Few people care to admit that drugs and alcohol have impacted their life in such a way that treatment is necessary. But in reality, the decision to choose to do something about your problem is not only brave and admirable; it might save your life, or the life of someone you love.
So when do you know if it is the right time to seek out treatment? For one, if you are reading this article, it may be because drugs and alcohol are causing problems in your life. If that is the case, maybe your instincts are trying to tell you something.
Generally speaking, the first sign that drug or alcohol use is out of control is the lying. You begin lying to others and yourself. You tell mom that you are going to quit for good, but you go on another bender when she is out of town. You tell your wife or husband that you are only going to have a few, but you walk in the door after Happy Hour heavily intoxicated again. You wake up in the morning and swear off drugs and alcohol for good, but by 5 p.m. that promise is long gone.
Next come the consequences. These look different for everyone, but most addicts and alcoholics who seek treatment have already experienced negative consequences as a result of their substance abuse. Health problems such as cirrhosis, skin infections, and changes in mood start to occur. Financial insecurity may be an issue as a result of excessive drinking or abusing drugs. Other users experience legal consequences such as arrests and DUI’s. It has been the experience of many addicts and alcoholics that once the negative consequences begin as a result of drinking or using, there is a downward spiral into more serious complications. If you have experienced only mild consequences as a result of drinking or using, treatment may be able to spare you several more years, or decades of misery.
“But the time just isn’t right. What about my job? What about the rest of my school year?” Being in treatment is only temporary, a small proportion of your overall life. The reality of drug addiction and alcoholism is that they can create long lasting, life altering problems and even death. A 30, 60, or 90 day treatment program may be the best investment you make in yourself. A few months of focusing on becoming well, can make a lifetime of difference.