7 Signs You Need To Go To Rehab

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Rehab offers an opportunity to detoxify from drugs or alcohol and learn the tools needed to avoid relapse. Most rehabilitation programs are overseen by medical professionals. They allow a person to remove themselves from temptation and spend time in an environment full- or part-time that is exclusively focused on recovery.


How does someone know that he or she needs to go to rehab?

Many people turn to drugs or alcohol to escape their challenges and this leads to a new challenge developing – addiction. It tends to cloud a person’s view of their problems, including that addiction. Figuring out when rehab is necessary is challenging for many people. Often, knowing when to seek professional help requires input from friends or family.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not quite ready to admit you’re struggling with addiction or loved ones have suggested rehab yet. There are a few telltale ways to know if rehab is the next logical step in recovery.

Signs you or a loved one needs to go to rehab:

  1. You are using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate a mental health condition
  2. You struggle with withdrawal symptoms when you stop using drugs or alcohol
  3. You suffer health problems that are linked to substance use
  4. Your priority is using the substance of your choice and other areas of your life, such as your relationships or job are suffering because of it
  5. You have a preoccupation with using drugs or alcohol
  6. You’ve developed a lack of interest and/or motivation for working, attending school, and spending time with family and friends
  7. You’ve stolen money or committed other crimes to obtain drugs or alcohol

When to Get Treatment

Knowing when it’s time to seek addiction treatment is one of the greatest challenges of recovery. Chances are if you’ve considered seeking treatment, then it’s time. Spending too much agonizing over whether or not it’s time for treatment is time spent not recovering and living your life to the fullest.

Determining when to go to rehab is confusing and there is no simple answer. The right time for rehab varies from person to person.

Rehab doesn’t come with a list of required obligations before attending. Programs don’t require people to have had an addiction for a set number of weeks or months or years. There’s no need to “hit rock bottom” before you’ll be accepted into rehab.

Certain programs have criteria that must be met to be eligible for care, but in general, there is no single thing that automatically qualifies or eliminates you from treatment. This isn’t to say someone without a heroin addiction could receive methadone treatment. A medical detox would not be provided to someone without an addiction to alcohol, drugs, and non-substances. However, anyone who believes he or she has an addiction can seek treatment. What that treatment entails is determined by an intake evaluation.

Addiction Treatment Options

Several options exist for alcohol rehab and drug rehab. For example:

Counseling and Behavior Therapies 

Counseling and behavior therapy is effective in treating substance abuse. It also provides someone with life skills and support that promote long-term abstinence. There are many different therapeutic approaches including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy — assists people with substance use disorders recognize and change their thoughts and attitudes
  • Multidimensional family therapy — supports improved family function and is especially effective for treating adolescent substance use disorders
  • Motivational interviewing — utilizes a person’s willingness to change and helps them adjust their behavior
  • Motivational incentive — encourages abstinence through a reward or positive reinforcement system

Rehabilitation Programs (Rehab)

These programs provide an environment that supports recovery and long-term abstinence. Program options include:

  • Short-term residential treatment
  • Therapeutic communities
  • Recovery housing
  • Long-term outpatient treatment

Self-Help Groups and 12-Step Programs

These programs bring together people struggling with similar issues. They provide education, information, and a community environment. Some of the most popular examples of self-help and 12-step programs include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Prescription pharmaceuticals are effective tools during rehab and recovery. Medication is also effective in treating co-occurring disorders. Medication varies based on the substance in question, but some of the most popular medications used in rehab include:

MAT for Alcohol

Common medications used to help treat alcoholism (alcohol use disorder):

  • Naltrexone
  • Acamprosate
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse)

MAT for Opioids

Common medications used to help treat drug addiction (opioid use disorder):

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone

Rehab FAQs

How does detox help overcome addiction?

Detoxification is normally the first step in addiction treatment. It describes the process of clearing a substance from the body and limiting withdrawal reactions. Most detox regimens require hours or days, but there might be lingering effects after a week or more.

Can I go to rehab without insurance?

Yes. However, you’ll need to seek subsidized support for treatment. This is usually available through your state’s Medicaid program. Depending on your circumstances and location there might be other financial support available as well.

Should you hold an intervention?

It’s impossible to know for sure whether an intervention is a good idea without knowing the specific details of a situation. If a loved one is struggling with substance use, an intervention could be an effective tool for helping that person. However, interventions are difficult for everyone involved and everyone must agree that intervening is the right thing to do for the person before moving forward.

How can family members assist in a loved one's recovery?

There are many ways for family and friends to play an important role in helping a loved one overcome addiction. Being informed about addiction, recovery, and related medical issues are all important things that will help your loved one. If you care about someone addicted to drugs or alcohol, learn about addiction, co-occurring conditions, and the various treatment options available.

Find Help For Your Addiction

You don’t have to overcome your addiction alone. Professional guidance and support is available. Begin a life of recovery by reaching out to a specialist today.

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Are you struggling with substance abuse? You aren’t alone. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about addiction and treatment:
What is the difference between physical dependence and addiction?How effective is addiction treatment?How long is addiction rehab?
Depending on your unique situation, there are many addiction treatment options available. Compare the most effective types of treatment options here:
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All unique content created by the Addiction Group team is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert before publication. However, the information provided by Addiction Group is not a substitute for professional treatment advice. Read more in out About Us.

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