Who Needs Addiction Treatment?

If you find yourself asking if you need addiction treatment, there is a high probability that you do. When it comes to alcohol and drug addiction, it might be difficult for you to objective enough to admit that you need help for this problem.

That said, if substance abuse has been causing problems and issues in your life, it might be time for you to take a close look at the issue. You might also have to come to terms with the fact that you may need addiction treatment services. After you have accepted this fact, you will already be on the path to long term recovery. Once this has happened, all you would have to do is make the decision to achieve sobriety.

The Severity of Addiction

In case you have observed that your relationships and life are being affected in negative ways by your ongoing drug and alcohol abuse, there is a high probability that you are struggling with a substance use disorder.

Addiction, however, is typically diagnosed using a spectrum. This means that if you meet some or most of the criteria for a substance use disorder, it might be because you are already struggling with one. The number of these criteria that you may will determine whether the problem is severe, moderate, or mild. They include:

  • Cravings for drugs and alcohol
  • Dangerous use of drugs and alcohol
  • Experiencing withdrawal whenever you stop using drugs or drinking alcohol
  • Lack of a sense of responsibility in your day to day life as a result of your ongoing drug and alcohol abuse
  • Lack of control over the quantity, amount, and duration of substance abuse
  • Loss of interest in the activities that used to fill up your life before you got involved with drugs and alcohol
  • Ongoing desire to quit but fining that you are unable to do so
  • Problems with your personal and professional relationships
  • Spending a great deal of time getting and abusing your favorite drugs and alcohol
  • Tolerance for the substances of abuse that you often take
  • Worsening situations as a result of your substance abuse problem

As mentioned above, the severity of your substance use disorder will depend on the number of criteria that you meet. For instance, if you only meet two or 3 of these criteria, it means that the problem might still be mild.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the earlier you realize you have a problem with drugs and alcohol and seek help for it, the easier it will be for you to overcome it. Over the long term, a substance use disorder might wreak havoc in your life in ways that would be difficult for you to resolve even if you sought addiction treatment services.

Friends, Drugs, and Addiction

If you think that you might be struggling with a substance use disorder but your friends have been telling you that nothing is wrong and that you do not have a problem, there are some things that you need to consider before taking their answers at face value. These include but are not limited to:

  • Whether or not these friends also drink alcohol excessively or use drugs
  • Whether or not you have been hiding you rates and levels of substance abuse from them
  • Whether you would be comfortable informing them that they may have a drug related problem

Unless the friends that you have been talking to are addiction treatment professionals and have the right qualifications to give you a professional diagnosis, it would be in your best interests to get a mental health expert or a doctor to analyze the situation and give you an objective answer.

Addiction: A Worsening Problem

Addiction - also known as a substance use disorder - is typically measured on a spectrum. As such, a mild diagnosis might not seem to be as bad as one that is severe. In such a situation, you may take comfort in the fact that things are not as bad as they otherwise would have been.

Even so, you need to keep in mind that addiction is one of the most progressive diseases. This means that there is a high probability that it is going to worsen over time. Even if it is just a mild case in the present, you can be sure that it will develop into a moderate or severe one in a couple of months.

In the same way, addiction is like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, or asthma in the sense that it is a chronic condition. To this end, it is recommended that you seek help for it as soon as you have suspicions that you have a problem with drugs and alcohol.

Functional Addiction

In case you are addicted to drugs or alcohol but are still able to keep up with your personal and professional responsibilities, maintain your friendships, fulfil your duties to your family, and maintain your job, you would be what is referred to as a functional or a high functioning addict.

In such a situation, you will maintain a level of professional success while continuing to battle your substance abuse problem behind the scenes. This means that you would essentially be living a sort of double life.

However, you need to note that many functional addicts struggle with denial. When you are one, it means that you will be feeling that you have some level of control over your life because everything seems to be going normally and as it should. However, it is highly likely that your substance abuse problem is most likely much worse that you realize.

Getting Help

If you ever ask yourself whether or not you need addiction treatment services, there is a high probability that you actually do. The only way to be able to tell whether you do would be by talking to a mental health professional, a doctor, or an addiction treatment expert so that they can perform a professional diagnosis and give you the right answer to your questions.

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