Medically Reviewed By: Ashley Levin
Living with a substance use disorder and grappling with possible solutions can be incredibly overwhelming. People who battle addiction will typically experience life-altering impacts and eventually ask themselves, “Do I need rehab?” While the thought of rehab may create uneasy feelings, many describe reaching a crossroads where they must seriously consider getting help for addiction. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center in Orange County, CA, we know this struggle and are here to support you in starting your journey to recovery.
1. Substance Use has Become a Top Priority
As addiction takes hold, it causes uncontrollable cravings and obsessive behaviors. Since these substances affect how our brains function, people with addiction may find themselves neglecting things that matter. Substance use becomes a top priority, which can sneak up on a person.
You may become only interested in activities where there is an opportunity to use drugs or alcohol. Things that once interested you, such as hobbies or time with loved ones, are no longer what you want to do. Instead, you may become fixated on when you will have a chance to use drugs or alcohol again.
For example, prioritizing substance use could look like making efforts to be alone in order to use substances, turning down invitations, or skipping family time. However, this also might present wanting to make more plans with friends who also use substances (or supply them) instead of being with loved ones who do not. Despite common misconceptions, this is one way that addiction controls people, and it doesn’t mean that you don’t care about others. Since addiction is a disease, people struggle immensely with making decisions not influenced by cravings.
2. Others Have Expressed Concern
Another sign that you may need to consider rehab is that people in your support system have expressed concern about your substance use. Family or close friends may have tried an intervention or started one-on-one conversations with you about your increased drug or alcohol use.
In addition to the family in general, your significant other may be one of the first people to notice you are struggling with addiction. Significant others can be essential observers because they may see more of your private life than others. If your partner talks with you about your substance use, try to resist the natural urge to get defensive. It is not easy to realize or even admit to yourself that addiction is taking over, so take your time and hear them out.
Also, if your doctor has recommended you seek treatment, this strongly indicates that there is cause for concern. Medical professionals are trained to see the signs of addiction and recommend that you get the proper care. If you are unsure why your physician has reached this conclusion, ask, “Why do I need rehab?” or “What has you concerned that I may need addiction treatment?” Then, simply have an honest conversation with your doctor, and recognize that this objective perspective is valuable.
3. Addiction is Negatively Impacting Your Life
As a result of chronic drug or alcohol use, you may have difficulty fulfilling your daily commitments. Addiction can cause decreased work or school performance due to missed work, late assignments, and behavioral changes. This can reflect poorly on your professionalism and work ethic, threatening your job or student career.
Furthermore, the most common place where addiction affects others is at home. As friends and family start to notice changes in your behavior, it can hurt your relationships. Consequently, this can negatively impact your much-needed support system, leading to further isolation and the potential for increased substance use.
If you are experiencing issues with your family due to alcohol or drug consumption, it is wise to take some time to reflect on this. For those addicted, it can often feel like others are exaggerating the issue, but this is typically the addiction talking. If substance use has caused you to not be you, the time to get help for addiction is right away.
4. You are Consuming More and Hiding Substance Use
Before someone is accustomed to taking a substance, the effects are more intense. As you develop a tolerance, you may start consuming increased amounts of alcohol or drugs to produce the same outcomes. In addition, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when your consumption of drugs or alcohol decreases. Once your body has developed a tolerance to a substance and dependence on its desired effects, it can become a slippery slope into addiction. As you take higher amounts of a substance, you are also at increased risk of overdose.
Also, it is common for those addicted to push the limit on what is considered too much of a substance. Therefore, you may develop a habit of dishonesty about it. Not wanting others to know when you are using a substance or how much you consume is a sign that drug or alcohol use has become excessive. Examples include hiding the supply, lying about substance use, or hiding evidence of drug or alcohol use.
If you have noticed that you are taking excessive amounts of a substance to feel the effects, this indicates that you need to find help. Many who struggle with addiction have asked, “do I need rehab yet?” It is common to feel unsure and confused about when you’ve reached that point. Whether you seek inpatient addiction treatment or start a professional detox program, the important thing is that you get the support you need. This is because too many people don’t get help soon enough. The longer they wait, the harder it can be to regain control of their lives.
