I don’t think that everyone needs rehab, but I know that a lot of people do, I and I was one of those people…twice! But I do think that people should try to quit on their own if at all possible. If you can’t it tells you a lot about the strength of your addiction, and ultimately helps to get you sober.
So how do you start?
Step one…try to stop on your own!
If you know you have a substance abuse problem, but aren’t sure just how bad things really are, there’s one great way to find out…try to stop. A lot of people with alcohol and drug abuse problems just get tired of the consequences of their use, and the lack of enjoyment that so often comes with prolonged abuse, and want to make a change…and a lot of people can. It won’t be easy, and you will need to be committed, need to have a plan for sober activities, and need to set a goal of a certain period of sobriety; but if you can quit for a month or more, you’ll find every further day just a little bit easier, and you’ll have avoided what will have proven to be an unnecessary period of rehab.
For anyone who has developed an addiction or physical dependency to drugs or alcohol, cold turkey willpower is rarely enough; but if you find that even making your best personal efforts to quit alone doesn’t work, you still may not need to enter into a residential treatment program.
Step 2, get help, but stay at home
The next step up in therapeutic intensity is outpatient drug treatment. Available options include participation in Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, finding a local community peer support group, or meeting with a therapist or psychologist once or more a week. Sometimes just getting some professional advice and some professional assistance in relapse prevention gives you enough of a boost to allow for sobriety and prolonged abstinence; and millions find the fellowship and support of 12 steps meeting such as AA or NA an effective path to a better life without abuse. If that doesn’t work…
Step 3, last stop…quit messing around and get into rehab
If you try to quit on your own, and you try some form of outpatient therapy, and still you cannot control your use behaviors; you at this point need to start considering the benefits of prolonged and residential therapy at a drug or alcohol rehab. For people with serious and long lasting addictions histories, for people with a limited sober support network and for people with a dual diagnosis, little else seems to offer much promise. A drug and alcohol rehab offers the most intensive therapies, an enforced period of clarity inducing sobriety, and enough nutritional and health programming to get you feeling a lot better before the month is through.
Rehab is expensive, and better private rehabs can charge up to $20 000 or more per month, but if nothing else has worked for you, you have two real options, either pay the money, or keep abusing drugs or alcohol! Rehab is expensive, it does require of you to take leave from work and family, and it certainly does disrupt your life; but when an addiction has reached the point where nothing else seems to help, its time to forget about your external responsibilities, to forget about the costs, and to concentrate on getting healthier.
I’ve done the three steps to sobriety myself
I’ve went through this three stage process myself, and found that step one (willpower) didn’t help much, and this may say something about my personal strength, but I prefer to think that it says more about the persistence of and difficult in tackling an addiction. From step one failure, I started in at AA, and got myself a therapist, and this helped a lot, and I was able to quit for a while…but once again, I soon found myself right back at it. My wife and family eventually convinced me to stop fooling around, to stop worrying about the money, about the time away from work, and just do what I needed to to get healthier. I may have resisted further, but it became pretty clear that I was going to lose my family unless I took some action, and that was enough to get me into a rehab program, for 28 days of therapy.
It worked for a while, although I eventually found myself using again, and this time I just skipped steps one and two and went straight back to rehab for another pass at what I still needed to learn about sobriety; and I am now happy to boast of years of sobriety, and hopefully never again another month at rehab. Recovery is an option, and continuing abuse should never be. Take care of yourself; get as much help as you need to beat your addiction, and live a better and happier life of sobriety.