The first thing you have to do to address a drug or alcohol problem is admit that you have one. Sounds pretty simple, but it's actually the most difficult part of recovery for many people.
If you're quite sure that you have a problem, there are several signs you can look for. It's important to take a critical look at your life and determine whether some big changes need to be made.
The following are some key questions to ask yourself about drinking and drugs:
- Do you ever black out or have memory gaps when you drink alcohol?
- Do you make it a habit to binge drink?
- Do you become anxious when you're not drinking or using drugs?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you're not drinking or using drugs?
- Do you find yourself having to increase the amounts of alcohol or drugs you use in order to reach a high?
- Do you crave drugs or alcohol first thing in the morning?
- Have you started drinking or using drugs alone to hide your habit from others?
- Have you lied to or made efforts to hide your habit from friends and family?
- Do you find yourself using drugs or alcohol to deal with emotions like sadness, loneliness, or anger?
- Have you noticed that your relationships with friends, family, and loved ones have started to suffer?
- Have you begun to neglect life responsibilities because of your habit?
- Have you made any unsuccessful attempts to stop or cut down?
- Have you gotten into trouble with the law or committed any crimes because of drugs or alcohol?
If you answer yes to more than one of these questions, it's very likely that you have a problem. After you've accepted this fact, it's time to look into the best methods for getting help.
It's important to know that overcoming a drug or alcohol problem can't be done alone. You need to seek help from an outside source that can be trusted.
Here are some options for treatment:
Start out by getting support.
This can mean just finding a trustworthy person to talk to about your problem. This could be a good friend, supportive family member, counselor, or teacher that will take your concerns seriously.
Once you get your feelings out in the open, it will feel like a great relief. This may sound simple, but just talking openly about your problem will start you out in the right direction.
Look for a support group.
There are many options out there for alcohol and drug abuse support groups. 12 step groups are a good option and chances are there are several of them in your area.
A 12 step group can focus on a specific issue, like alcoholism or drug abuse, or can address a more general issue. There are other types of support groups for drug and alcohol addiction that you can find out about through your doctor or counselor.
In patient treatment.
Another good option for beginning treatment is putting yourself in a treatment facility. Depending on how severe your dependence is, a medical detox may be a good option.
This will help you manage your physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms before you embark on recovery. A stay in rehab will help you build recovery skills while connecting with others going through the same process. For many, rehab ends up becoming the strong foundation for a successful recovery.
Find continuing support.
This is a very important step for remaining sober. Leaving rehab and transitioning back into everyday life can be difficult.
Finding and committing to continuing support with a 12 step group, group therapy, or outpatient treatment is vital.