5. You are Engaging in Risky Behavior
As addiction develops, a person may find themselves taking unusual risks. When people consume excessive amounts of drugs or alcohol, they can lose consciousness, become injured, get into fights, engage in unsafe sexual activity, or get into legal trouble.
Additionally, driving under the influence or while intoxicated is a serious issue. There can be alarming legal consequences, but most importantly, people can seriously injure themselves or others.
Furthermore, risky behavior can be traveling to unsafe places or engaging with ill-intentioned people to obtain a substance. Once someone is addicted to a drug, the cravings can become intense to the point of taking extreme risks to secure a supply. In these situations, any number of negative things can happen to a person. This is yet another way that addiction can be incredibly harmful.
If you’ve found yourself in any of these situations due to drug or alcohol use and cravings, this should be a wake-up call to get help. This is also true for any loved one who has been in these situations and asks, “do I need rehab?” Although going to rehab is a personal decision, getting help with addiction is highly encouraged to prevent tragedy.
6. You are Using Substances to Treat Mental Health Symptoms
For many, mental health issues are what lead them to start consuming substances or continue taking them. A 2021 study published by the SSM Population Health Journal showed that 95% of a sample of 50,000 people reported barriers to healthcare access. Since many people don’t have adequate mental healthcare access, some start to self-medicate to relieve symptoms. Although substances can produce feel-good effects, the relief is short-lived, while the consequences are often long-term. Additionally, numbing mental health symptoms does not address the root cause of the issue.
What is dual diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is a term used to describe the co-occurrence of a mental health disorder and addiction. Mental health issues are prevalent and can be caused by numerous factors. These include genetics, past trauma, social isolation, discrimination, poverty, physical health conditions, and long-term stress. While each person’s battle with mental health issues is unique, mental health disorders increase a person’s risk of substance use and addiction. If you are taking substances to treat mental health symptoms, you will need a proper dual diagnosis treatment to achieve long-term healing.
7. You Ask Yourself, “Do I Need Rehab?”
A simple but solid point, you know yourself best. If you are asking yourself regularly, “Do I need to go to rehab?” this indicates that you are suffering as a result of addiction. You might be struggling more than you have realized. If you’ve noticed the previous signs mentioned and are having a diminished quality of life due to substances, it is a sign you need help to recover.
It is easy to think that maybe you have not been motivated enough to stop using, but it’s not a lack of motivation. Addiction is a disease and requires proper treatment. Additionally, if you have noticed a decline in your health, personal hygiene, sleep, or mental health as substance use has increased, there is likely a correlation with addiction.
8. Your Attempts to Quit on Your Own Have Failed
Since the decision to enter a detox program or rehab can feel like a big step, many people with addiction will try to quit on their own first. Depending on the substance a person has been using, or how addicted they are, home detox can be complex and even dangerous. Not only is home detox risky, but we feel that no one should have to experience this alone.
When the body is dependent on a substance, withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable but also life-threatening in some cases. Therefore, professional care for detoxing from highly-addictive substances often includes medication-assisted treatment (MAT). This treatment involves the use of medications to relieve withdrawal symptoms and treat medical issues that may arise during detoxification. MAT is a crucial tool that we have at Pacific Sands Recovery Center to help people detox safely from certain substances.
Following detoxification, lifelong recovery may also require a community of support. Unfortunately, the probability of cravings and relapse is high for those who try to detox on their own. This is because proper treatment is designed to set people up for long-term success through therapy, outpatient care, and 12-step programs.
Addiction Treatment Services at Pacific Sands Recovery Center
Our compassionate team understands that everyone has their own unique battle with addiction, how it started, and how it is impacting their lives. While those addicted can support one another with many shared experiences, we acknowledge that everyone’s recovery will be unique. Therefore, we believe people should have options for different treatment modalities and approaches best suited for them.
At Pacific Sands Recovery Center in Orange County, CA, we provide an individualized experience as our clients recover from addiction. Our small setting allows us to offer private bedrooms and personalized care, which is often lacking at larger facilities. We treat dual diagnosis along with drug and alcohol addiction at our recovery center.
Visit the admissions page at Pacific Sands Recovery today to learn more about drug rehab.