There are a lot of people out there who may be struggling with drug or alcohol problems, but they are not sure if inpatient treatment is the right choice for them.
This article will help you decide if you actually need inpatient treatment or not.
I realize that checking into an inpatient facility can feel like a huge step, and no one would take such an action lightly.
My goal is not to trivialize rehab or make light of it, because I know that it is a big decision for anyone to make.
I know this for a fact because I have experienced it first hand. I know exactly what it is like to have your whole life spinning out of control, be surrounded by the chaos of addiction, and still have this extreme fear about asking for help and checking into a treatment center where they are going to try to attempt to bring you back under control.
The whole thing is just awkward–going to a place in order to stop using drugs and alcohol. It just does not seem like it should be necessary, even if you are hopelessly addicted and completely out of control. I understand fully how strange it may seem to relinquish all of your control by checking into rehab.
So my goal here is not to simply say “of course you need to go to rehab, duh!” That is the not the point of this at all. Going to rehab is a big deal, and I would not just suggest it lightly.
That said, I do tend to lean towards rehab as a good solution for most addicts and alcoholics, but there are a number of good reasons for that.
Part of the problem was that I was scared to go to rehab, I was terrified of facing life clean and sober, and what happened to me with my own addiction treatment experience was like a complete reversal. After facing my fear and attending rehab, I was able to overcome all of that fear and eventually live my life clean and sober. I was terrified of rehab and I was terrified of having to speak in 12 meetings and so the idea of going to rehab was extremely negative in my own mind.
I had also been to rehab twice before so I basically knew what to expect, and I had my mind made up that it was not going to work for me. I told anyone who would listen to me that I would rather die than to go back to rehab. Little did I understand that this was actually the choice I was ultimately facing.
Luckily I got miserable enough and was able to surrender to the idea that my addiction was now worse than drug rehab. I clearly saw that I was so miserable using drugs and alcohol that attending treatment could not possibly be any worse. But I had to get to that point, and it did not just happen quickly. It happened over a few years of really miserable drinking and drug use. But I finally became willing, because I was so miserable in my disease. Even though I was terrified of rehab and terrified of being clean and sober, I was so miserable in my addiction that it did not matter anymore. I stopped caring about how scary rehab was. I stopped caring how scared I was to sit in a 12 step meeting. I became so miserable that I agreed to give rehab another chance.
This is the process of very early recovery. Surrender through the misery of addiction. Face your fears and attempt to get sober because you become so sick and tired of addiction that you trivialize your own deepest fears. Who cares? That is the attitude that accompanies true surrender. You stop caring so much and agree to try something different.
So it is not so much that you have to decide that going to rehab is the perfect thing for you to do, and that you have to get all excited about treatment and this grand new life you are going to build. That is not how it has to happen, nor is that how it will happen. Instead, you will become sick and tired and miserable from your addiction, and you will stop caring about how afraid you are of sobriety and how afraid you are of going to rehab. When you reach this point of “not caring” and of deep surrender, you will ask for help. Hopefully that will involve going to an addiction treatment center so that you have a good chance of staying clean and sober.
The flaw in needing something external to be happy or content
When you are thinking about your decision to go to rehab, ask yourself this question:
“Is it right that I should need to take drugs or alcohol in order to be happy?”
Think about that for a moment, think about a new baby who is born clean into the world and who does not need a chemical put into their body in order to be happy and content.
Many addicts and alcoholics get to this point in their lives where they just accept their addiction on a very deep level, and they reason that their body is just different, and their body demands drugs or alcohol in order for them to be happy. They will say things like “That is just the way it is, my body is just different, and it needs my drug of choice in order for me to be happy.”
They accept this as fact and just go on about their lives under the assumption that they have to have their drug of choice no matter what, that this is just the way that it is, and that there is no changing that.
When you are thinking about your possible need for rehab, I want you to fully realize that this line of thinking is entirely WRONG–that human bodies do not require drugs or alcohol, even if you are a bit different or your body is a bit different you should still not have to depend on a chemical in order to feel normal or happy.
