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Seeking Treatment for Alcohol or Drug Addiction: What You Need to Know

Addiction is a problem that can affect anybody. Teens, seniors, men, women — no one is immune from becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. And addiction doesn’t always look extreme, especially from the outside. In fact, many people who struggle with addiction lead a double life, maintaining a normal image in public while struggling with substance abuse in secret.

It’s hard to recover from addiction alone, especially if you’re not sure whether you have a problem in the first place. Fortunately, there are many high-quality treatment programs that help people overcome addictive behaviors and learn to live healthy, balanced lives again. It’s not easy to admit that you need outside help to overcome the challenge of addiction, but once you do, you’ll be on the way to reclaiming your time, health, and relationships from the grip of drug or alcohol use. Here’s what you need to know about seeking treatment for addiction.

Do I Need Treatment for Substance Abuse?

Addiction can sneak up on you. It’s not always easy to know whether your drug or alcohol use constitutes a problem or not, especially if you spend time with other people who drink or use as frequently as you do. So how can you tell when it’s time to get help?

If you are unhappy with your alcohol or drug use, that’s the biggest sign that it’s time to make a change. This is true regardless of how heavily or sparingly you use your substance of choice. If your drinking or drug use is starting to get in the way of other things you want to do, or if you’re spending too much money on drugs or alcohol, you probably won’t regret reaching out for help. And if you feel like you are beginning to lose your self-control around alcohol or drugs, getting help right away will prevent the problem from getting worse.

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Here are some other warning signs that your alcohol or drug use is becoming a problem:

  • You drink or use drugs alone. If you regularly get intoxicated by yourself, it’s an indication that you’re using alcohol or drugs to self-medicate. This problem will likely only get worse over time.
  • You lie or sneak around to drink or use drugs. If you don’t want others to know about your substance use, it’s a sign that, on some level, you know there’s a problem.
  • Your drinking or drug use is affecting your work or school performance. This could mean calling in sick,skipping class, or neglecting your homework to get drunk or high.
  • People close to you are worried about your substance use. If a friend or family member has expressed concern, it might be time to stop drinking or using.

What Can I Expect in a Treatment Program?

Addiction treatment programs vary, but they share some common characteristics. Here’s what you can expect when you attend rehab.

Inpatient Treatment Programs

Inpatient treatment programs require you to check in to a facility for the duration of the program. You’ll go through a medically supervised detox phase, followed by a therapy phase. Inpatient treatment is generally recommended for people with more severe addictions because it cuts down on the chance of relapse. You’ll be able to devote all of your attention and energy to getting well if you choose an inpatient program. This type of rehab can last anywhere from two weeks to six months.

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Outpatient Treatment Programs

If you choose an outpatient program, you’ll visit your treatment facility on a daily basis while continuing to live at your own home. You will still undergo medically supervised detox if necessary, and you’ll attend individual or group therapy afterwards. Many people choose outpatient treatment so they can continue to work or go to school while overcoming addiction. This option is generally better for people with less severe addictions.

Whether this is your first time seeking treatment for addiction or you’ve been through a treatment program in the past, don’t hesitate to reach out if you feel like your alcohol or drug use is becoming a problem. Help is available, and the sooner you seek support, the sooner you’ll be able to reclaim your life from addiction.

To learn more about treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, please have a look at The Recovery Village.

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