How to beat addiction without rehab?

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How to beat addiction without rehab? 

Many individuals struggling with alcohol or drug addiction feel that it is possible to overcome it without rehab. Seeking drug or alcohol addiction treatment may seem expensive to some.


Therefore, the idea of overcoming addiction by yourself instead of seeking drug addiction treatment seems plausible. 

But the truth is that it is not easy to beat addiction. Groundbreaking medical and scientific research shows that addiction is a chronic disease, similar to other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease [1].  

Similar to these medical conditions, drug or alcohol addiction is influenced by genetics and environmental factors. Therefore, if you are thinking about overcoming addiction on your own, you need to realise that you're trying to overcome a condition that's medical experts state it's like cancer or diabetes type II. 

Addiction is a progressive disease. What this means is that you may be facing a mild diagnosis for substance abuse. But there is a risk that substance misuse could get worse.

Seeking treatment for alcoholism before it gets worse is usually the best option. Most people don't realise that they have an addiction issue until it is too late. 

Many people understand that quitting drugs is challenging. But once they start taking the drugs or alcohol, they feel that they'll have the willpower to stop whenever they want.

This assumption is also the case in addictive behaviours like gambling, excessive eating, exercise, sex, shopping, etc. Some people can engage in addictive behaviours and not end up with an addiction. Similarly, some people can partake in alcohol or drug use and not get addicted.

Unfortunately, not many people can participate in substance abuse or addictive behaviours without problems. 

Most people realise they need to change when it's too late. This realisation may happen when the consequences are severe, e.g., job loss, divorce, violation of the law, physical consequences of addiction, and many other issues. 

Deciding to overcome addiction  

Anyone who has managed to fight addiction will tell you the day they decided to change one of the best days of their life. Overcoming addiction or other addictive habits sets you on a path to wellness.

Eliminating harmful substances or destructive habits opens your life to develop healthy habits, healthy relationships, and fulfilling career life. 

Everyone has different goals when it comes to addiction recovery. Some may want to quit entirely, whereas others may want to quit one addictive substance and not all.

For instance, a person may decide to quit heroin but will continue to take alcohol. Other people may choose to lower the amount of alcohol or drugs that they use. 

The first thing you need to do when you decide to overcome addiction is to set clear goals. Whether you are dealing with addictive behaviours, alcohol, or drug use, having clear goals sets you on the path to success.

The best goal that you can make is to decide to quit substance use completely. Yet it is harmful to quit 'cold turkey.' In most cases, trying to quit substance use or any addictive behaviours suddenly worsens the situation.

For instance, people addicted to overeating risk developing an eating disorder if they try to stop suddenly. The same is true for people struggling with substance dependence. 

The first goal for anyone with chronic substance abuse is to slowly taper off the alcohol or drug use. As the name suggests, tapering requires you to reduce the number of alcoholic drinks or drugs that you use per sitting.

Tapering leads to less severe withdrawal symptoms. But it is essential to consult a doctor to ensure that tapering is safe for you. 

The same is true for behavioural addictions. For example, rather than stopping eating entirely, it is better to embrace a healthy diet.

A person struggling with sex addiction can look for healthier ways to overcome it, such as developing a healthy, intimate relationship with their partner.

No matter what addiction you are experiencing, seeking professional help is essential to help you understand addiction. Once you understand it, you will be able to decide the best way to beat the addiction. 

Your first step to change is to understand addiction. 

Overcoming addiction takes more than willpower. Abusing illegal drugs or certain prescription medications alters the brain leading to powerful cravings and a lack of self-control over the substance use.

This effect is partly why it's recommended for people with chronic substance abuse to get the right treatment and support. 

It is common for some people struggling with alcohol or drug addiction to hide behind their careers. Since they can keep up with their job, families, and friends, they feel okay.

However, such people are categorized as high-functioning addicts. Such individuals maintain a level of professional success but secretly battle with addiction. Typically, they lead a double life, and their loved ones may not be aware. 

Some people may struggle with drinking or drug addiction for years before they come to terms with reality. Rather than wait until it is too late, it is better to seek addiction recovery soon.

The first step to change is acknowledging that you're struggling with substance abuse. You can take time to consider how drug use has affected your relationships, professional life, finances, and self-care.

