Ready for Rehab–Making It Happen
When you are ready for rehab, it’s time to take action and make it happen. Unfortunately, sometimes we feel we just can’t take one more step at that point. Lots of us surrender to the notion of rehab when we are truly exhausted, can’t think, and can’t plan. That is why reaching out for help is so important. No one at the point of needing rehab can think well, so you are not alone by any means, and the people trained to help know everyone needs help at that point and well beyond.
When is it Time for Rehab?
People often ask how to know if it is time for them to go to rehab, and one answer is that if you ask this question, you should consult with a professional because not everyone asks. There must be good reasons to they ask; they must have at least some doubts in their minds about their health and welfare.
There are signs and symptoms of a Substance Use Disorder (commonly called substance abuse or addiction). And a list of these can be very helpful in determining if you or a loved one need addiction treatment. These include:
- Loss of control over substance use–this is evidenced in compulsive use, or using even despite a desire not to; used for longer periods than intended, or in larger amounts than intended
- Investing large amounts of time in activities related to substances–this reflects the obsessive nature of a substance problem. Thoughts turn to use often, and substances must be obtained. Also, using requires time, as doe recovering from episodes of use.
- Cravings–cravings as strong urges and impulses to use substances.
- Continued use in spite of relationship conflicts
- Risk-taking, such as using while driving
- Continued use in the face of physical and/or mental health problems caused or made worse by use
- Increasing tolerance levels–over time one needs larger amounts of the substance to achieve the desired effects
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed–substance use progressively takes a centralized role in your life
- Withdrawal symptoms–when significantly lowering the usual dose, or stopping use abruptly causes distress physically or psychologically
- Failed attempts to stop using–wanting to cut down or stop altogether, but being unsuccessful
- Failing to meet obligations and responsibilities at work, home, or school
Keep in mind, too, that you do not have to have many or all of the above symptoms to get help. Having even one indicates a problem, and usually, by the time one has surfaced, there is a least one other. To qualify for the medical diagnosis of a Substance Use Disorder, only 2 of the above symptoms have to occur within a 12 month period of use. Since these disorders worsen as use continues, getting early help is recommended.
The Process of Getting Ready for Rehab
Everyone has their own story of what they went through in addiction, and how they finally made the commitment to treatment and recovery. However, there are commonalities. For example, most will have gone through several negative consequences that create distress and emotional pain. These consequences are losses of some sort–lost relationships, jobs, reputation or identity, for example.
Another commonality among those who finally commit to treatment is that their own internal distress is overwhelming, and they typically find less and less relief in their substance use. Typically, people at the most difficult time of their active addictions are mentally tormented by worry, pessimism, hopelessness, loss, dread and self-loathing, for instance. These thoughts can be relentless and painful. Also, many have distressful memories and intrusive thoughts about past traumatic and grief experiences.
Additionally, people who commit to rehab typically have had a long period of feeling unwell physically and mentally, trying many ways to alleviate that, but failing their attempts to ‘get hold of themselves’. Many, for example, will try to cut down use or stop, but inevitably return to substance use. It’s common, too, for people to make changes in relationships, locations or jobs, thinking these sorts of changes will be solutions, but finding that they are not. Similarly, people will often make other lifestyle change attempts such as exercising or changing their diets. However, these types of efforts are motivated by poor health and unmanageability but do not get to the core of the issue which is substance use.
The Stages of Change and Getting Ready for Rehab
There is always a process we go through when making a significant change, and getting ready for rehab certainly is a significant process of change. There are overall stages of change that apply to many who suffer from a substance problem that eventually takes them to treatment.
The first two stages of change are known as the pre-contemplative and the contemplative. These are familiar to most of us even if we can’t name them. Very simply, in pre-contemplation, we have a problem and don’t see it at first, so we can’t even think about it or contemplate it. When we are in the pre-contemplation stage, we really have to have something grab our attention. Unfortunately, that something is usually distress and the pain of negative consequences. In addiction, we call that first stage denial, and we have to break through our denial to take action to overcome addiction. In the next phase, past the denial, we think about the problem and so move toward solutions.
The next two phases are the preparation and action stages. We begin to ‘get ready’ to solve our problems. We prepare inside and out. We have to get our thoughts on board, feel our feelings, and mobilize ourselves to take action. We also have to gather up resources we will need when we do act. For example, gathering support, identifying treatment programs, and so on. When we do take our first few steps of action, we are on the way to recovery, and from those first few steps, we have to continue to act, to follow the treatment plan and then finally enter the maintenance stage to maintain our recovery action plans after treatment.
Taking a Leap of Faith
Because we are so impaired by active addiction in many ways, including our thought processes like planning, memory, problem-solving and decision-making, it’s difficult to sort out the logistics of getting ready for rehab. It can seem not only overwhelming but sometimes impossible to get everything in place. Even finding the right program can be daunting.
If you have made a simple Internet search for rehab options, you know the extreme amount of information you get. You also know how you can feel defeated before you get anywhere. On the one hand, it’s great that we have such a diversity of options for treatment these days.. That means more people than ever have a chance to find that program that is best suited for them. But, at the same time it means that more people than ever are going to be overwhelmed by the amount of information out there and fall into the hopelessness that is always tugging at someone who is suffering in addiction.
Even in the best set of circumstances, a person in need of addiction treatment has to take a leap of faith to get from the oppressive burden of helplessness, hopelessness, and pessimism their addictive illnesses have laid down over their lives to a treatment program. And, even with the best support possible, someone in the dire straits of addiction has to make a leap of faith, too. Often the best someone can do is to say I’m suffering and nothing’s getting better, in fact, it’s getting worse… so I might as well take a chance on treatment. And, even in those seemingly hopeful moments, there can be a tremendous amount of conviction that treatment won’t work. The important thing, however, is that people put themselves in the direct line of help, no matter how they feel.
Reaching Out for Your Best Possible Chances
Getting to rehab is best facilitated by gathering up the best support you can. But, not everyone makes it to the door of a rehab with people who are willing to walk that walk with them. There can be too much that’s happened through an addiction. People pull back because an addiction is too painful to watch up close. And, people pull back because we’ve hurt them more directly than that.
Addiction takes everyone places they regret going in some ways–through illness, losses, unacceptable behavior, shame, remorse… Even the most hardened of us will experience the falling away of life around us if we stay in active addiction long enough. So, the bottom line is that even if we want help from the people we love, they may not be around for that. It may take a lot of work to repair those relationships.
Fortunately, there is professional help in treatment and even before–in getting to treatment. We offer free support to you or your addicted loved one. You can give us a call for a consultation when you have decided to go to rehab. And, we have very efficient ways to cut through the confusion of all that information out there for you. We can pinpoint your clinical needs and preferences, for example, then use our extensive database to find appropriate recommendations. We can also clarify your insurance coverage for you so you only explore options that will work financially for you and your family.
Help is available no matter how alone or hopeless you feel. Give us a call today and begin your journey to wellness and a happy, successful life.