Your logic is that “I am unique, I am an anomaly, I am the one person in the universe who really does need drugs or alcohol in order to function.”
This logic is flawed, it is dead wrong, and you can be happy and content without any chemicals at all. Your addiction has convinced you otherwise. Your addiction has convinced you that you will be miserable without the chemicals.
Once you get through the detox process and start living a “normal” life again, you WILL realize that you can be happy and content without any drugs at all.
Any human, any physical body can be detoxed from drugs and alcohol. After that, the human will return to a certain level of happiness and contentment. They will NOT be miserable like they think they will be. This is the illusion that your addiction wants you to believe. This is part of your denial.
Yes, you can be happy in recovery without any chemicals, whether you believe it or not.
Have you really tried to overcome your addiction by yourself?
Here is a mental twist that may be preventing you from attending rehab.
“Have I ever given a serious, 100 percent effort to quit drugs and alcohol on my own?”
You will probably admit to yourself that no, you have not done that.
So in order to move forward in your recovery and be able to ask for help or possibly attend treatment, I want you to do me favor. Bookmark this article and come back and read it in 90 days. In the meantime, I want you to make a serious effort to quit drugs and alcohol on your own.
Perhaps you do not need help, perhaps you are not a true drug addict or alcoholic, perhaps you do not need any form of treatment whatsoever in order to quit.
But if that is the case, then I want you to prove it to yourself with a single experiment.
Decide right now that you are going to quit drugs and alcohol, on your own, without treatment, and that you are going to be clean and sober for the next 90 days continuous. No slips allowed.
Come back in 90 days and re-read this article. If you have stayed clean and sober for the duration without any slips, then you have proven to yourself that you can recover just fine on your own without any help.
But if you fail in any way, at least then you will have the truth. At least then you will know that you need help in order to recover.
At least then you will be able to say “I gave it my best shot, I tried with 100 percent effort to stop using drugs and alcohol on my own, and I failed.”
This will be extremely valuable information!
Because then you will be able to say “OK, I guess I really do need help in order to stop using drugs and alcohol.”
But if you never give it your best effort to quit on your own, then you may be preventing yourself from attending treatment.
So make a deal with yourself (if you really want to overcome your disease) that you will make a supreme effort and really try to quit on your own.
If that fails, your next step is to ask for help and attend treatment.
There is no shame in attending inpatient rehab
If you have gone through the process outlined above and you have tried on your own to quit using your drug of choice, then at some point you will hopefully open up to the idea that you might need to attend rehab.
Many people have this idea in their minds that going to rehab is shameful. That they are to be shamed because they cannot control their addiction, and so going to rehab is this huge admission of shame and guilt and that they are a terrible person because of it.
The truth is that addiction is a disease and there should be no shame at all in it. If you are willing to ask for help and to confront your problem then this is not shameful at all.
Keep in mind too that many of the people who are going to try to help you at rehab have been exactly where you are at. Nearly all of them have had experience with getting clean and sober themselves, and having to ask for help.
The shameful thing is to continue to self medicate without addressing your problem. That is the real source of shame.
Actually facing up to your disease and realizing that you need help is not shameful at all, nor is attending treatment.
I have been to three treatment centers throughout my life and one thing that I found was that there was never any shaming or disrespect going on at any treatment facility. I never encountered this problem in real life, the idea of shame was only in my own mind, the actual people that I encountered at every treatment center were always supportive, friendly, and helpful. Most of them were recovering addicts and alcoholics themselves.
I learned this on an even deeper level later on when I started working in the same treatment center where I had started my own recovery journey. Some of the same staff members who took care of me in detox became my coworkers. And we helped the newcomer to get clean and sober, and some of them went on to work alongside of us as well. There were no judgments made and no shame in all of this. Only people trying to help other people as best they could.
Do not even let your shame stop you from asking for help or attending rehab. It’s not worth it, because you will realize that your shame was imaginary, it was all in your mind, and the people in treatment centers only want to help you. They will not ridicule or shame you in any way.
The cost of inpatient treatment is trivial compared to the ongoing cost of drug or alcohol abuse
Addiction treatment is not free, there is always a cost involved, and so this can easily become part of the addict’s or alcoholic’s argument for why they do not need rehab.