If you feel that you have no control over the amount you take, you are most likely an addict. 

It is possible to beat addiction on your own. If you have the willpower, discipline, and commitment, you can beat addiction.

It is in your power to change your life and your circumstances. All you need are solid and clear values and a motivation to change. 

The difference between substance misuse and addiction 

Substance misuse and addiction are closely related. The difference is that substance misuse refers to overusing a substance or using it in a manner other than its intended use.

For example, if you're prescribed pain medication but take higher doses than what was prescribed, that's a sign of substance abuse. 

Substance abuse and mental health services administration (SAMHSA) defines Substance use disorder as the recurrent use of alcoholic drinks and/or drugs until it leads to significant impairment, health problems, disability, or failure to meet obligations at the workplace, home, or home school [2]. 

Addiction, on the other hand, refers to a lack of control or compulsive desire to use. An addicted person struggles to control themselves to the point that they require professional help to end the drug use. 

Not everyone who abuses substances will end up developing an addiction. However, identifying the warning signs early will alert you to the need for drug treatment before you get a full-blown addiction. 

Some factors lead people to addiction. These factors include: 

  • Stress 
  • The people you allow in your life, e.g., friends who misuse drugs. 
  • What do you do during your leisure time? 
  • Your self-perception and attitude. 
  • The prescription or over-the-counter medications that you take. 

Healthcare professionals diagnose addiction on a spectrum. The spectrum consists of 11 factors that help determine if the addiction is mild, moderate, or severe.

The factors are: 

  • Lack of control 
  • Desire to quit but unable 
  • Spending a lot of time getting the drug 
  • Cravings 
  • Lack of responsibility. 
  • Tolerance 
  • Withdrawal 
  • Situations getting worse 
  • Substance use is at dangerous levels. 
  • Problems with relationships. 
  • Loss of interest. 

Many people struggling with addiction feels uncertain about recovery. They wonder whether they have what it takes to quit.

If you are dealing with prescription drug addiction or any addictive behaviours, you may be concerned about whether there's an alternative way to treat the condition.

But it's normal to experience these feelings of doubt, anxiety, or fear. 

  • You can start by keeping track of your drug use. Keep a journal of when and how much you use. This will give you a complete picture of the role of addiction in your life. 
  • List down the pros and cons of quitting. Remember to include the costs and benefits of continuing your drug use. 
  • Consider the important things to you, such as your partner, children, pet, career, or health. How does your drug addiction affect these aspects of your life? 
  • Ask someone you trust about what they feel about your drug-taking. 
  • Ask yourself if anything is keeping you from change. What will make it easier for you to change? 

Withdrawal symptoms

Quitting drug or alcohol addiction without professional help is challenging because of withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from opioid addiction, alcohol, GHB, benzos, and inhalants is severe and can, at times, be life-threatening.

As such, it is recommended that you detox in a medical setting under medical supervision. Tapering off from these substances is also challenging and dangerous if done without a doctor's approval. 

Rehab increases your chances of recovery. 

If you have an addiction and want to change, seeking treatment maybe your best option. Beating drugs requires not only getting rid of physical dependence but also the accompanying behavioural issues.

Quitting cold turkey won't change the psychological factors that led to the addiction. The best way to complete addiction recovery is to change how you think, feel, or behave.

Changing the psychological aspects of addiction is challenging without the help of a professional. 

Problem drinking or drug addiction treatment starts with detox. This phase involves helping your body get rid of the drugs or alcohol from your system.

Medically assisted detox is better as it helps you better manage the withdrawal symptoms.

Moreover, seeking medically assisted detox enables you to get the right treatment for alcohol/drug addiction and other co-occurring mental health issues. 

Undergoing detox without medical care increases the chances for a relapse. It also reduces the likelihood that you'll detox again in the future.

But with medically assisted detox, you get to mitigate the withdrawal symptoms and treat the co-morbid symptoms. Not all rehab centres offer medically assisted detox for drugs and alcohol.

But you need to look for a treatment facility that provides medical-assisted detox if you have substance use disorder (SUD). 

It is important to realize that addiction is a life-long disease. Enrolling on a treatment program will provide you with the knowledge and skills to beat the addiction in the long term.

At the same time, going to a rehab centre will provide you with the support network needed to help you overcome the addiction once treatment ends. 

