There are a number of different drug and alcohol recovery programs that can help you to stop your addiction from ruining your life. The key is that you have to actually:
1) Make a decision to do something about your problem.
2) Contact a program and set up your treatment.
3) Attend treatment and participate in it.
4) Follow through with aftercare recommendations.
Most people get stuck with the first step there, and will not even admit to having a problem or needing to do anything about it. It is generally easier to just stay stuck in denial and keep plugging away in life, getting by however you have been able to manage.
Those who break through their denial will be able to eventually say “OK, I am ready to do something about my problem. I am ready to give rehab a try.” If the person is not at that point of surrender then it probably does not do much good to try to convince them to go to rehab. They are not ready for it to work in their life yet.
Now once they make it past this first step and agree to get some help, the next part is to find a suitable treatment facility. My usual recommendation is for people to look locally, call up some nearby rehabs and see what the deal is. You may have insurance and you might not. If you don’t, there is still hope in most cases, and the best thing you can do is to call up a rehab and ask them what your options are.
In many cases people who have Medicaid or Medicare will have some options to get professional help using their form of government insurance. But then there are also quite a few people out there who have nothing, no insurance at all. What about those folks?
Well it turns out that many of those people are eligible to get funding through state or local governments, but of course this will depend on a number of factors, such as:
1) Where they live and what funding is available.
2) Whether or not they qualify for such funding.
So use the phone and get the funding straightened out and also try to get a firm appointment for when you can attend treatment. Do NOT assume that you can just walk in and that any rehab can just take you in at the drop of a hat. Most can NOT do this and are set up to take people by appointment. So don’t be surprised if you have to wait a week or so until you can get in.
Now the key to actually keep your addiction from messing up your life any worse is to maintain total abstinence from all drugs and alcohol, and this is what rehab will teach you how to do. Not only that but they will most likely get you detoxed and started on a new clean life.
So the whole point of actually being in treatment is that you learn something about how to deal with your life without self medicating. If you continue to self medicate after you leave rehab then you have failed. Staying clean and sober is the whole point and just “cutting down” is a fantasy that will never work out in the long run.
While you are in rehab they will teach you many techniques about how to cope in life, but none of them will do you a bit of good unless you actually apply them on the outside. That is why the real test begins when you walk out of treatment and have to learn to cope on your own.
So the idea of following aftercare recommendations is very powerful. They have studies and such that prove you are much more likely to relapse if you ignore the advice they give you when you leave rehab. You want to stay clean and sober? Better follow through.
I personally left rehab twice in my life and did NOT follow through with what the counselors and therapists suggested to me. Both times I relapsed. The third time I begged them for long term rehab and they gave it to me. I did exactly what they told me and I have been clean and sober ever since.
So recovery is a process and success with treatment is a process as well. They are not the exact same thing though, and so what you really want to do is to kick start your recovery by having a successful trip to rehab. This is the ideal setup because then you will build a strong foundation for success in long term recovery by getting the basics down in treatment.
There are other ways to get clean and sober (for example, you might just attend AA or NA) but going to treatment and taking it seriously will give you a huge advantage.