So far in this alternative recovery course we have made a decision (surrendered) and we have also made the firm decision that we are not going to use drugs or alcohol no matter what. Total abstinence is going to be our number one priority in life and everything else is secondary to that.
Now at this point you may still be using drugs and/or alcohol, so you might be facing a dilemma of sorts before you can really get started with recovery: Do you need treatment or detox?
I can only speak from experience here, but I happen to have a lot of it. I have also witnessed and worked with a lot of recovering addicts and alcoholics, both those who went through treatment as well as several who did not.
The best advice to give on this is to let your experiences guide you. Most people who want to get sober will not immediately check into an inpatient treatment center right off the bat. Instead, they will attempt to use less severe methods of intervention to solve their problem. This is only natural and is a means of saving face and also of minimizing the problem a bit.
But there is no need to be ashamed of a need for professional services or treatment. Plus, some people are going to be physically dependent on their drug of choice and may need a medical detox anyway.
If you have tried and tried to get clean and sober, but continue to fail, then why not seek out professional help? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
So here are a series of questions that you can use to easily determine if you need to seek treatment or not:
1) Are you physically dependent on drugs or alcohol to the point that you experience physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop?
2) Do you find it impossible to get more than a few days clean and sober before you become so uncomfortable or anxious that you say “screw it” and go drink or use again?
3) Do you benefit greatly from outside support or need peer interaction in order to help you get through something like this? Would you benefit greatly from getting clean and sober with other people?
Now you might not be able to realistically know the answers to all of those questions right up front, and in that case, I would recommend that most people error on the side of going to rehab, even if they don’t think they need it.
Remember that you can always test the alternative first: simply get clean and sober on your own by following the other ideas in this recovery course. If you don’t need rehab then you don’t need rehab! Not too complicated really.
But if you find yourself failing to stay clean and sober, and you can’t seem to break out of that constant cycle of relapse, then you might want to seek professional help.
Note: Do be especially careful if you are quitting drinking for the first time. If you do start to tremor or shake, it would be wise to seek immediate medical attention. Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous and even fatal.