If you need assistance finding a treatment program and building support, you can contact a treatment provider today. 

Factors that affect your ability to stop alcohol abuse without rehab 

Several factors affect your ability to stop substance use (whether drugs or alcohol) without rehab. These factors include: 

1. The type of drug.  

The withdrawal symptoms vary in severity depending on the type of drug abuse. For instance, weed is not as addictive as heroin.

Therefore, if you are excessively using weed, it is possible to reduce your intake without treatment. 

Alternatively, withdrawal symptoms from opioid addiction are rarely life-threatening but can be uncomfortable. The withdrawal symptoms may not be lethal.

However, attempting to withdraw from opioids without medical assistance increases your chances of returning to opioid use.

Should you relapse after a long period of abstinence, your body's tolerance to the drug is significantly decreased. This puts you at a heightened risk of overdose. 

Overcoming alcohol, benzos, or cocaine cold turkey can have negative consequences. However, enrolling on a treatment centre for medical detox can lower mitigate the discomfort.

Seeking a treatment provider for substance use disorder is also highly recommended if multiple substances are involved. 

2. How long you've been using the drug.  

If you have been a long-term user, quitting alcohol or drug addiction will be difficult. This is because the body builds tolerance when exposed to the drugs for a long time.

This tolerance is the case for all drugs, including marijuana. Tolerance leads to physical dependence and makes it difficult for the person to control their substance use. 

3. Family history of addiction  

Some studies prove addiction runs in families [3,4,5]. People can be genetically wired to drug addictions. However, that doesn't mean that they cannot overcome the addiction. 

The environment you are in also plays a role in addiction development. If you are in a place where accessing drugs is easy, it will be hard for you to stop.

You should consider finding an alternative place to live. Look for a more stable and supportive place where you can safely stop substance abuse without rehab. 

4. Having friends who use drugs  

It can be difficult for you to commit to change if you have friends who keep telling you that you're okay.

If you suspect that you're struggling with addiction, but you're friends keep insisting that nothing's wrong, you should consider if you're friends are drinking and/or taking drugs as well. 

Your friends are likely to say that nothing's wrong if they are problem drinkers or if they struggle with drug use. In some cases, friends may say that everything is okay if you have been hiding the true extent of your drinking or drug use.

If you have concealed a part of your life from them, they may feel that you're okay. It would help to be honest with your friends, as their support can boost your efforts during the recovery process. 

If you have an issue admitting to your friends that you have a problem, you can consult a treatment provider or a medical professional. A medical assessment will give you an objective view of your addiction.

Furthermore, your healthcare provider will be able to advise you on whether quitting without rehab is advisable depending on your needs. 

You may lose some friends, especially if they are taking drugs as well. However, a true friend will support your decision to stay sober. 

5. Dual diagnoses  

A dual diagnosis is when a person has an addiction disorder plus a mental health condition, for example, depression. Underlying mental health problems affect your ability to stop without residential treatment.

Addiction can increase the severity of the mental health issue, making it difficult to quit drinking or the drug. For example, you may feel like the drugs or drinking decreases your depression.

But that's a short-term effect of substance use. In the long run, the addiction will make the situation worse. 

The presence of other medical conditions can also make it difficult to overcome addiction without rehab. For instance, if you take prescription drugs after surgery, you may end up struggling with addiction.

An injury or illness may also change how you live life. The injury/illness may lead you to take a drug or start drinking as a coping mechanism.

In such a case, it would be best to talk to your doctor about healthier ways of coping with your health or lifestyle changes. 

6. Early use  

The age at which you begin substance use is another factor for addiction. A survey carried out by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and alcoholism college students are most likely to have a drinking problem plus other addictions [6].  

Addictive behaviours at an early age significantly affects brain development and increases the risk of developing a mental disorder as the addiction progresses. Early use also makes quitting addiction on your own more challenging. 

7. History of relapse.  

If you have a history of relapse, it will be hard to quit addiction without rehab. Relapsing is common in the recovery process.

However, when you relapse and continue taking the substance, it will be harder for you to quit on your own.

When you go to a treatment facility, you will experience a treatment that entails behavioural therapy and medications.  

The treatment you receive will increase your chances for relapse prevention. What's more, the treatment is tailored to address your drug-use patterns, drug-related medical, psychiatric, environmental, and social issues. 