What you need to do is to ALSO consider the cost of NOT attending treatment.
Think about this for a moment. Let’s say that you have two possible scenarios in front of you:
Scenario one: you attend rehab and stay clean and sober for the rest of your life.
Scenario two: you avoid rehab because it is expensive and you use drugs or alcohol for the rest of your life.
If you actually sit down and get out pencil and paper and calculate the true cost of your addiction, you will realize that your drug or alcohol use actually costs you a fortune. Don’t forget to include figures like:
* The cost of the drugs or alcohol themselves.
* The total cost of all health complications in the future due to your addiction.
* The cost of not working a better job or advancing in your career due to your addiction, accepting lower pay due to less ambition, etc.
* The cost of all legal problems due to your addiction.
* The cost of missed work, calling in sick, lost jobs, etc.
Most people who really make an accurate estimate will realize that their addiction is costing them at least a thousand dollars per month, every single month.
Keep in mind that it is more than just what you spend on your drug of choice, but it is also the missed opportunities and lost productivity that results from your addiction.
I estimate that I had spent and lost at least $100,000 due to my addiction over the period of a decade or slightly longer.
Now figure this too:
I attended rehab over eleven years ago. So over the last eleven years, I have built and saved and invested in this new life for myself, and I have a certain worth today that is based on not just my health and my happiness, but also based on a number in a bank account somewhere and also a steady job that produces value for me.
These present figures would look a LOT worse if I had avoided rehab eleven years ago and just kept using my drug of choice instead. Shoot, I could easily be dead now!
Treatment may not be cheap, but it is a whole lot better deal than continued addiction. Figure out the real cost of your disease, and you will see that rehab is dirt cheap in comparison.
Shy or reserved personalities do just fine in addiction treatment settings
I happen to be a very shy person who is terrified of having to speak in front of others.
Therefore, the idea of attending rehab was always terrifying to me. I was scared that I would be forced to speak in front of groups of people, and this fear kept me drinking and out of rehab for a long time.
The truth is that rehab is a non-threatening environment.
No one is going to force you to be uncomfortable in rehab. This is an illusion that we paint in our minds that just keeps us trapped in fear.
If you go to rehab, here is what you will realize:
* Your anxiety will be less than you anticipate because the group will be smaller and more intimate than what you are imagining. Instead of being forced to speak in front of a huge audience, it will actually be a small and tight-knit group of friends that you are dealing with. Yes, you will become friends with the people in rehab, and doing so will be a natural and easy process. It will just happen, whether you plan on it or not.
* Your anxiety will be less than you anticipate when you are clean and sober, because you have been misjudging the severity of it due to addiction for years. You may have real anxiety while sober, but you because of your addiction you are not in a position to judge how severe it is. Also, the rehab will use non-addictive means and medications to help control it. The staff will work with you to help you in this way.
* It will be easier than you think to communicate and get real value out of rehab because you cannot predict the friends that you will make in advance. The fact is that you will meet new people in rehab and you will form meaningful connections with them. Even if you do not WANT to do this, it will just happen, and it will lessen your anxiety considerably. Groups will not be as scary as you anticipate because you are actually going to get to know your peers.
Excuses for avoiding addiction treatment are just that–excuses
My hope for you is that you take a long and accurate look at your life.
I want you to get really honest with yourself, and figure out what you want.
Do you want to be clean and sober?
If so, make it happen. Give it your best try to do it on your own, and prove to yourself if you really need help or not.
If you can make it on your own, that is great! But if not, then you might consider the idea that the only thing keeping you from a new life in recovery are excuses.
You have excuses about how you should not go to rehab, about how rehab will not work for you, about how you have tried it before and failed, or whatever.
That’s all it is–a bunch of excuses.
The bottom line is that if you make the decision to recover and ask for help, your whole life could change.
The payoff of successful recovery is too big to ignore.
You cannot afford to miss out on this awesome life–a life of sobriety, a life without drugs or alcohol.
If you are ready to take the next step, click here to learn exactly how treatment will transform your life.