The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that in 2015 a staggering 95.4% of individuals who met the criteria for needing treatment for drug or alcohol abuse didn’t think they needed rehab or treatment for alcoholism or substance use.
That’s nearly 19.3 million individuals in the United States over the age of 12 who are living with an addiction to alcohol or another substance who are either in denial about the severity of their issue or simply don’t think they need help.
For many who are living with a substance use disorder (SUD), realizing and admitting they need help is often the most difficult part of recovery. However, for the millions who have taken this first, brave step, the rewards have been immeasurable.
If you’re asking yourself, “Do I need rehab?” then read on to learn more about SUDs and if you have a problem with alcohol or another substance.
What is a SUD?
Substance use disorders are a condition in which there is impairment caused by the recurrent use of alcohol, a drug (illicit or legal), or both. The problems or impairments caused can include the following:
- Issues at work or school
- Problems at home with family and loved ones
- Legal issues
- Trouble with finances
- Problems with health
- Issues with mental health
This list is not exhaustive and it’s important to understand that some individuals with an addiction may have experienced all of these issues while others may have not experienced any of these issues. When it comes to either an AUD or SUD, there are different levels of severity.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-V), categorizes both SUDs and AUDs into three categories of severity. These are:
- Mild substance use disorder
- Moderate substance use disorder
- Severe substance use disorder
An individual who is diagnosed with a SUD falls into one of these three categories based upon how many symptoms they have displayed during the last 30 days. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you have a SUD.
- Consumed more of the substance than planned or ended up using longer than planned?
- Tried to cut down on or stop using the substance and were unsuccessful?
- Spent significant time using or recovering from the effects of using?
- Craved the substance so much that it consumed your thoughts?
- Experienced problems from using the substance (or the aftereffects) that interfered with taking care of your responsibilities such as family, work, school, etc.?
- Continued to use despite problems being caused?
- Increased the amount of the substance used to get the same effect?
- Experienced withdrawal symptoms when the effects of the substance wore off? (Sleeping issues, shakiness, nausea, sweating, racing heart, seizure)
- Cut back on activities you used to enjoy to spend more time using?
- Found yourself in high-risk or dangerous situations when you were using? (driving, unsafe sex, being in a dangerous area, etc.)
- Continued using despite the issues it causes such as health problems, depression or anxiety, or after having a blackout?
According to the DSM-V criteria, based on how many questions you answer yes to, determines the level of severity of a SUD. Answering yes to two or three indicates a mild SUD; answering yes to four or five questions indicates a moderate problem with a substance, and answering yes to more than five of the above-listed questions indicates a more severe SUD.
No matter where you (or a loved one) falls in this diagnosis, there is help. It is never too soon or too late to get help for a SUD. Taking an honest look at your habits around substance use can help you to determine the answer to the question; “Do I need rehab?”
As mentioned, only a very small percent of those with addiction issues who need treatment ever get this treatment. Many will ask themselves, “Do I need rehab?” and many will answer incorrectly, no.
Can You Overcome a SUD Alone?
The reason for this is varied. For some who are in need of addiction treatment, they simply can’t admit they need help and want to try to handle it on their own. This can be particularly true for those individuals with mild to moderate SUDs. For these individuals, they may be functioning at very high levels and therefore don’t tend to answer yes to some of the criteria questions.
For example, the high functioning alcoholic may maintain a great income and job, live in an affluent or very nice community and home, their kids may be involved in activities and be successful at school, in short, their lives may seem to be going great. However, below the surface, it is not the case.
In addition to these barriers for the high-functioning addict or alcoholic, an individual who is high-functioning may also be convinced that he or she can overcome their problem on their own. And while for a few this may be true, for the vast majority of individuals who have an AUD or SUD, they cannot stop without help.
Another barrier to receiving treatment for a SUD is for individuals who lead busy lives with high-profile or very demanding jobs. For these people, taking time off for any reason can be tough. However, taking time off for addiction treatment can be risky. They may not only not be able to miss the time from work, but they may also fear the repercussions should someone discover they are in rehab for alcohol or drug use.
And, these are all valid concerns.
How Rehab Transforms Lives
However, many individuals who have answered yes to the question “Do I need rehab?” and who have gone on to get treatment report it was the best decision of their lives. Treatment for AUDs or SUDs works. You can get the help you need and you can heal from addiction.
Many times the ‘reasons’ individuals have for not going to rehab are just excuses based on fears. One example of this is Marie. Marie grew up in a well-to-do family, went to a good college, maintained a great career, family, and home, however she was an alcoholic. Time and time again, Marie reports, she asked herself, “Do I need to go to rehab?” and time and time again she answered, no.
However, one day she answered, yes. After that, she reached out for help and found a life beyond her wildest dreams.
Marie shared the following,
“I was terrified of admitting I needed help. I thought I could handle it but year after year even though I promised myself and my husband I’d cut down or quit it never happened. I really wanted to stop or learn to control my drinking but I just couldn’t do it no matter how hard I tried.”
And while Marie’s fears including what her co-workers, boss, and those in the community would think about her if they knew she was in rehab, the pain of living with a SUD got to be too much. She took that first brave step, faced her fears, and now is enjoying a life free from alcohol. In just two months, Marie will celebrate five years of sobriety!
As Marie recounted how her life has changed she said, “I used to get through the days, achieve all of my goals, and from the outside, my life looked amazing. But on the inside, I was very sad and stressed out and I used alcohol to numb that pain.”
“I told myself I was there for my kids, my husband, and my job. But what I learned from going to rehab is that I wasn’t really there at all. Today, I enjoy life so much more. I actually talk and listen to my kids and family. I’m not rushing through to get to my next drink,” Marie said.
But more than anything, Marie covets the peace of mind she now has.
“My mind was always racing. I was always thinking of the next thing I had to do and of course when I could get my next drink,” she said. “Today I am relaxed and I don’t have the anxiety I used to have all the time. Going to rehab was the best decision I’ve made. I finally have a life again.”
If you or a loved one are in need of rehab for alcohol abuse or substance abuse, Futures Recovery Healthcare can help. With three programs for the treatment of substance use disorders, Futures caters to individuals’ unique treatment needs.
Different Rehab Programs Meet Varied Needs
Futures’ Orenda Program is for the high-profile, often high-functioning individual who has special needs while in treatment. Our Rise Program is an experiential adventure-based program for active individuals or for those who have tried rehab before but have relapsed. In addition, Futures’ Core Program, is an intensive and comprehensive program for the treatment of addiction and co-occurring disorders.
For most individuals, residential or inpatient treatment is recommended. One reason for this is that it is best to remove yourself from the stressors of daily life in order to focus on your recovery. However, there are other options such as intensive outpatient therapy. Getting a comprehensive evaluation will help to determine which is the best course of action for you or your loved one.
Learn more about what to look for in an addiction treatment center here.
If you are asking yourself, “Do I need rehab?” then the answer is most likely, yes. Most people who drink alcohol or use a substance will never ask themselves that question. However, for those who ask, there usually is an issue.
If you are facing this now, you may feel overwhelmed, hopeless, and fearful. But take it from Marie, getting help for a SUD can change your life—even if you’re not sure you need it.
If you want to learn more about going to rehab or what the options are, contact Futures today and start recovery tomorrow. Contact us anytime online or by phone at 866-804-2098