There's no single factor that determines whether a person will become an addict or not. But continued use of the substance lowers one's self-control resulting in significant impairment. This lack of self-control is the main sign of addiction. 

Brain imaging studies show changes in the brain in the areas associated with critical judgement, learning, memory, decision-making and behavioural control [6].

These changes are evidence of the compulsive nature resulting from addiction.

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What you need to know before quitting alcohol without rehab 

There are cases where people have quit drinking without rehab. For instance, many veterans have quit narcotics without treatment.

It is also common for individuals to age out of drug use. If you choose to quit without rehab, you should consider the following: 

a). Get a supportive social support network. Support group meetings such as narcotics anonymous and support from friends or loved ones can play a significant role in recovery.

You can also find support online. Alcoholics Anonymous holds online support meetings. There are also other online support meetings from organizations such as SMART recovery, Loosind, or Lifering. 

b). As mentioned earlier, you should set achievable goals for recovery. Some of the goals you could write include improving relationships, getting healthier hobbies, and focusing on personal development/spirituality. 

c). Research drinking or any other drug of choice. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions about how best you can obtain abstinence.

For instance, you can create a routine. You can also avoid places, habits, and triggers that fuel the cravings. 

d). Cut out friends or family members who influence the addiction. This approach may seem harsh, but if cutting off the friends and family members will prevent relapse, it is necessary. 

e). Have a strategy to calm you when you feel anxious. You can exercise daily to help you feel good, or you can cuddle a pet. Eating well-balanced meals will also lower the risk for anxiety.

An addiction recovery app can help you create a routine. Some of the apps also come with motivational quotes for support, e.g. I am sober app. 

f). Don't give up, even when you make a mistake. A relapse can affect your self-esteem. However, you should not be hard on yourself as overcoming substance abuse requires resilience.

It is important to remember that a relapse lowers your tolerance level. When it happens, you must speak to your sponsor to identify where you went wrong. Remember that there are instances where a relapse could lead to a lethal dose. 

It is common for people to end up drinking excessively or taking a drug due to stress. Therefore, you need to learn how to manage stress before quitting.

Some healthy ways to manage stress include: 

  • Going for a walk around the block to relieve stress. 
  • Stepping outside for some sunshine and fresh air. 
  • Playing with your pet. 
  • Connecting with others. 
  • Take care of yourself, e.g., get enough rest and take a break when you feel stressed out. 
  • Take deep breaths or meditate. 
  • Recognize when you need more assistance, i.e., talking to a professional counsellor or social worker. 

When you stop drinking or taking the drug, the underlying factors that led to the addiction are likely to resurface. Maybe you have a past trauma that you never addressed or problems that make you anxious or stressed.

Effective treatment requires you to resolve the underlying issues. It would help if you looked for healthy ways to resolve the resurface issues without falling back on addiction. 

Carefully managing the drug triggers and cravings  

Another issue that you need to know before quitting addiction is how to manage the drug triggers and cravings. Recovery from addiction is a lifelong process.

Even when you stop using, your brain needs time to recover and rebuild the connections it lost when taking the substance. During this stage, you are likely to experience strong cravings and drug triggers. 

There is no one solution to overcoming cravings. However, there are several techniques that you can use.

These techniques include: 

a). Urge surfing.  Urge surfing is a technique that requires you to use your imagination to overcome the craving. This technique requires you to look at imagine the craving as a wave in the sea.

All you must do is relax and ride the wave until it fades. The cravings come and go. You must realise that the craving will not last forever. So, relax and ride the wave until it fades. 

b). Meditation. Meditation and mindfulness can help you overcome the drug triggers. Let's say that stressful situations compel you to need a drink or drug. 

Mindfulness and meditation can help you overcome that urge because you'll gain a sense of calmness and well-being. 

c).  Avoid friends who use.  It will be hard for you to overcome the craving if you are surrounded by friends who use. Instead, hang out with people who support sobriety. 

d).  Question the urge.  Avoiding friends who use and distracting yourself are effective ways to manage cravings. However, both techniques can leave you feeling exhausted.

Studying the urge is another effective approach. It requires you to experience the urge but not act on it until it fades or goes away. 

