.
You should also know that having a relapse is not a sign of weakness. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance use disorder has similar rates for relapse as other health conditions that have a psychological component, such as hypertension.
It’s important to remember that the need for multiple treatments stays is not a sign of failure because it is part of the recovery process. You need to be willing to try again if you have tried to quit before in the past. You just get stronger every time you go to treatment.
You Have Hurt Yourself or Someone Else When You Were Drunk or High
The realization that you have hurt yourself or someone else while you were under the influence is unsettling. Sadly, drugs and alcohol affect your personality, and you may have done things that you would never do when you are sober. For instance, you may have gotten into a fight and hit someone without thinking.
Self-harm is another issue that can arise while you are using drugs or alcohol. Perhaps drinking made you feel worse about a problem that you were having and you had suicidal thoughts as a result. You may also have accidents such as falling down stairs that would not have happened if you were sober. Waking up with unexplained cuts, bruises or other injuries after a blackout is another sign that you need to seek professional help in a rehab program.
You Are Having Problems at School or Work
Eventually, drug and alcohol use affects how you perform at school or work. In recent days, you may have decided to stay home due to a hangover or withdrawal symptoms. You may also skip work or school so that you can engage in your substance use habits. Your boss, teachers or co-workers may have also begun to suspect that you have a problem with addiction, and you may have a history of poor performance that was never a problem until your substance use spiraled out of control.
Long-term use of drugs or alcohol may have even caused you to lose your job or quit school completely. Fortunately, getting help with your addiction allows you to regain the ability to return to work and school. Your counselors can even help you with the process of re-entering the workforce once you feel strong enough to take on more responsibilities.
You Have Been Arrested for Drug- or Drinking-Related Charges
Getting arrested is embarrassing and scary, and it may even dramatically alter your life. Every state has laws that regulate drugs and alcohol, and the consequences for breaking the law range from fines to jail time. You will also find that the consequences of repeating the same crime tend to get worse. If you have ever received a citation or been arrested for charges such as public intoxication, possession or driving under the influence, then you need to take this as a serious warning.
While you will still need to deal with your legal issues, going to rehab is a strong step in the right direction. Becoming sober helps you avoid turning into a repeat offender, and you may be able to use your time in rehab to demonstrate responsibility to the court. Everyone makes mistakes, but you don’t have to let a lapse in judgment destroy your future. Seek professional help to ensure that you can avoid continuing down a road of criminal activity.
Your Family and Friends Express Concern
The people who love you the most are often the first ones to speak out when they notice that you have a problem. While you may be tempted to brush off their fears, you should be aware that they may have waited for a while to finally bring the issue up.
Family members and friends sometimes stage interventions where they talk about how their loved one’s substance use affects their life. If you find yourself at an intervention, try not to get angry. Although listening to how your actions have hurt the people you love is upsetting, they are only trying to help you see that you need to go to rehab. Your loved ones may also start to set boundaries and consequences that go into effect if you continue to use drugs or alcohol.
It is painful to watch as your spouse moves out of the house or you realize that your loved ones will no longer support your habit financially. When you feel as though you have lost everyone who cares, however, try to remember that all is not truly lost. In fact, your family and friends are likely to be willing to return to your life once they know you are trying to get sober. Many rehab programs encourage family members to attend therapy sessions so that you can work on mending your relationships.
Your Substance Use Affects Your Health
Alcohol and drug use eventually take a toll on your health. While overdoses are the most obvious health consequence involved with addiction, others may be more subtle. For instance, liver disease is common among those who drink too much alcohol or misuse prescription drugs. Heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses are a few more potential health consequences that arise from substance use disorder.
Always be honest with your physician about the drugs and alcohol habits that you engage in on a regular basis. Remember that they are not there to judge you, but they can help you understand what normal behavior is. They can also help you know if a stay at a treatment center can help you regain control over your health.
You Want to Get Sober But Have No Idea Where to Start
The endless cycle of drug and alcohol use is exhausting, and you may already detest the negative effects that your lifestyle is having on your well-being and relationships. Yet, you may still be hesitant to try to quit simply because you don’t know what to do.
When you want to quit but don’t know where to start, it helps to know that you have already made one of the first steps toward sobriety. Realizing that you no longer want to continue with your current habits puts you in the right mindset for getting the most out of your treatment. With this decision already made, you can now begin moving forward by going to a rehab program where professional counselors can create a personalized treatment plan that you can follow.
The idea that you need to hit rock bottom before seeking help is a myth that can harm you in the long run. The truth is that you don’t have to lose everything to decide to go to treatment. Instead, you can make the choice today to get help with your addiction so that you can finally begin to enjoy the positive effects of life in recovery.