When is it time to get help?

Drug and alcohol addiction is a dangerous and progressive disease, but at what point in the progression is it time to get help from drug rehabilitation professionals?


When someone drinks alcohol every day, but never gets drunk, or parties and does cocaine or ecstasy every weekend, but never during the week days, are they addicts in need of drug rehab? We often say that there is an addiction problem when life becomes unmanageable in various ways, however addiction is progressive. For some people nothing seems to be unmanageable until suddenly, everything is.


There is no universal scale with which to measure the extent of addiction in everyone who abuses drugs and alcohol, but addiction is a dangerous game to play and no matter what the substance, any abuse is walking a very thin line. It’s tough to figure out who has a problem and who doesn’t. It doesn’t take falling down drunk or multiple drug offenses, or stealing from loved ones to be an addict. All it takes is a dependence - just to feel normal, or to go to sleep for the night.


Perhaps, instead of determining addiction as life becoming unmanageable, we should take a look at what is and is not manageable when we don’t drink or do the drugs that normally “get us through” a good night’s sleep or a night out with friends. First, can we deny ourselves that drink or drug and second, has the perceived quality of our life changed in any way without these substances?


This is a question that has to be answered on a personal level and hopefully, with vigilance, it can be answered before addiction gets a solid grasp on life and begins to make things unmanageable - making the need for drug and alcohol rehabilitation imminent.

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Theresa Arita, LCPC Intern (Tuesday, 29 October 2013 09:13)

    Realizing the difference between when I'm taking a substance, and when the substance is taking ME, is a huge step towards recovery. What I do with that insight can be lifted up to God, Who loves to open doors for healing. Another important question came to me, to ask how OTHERS have been affected by my use/abuse of substances (Step 4 stuff). It's easy to write off our own struggles as personally damaging, "I never hurt anyone." But when we think how we are part of a family, a community, a church, we know our behavior has ripple effects. We can view the damage, get God's vision of a better way, then make amends, be changed, and try again to love one another in a sober, healthy way...That's been my recent revelation...I feel blessed to have the chance to try again!


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