You can build this resilience by carefully exposing yourself to the triggers while you're with someone supportive. This will help you build self-esteem as you realize that you don't have to act on the urge. 

The secret is to view the urge from an objective standpoint. First, pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Take time to think about the negative feelings you experience from the urge.

How do you feel? How do you think? Next, ask yourself if you will lose your mind if you don't give in. Notice how you respond in different situations as you passively respond to the urge. 

Some people begin to remember the positive effects of drugs when experiencing a craving. However, you can challenge and change your thoughts by reminding yourself of the negative effects of addiction.

Remind yourself that you will not feel better, and you may lose a lot if you give in to the urge. 

e). Some people talk themselves out of the urge. You can remind yourself of your reasons for changing. 

You can also talk to yourself out loud if you want to. You can remind yourself how good it will feel if you don't give in to the urge. 

f). Avoid bars and clubs.  

You should avoid bars and clubs even if you are fighting another type of substance. Drinking lowers inhibition and impairs judgement which is likely to lead to a relapse.

What's more, drugs are usually readily available in these facilities, and the temptation to use them may overpower you. You should also avoid other environments or situations that can trigger an urge. 

You can consider moving to a sober living home if you feel that the cravings will overpower you. Sober living homes provide a safe, supportive environment where you can focus on recovery without the temptation to use.

Safe houses are a good option if you lack a stable home or a drug-free environment. 

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)  

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome can occur immediately after recovery. This syndrome is a risk factor and can lead to relapse. You may experience symptoms such as muscle aches, nausea, headache, and increased heart rate.

This condition also has psychological consequences such as depression, mood swings, anxiety or panic, fatigue and problems with motor coordination. 

PAWS occurs as the brain tries to recalibrate after the addiction. You need to manage this syndrome as it can persist for several days, weeks, months, or in some cases for up to a year.

The best way to manage PAWS is to seek assistance from your GP. You can also work with a mental health professional for psychiatric and psychological care.

Practicing self-care and journaling are also ways that can help you manage the PAWS. 

What to do if you relapse 

If you are having difficulty quitting drinking without rehab, but you still don't want residential treatment, you can go for outpatient treatment. 

Outpatient treatment is flexible, affordable, and effective. You get to visit the outpatient treatment facility at your convenience. You don't get to reside in the facility, and you still get the benefits of treatment. 

If you are fighting substance abuse, funds should not limit you from getting treatment. There are many ways to pay for residential treatment.

For instance, you can find a treatment facility with flexible payment options. Furthermore, most private insurance providers cover addiction treatment. 

Stigma is one of the reasons people avoid attending an addiction centre. Studies are showing that most people avoid facing addiction because of stigma.

For example, a study by Emma E. McGinty, Alene Kennedy-Hendricks and others show that the media's tendency to depict addicts negatively has contributed to stigma [7].

But addiction is a disease, and stigma should not keep you from getting effective treatment.

Consider the consequences you've experienced because of the addiction and what you stand to lose if the addiction goes untreated. 

If you, your loved one, or someone you know is fighting addiction, you can get the right treatment. You can find the right rehab and gain the knowledge and skills you need to stay sober. 

What it takes to beat your alcohol addiction 

If you are thinking about beating your addiction, you're not alone. The recommended drinking in the UK is 14 units per week.

Yet about half of the men report drinking beyond the daily requirement compared to women. Unfortunately, the number of people seeking treatment for problematic drinking has been declining [8]. 

The issue is that quitting addiction is a hurdle. Luckily there are evidence-based treatments for overcoming problem drinking. The treatment options include: 

  • Support groups. 
  • Addiction treatment medications. 
  • Recovery counselling & coaching. 
  • Tracking your progress. 
  • Moderation. 

So, what does it take to beat your addiction? It takes having clear values and the right motivation. 

People who have set values and a motivation to change are likely to beat the addiction. Similarly, people with stable homes and a supportive structure are likely to avoid addiction or overcome it. 

If you don't have a supportive family, friends, or intimate relationships, you are at risk of struggling with recovery.

If you examine your own life and find that you exist in an environment that fuels the addiction, you'll need to seek the right rehab. 

Remember to set clear values. What do you want to accomplish? If you're going to end the substance abuse completely, the first step will be to determine the severity of the addiction.

There is no shame in asking for assistance from an addiction centre or medical care. 

Finding the right treatment option is up to you, depending on your needs by the end of the day. You need to find an approach that you are comfortable with and stick with it.

Research in advance, develop a solid plan, find a good support system and be patient with yourself. Whatever approach you choose needs to match your individual needs and challenges.

The more knowledge you have about your addiction, the easier it will be to make an informed decision. 

Self-empowerment helps beat addiction 

There's no underestimating the role of self-empowerment in beating the addiction without rehab. A self-empowering approach focuses on the potential in the individual to overcome substance abuse.

Different addiction organizations have different approaches for helping a person build their self-empowerment.

For instance, smart-recovery has a 4-point plan program that aims to help you do the following[9]: 

a). Build and maintain motivation. 

b). Cope with urges. 

c). Manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. 

d). Live a balanced life. 

On your own, you can build your self-empowerment by answering the questions below. 

a). What is your motivation to change? 

Most people quote 'hitting rock bottom' as their motivation to change. To others, it is the realization that their marriage has hit rock bottom or their careers that compel them to change.

Regardless of what motivates you, you must want to change for yourself, not for friends, family, or spouse. A powerful motivation stems from you realizing that there's much to gain from an addiction-free life. 

b). How confident do you feel about managing cravings (urges)? 

You have to understand that you are in charge and not the cravings. The cravings will pass away eventually. If you are unsure of your ability to overcome the cravings, you should opt for an addiction centre for treatment. 

c). Do you have enough willpower to overcome the addiction? 

During early recovery, you'll have to be on high alert to manage the withdrawal, cravings, and triggers. However, once you build your willpower, you will eventually gain complete self-control. 

d). Are you building a life of meaning and purpose? 

In what ways are you building a life that will motivate you to stay sober? When you build upon the meaningful activity, you will be less motivated to return to substance abuse. 

What are your values? 

Your values can help you fight addiction. The term values refer to deeply held beliefs that you uphold above others. Most people develop their values from an early age.

Values mostly reflect what you learned growing up from your parents, school, or the social and cultural group you belong to. 

Values can help explain addictions. For instance, most people enjoy sex but avoid compulsive or random sex because they feel it's wrong.

Alternatively, a person who engages in compulsive sex signals that the values in their lives are less important than the pleasure they get from such sex. The same principle applies to drinking.

Some people can control their drinking and refuse to become addicted. You may hear someone say, "I value my health; that's why I limit my drinking." 

Overall, developing values can help you end addiction. You can develop values that oppose addiction and remind yourself of the values you're trying to build. You can say: 

  • I value my family 
  • I value my life 
  • I believe in hard work. 
  • It isn't very pleasant to be out of control because of a substance 
  • Nothing is more important to me than my children 

The lack of values can reinforce the addiction. For instance, if you don't think it is wrong to get intoxicated to the point that you fail to meet your obligations to others, you are likely not to overcome the substance abuse. You should aim to build values if you want to sustain sobriety. 

Signs that it’s time to seek help at a rehab centre  

Seeking help at an addiction centre/rehab increases your chances of getting sober.

However, in most cases, it takes time before an addict admits that they're struggling. Some people spend their whole life in denial until a major event occurs in their life.  

It will help if you take a few minutes to evaluate your life. If you realize that you are experiencing negative consequences of the addiction, then you need to seek treatment.

Some negative consequences are an unproductive career life, financial challenges, unhealthy relationships etc. 

Most people struggle to admit to themselves that they are addicted and need treatment. Yet the truth is that if you are questioning whether you need help or not, then most likely you do.

This is especially the case if you need treatment for drinking, heroin and other opioids. 

Some of the signs that you can look for are: 

 Inability to control your substance intake.  

If you've been trying to kick the habit but cannot, it's a sign that you need help. If you have a hard time going for a single day without the substance or if you abstain for a while but eventually relapse, you need to seek treatment. 

You can look for a treatment centre that will conduct an assessment and advice you on the best treatment option for you. 

You're causing harm to yourself and others. 

One of the first tell-tale signs that you need help is when your addiction is causing harm to you or your loved ones. You are hurting yourself when you are constantly experiencing hangovers and withdrawals.

Some people have a chronic drinking problem that has resulted in medical conditions like liver cirrhosis. 

Your body may be experiencing the physical and psychological consequences of addiction. However, addiction can also lead you to harm others. You may harm your spouse or loved ones physically or emotionally. 

Harming yourself or others is a sign that you need treatment immediately. 

Live revolves around the substance.  

When your life begins and revolves around the substance, then you need help. You may find yourself leaving your house to look for the substance or those who will help you get it.

You may also find yourself moody or anxious when you don't get the drug. Knowing that you can't function without the substance is a sign that you need help. 

Your addiction is resulting in severe consequences.  

Sometimes a significant sign that you need help is when your addiction is disrupting your social life or professional life.

You may find yourself arriving to work intoxicated, or maybe you've ended up losing jobs or being suspended because of your drinking problem.

Younger adults may find themselves skipping classes or being kicked out of school or college. 

Any significant life event resulting from the addiction is a sign that you need to visit an addiction centre. 

Explore the available treatment options 

Once you decide it's time to change your life, it's time to look for a treatment centre that will help you with recovery. Each rehab centre has its unique approach to treatment. Generally, most of them contain elements such as: 

  • Detoxification. This is the first stage of treatment. It entails getting rid of the substance in the body and managing the withdrawals. 

  • Behavioural counselling. This involves partaking in various therapies such as group and family therapy, CBT, motivational interviewing, plus many more. The goal is to help you find the root cause of the addiction, repair relationships and learn healthier coping strategies. 

  • Medication.  Medication may be used in cases of chronic substance abuse. The drug will help you safely manage the withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse or treat any co-occurring condition. 

  • Continuing care.Most rehab centres offer aftercare services or continuing care. This service is essential as it can help prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. 

Types of treatment programs available 

Residential treatment 

This treatment program involves living in the facility away from work, school, or your daily routine. Treatment is highly structured with activities designed to help the individual address the underlying factors that led to the addiction. Residential treatment can last for a few weeks to several months. 

Outpatient treatment 

Outpatient programs allow you to seek treatment without living in the facility. This treatment option is recommended for people with mild to moderate addiction.

Treatment can be scheduled around your work or school. You seek treatment during the day and continue with your obligations after that. 

Day treatment/partial hospitalization 

Partial hospitalization focuses on medical detox and brief counselling. This treatment option is suitable for people with a stable living environment. You get to visit the centre for several hours a day and leave for home. 

Sober living communities 

Sober living houses often act as a place for transition after residential treatment. These homes are important as they prepare the recovering alcoholic to face the real world.

You get to live in a supportive, drug-free environment where you get the support of a certified addiction specialist plus other recovering addicts. Sober living houses are helpful if you don't have a place to go after rehab. 

To Conclude: 

The national institute on alcohol abuse and drugs (NIDA) reports that over 14.5 million people aged 12 years or older have alcohol use disorder (AUD) [10].  

On the other hand, the UK says that 24% of adults in England and Scotland drink more than the recommended levels [11].  

Alcohol and drug use are the most significant risk factors leading to disability, ill-health, and death. Moreover, substance misuse significantly disrupts the life of the user and those around them. 

Whereas it is possible to quit without rehab, it is highly recommended that you seek professional advice. Consulting your GP or an addiction specialist will help you determine whether you can manage to quit independently.

It is also important for you to understand what addiction entails. Most people feel confident that they can quit 'cold turkey.' However, the withdrawal symptoms can become so severe that you end up relapsing. 

Choosing to end addiction is an important step. Yet you need to approach this change with a clear set of goals, motivation, and support. Don't let the lack of funds be the reason you avoid rehab.

You can reach out to a treatment provider today to explore your options based on your budget. Recovery is a life-long journey. So, keep an open mind and be patient with yourself. 

Abbeycare Pricing Bot

Last Updated: February 3, 2022

About the author

Peter Szczepanski

Peter has been on the GPhC register for 29 years. He holds a Clinical Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice and he is a Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Misuse for Abbeycare Gloucester and works as the Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Use in Worcestershire. Peter also co-authored the new 6th edition of Drugs In Use by Linda Dodds, writing Chapter 15 on Alcohol Related Liver Disease. Find Peter on Respiratory Academy, Aston University graduates, University of Birmingham, Q, Pharmaceutical Journal, the Dudley Pharmaceutical Committee, Dudley Council, Twitter, and LinkedIn.