The thought of going to drug rehab can be a tough pill to swallow, for addicts and their loved ones alike. Many feel that their addiction is not “bad enough” to go to rehab, so they wait it out. Many are afraid of the stigma around the word “rehab,” and are concerned about what others might think. Many wonder whether there is certain criteria, or levels of addiction, that qualify a person for rehab.
What inspires them – or pushes them – to go?
There are many reasons that a person should go to rehab, but everyone has their own, unique path to getting there. Below are some of the most common reasons why people go to rehab for addiction today.
- Drinking and drug use is no longer a choice.
The fact is, many people start using drugs or drinking recreationally, or simply to “feel good.” They make a choice to use. Over time, however, the using becomes less of a choice and more of a necessity. They begin to require drugs or alcohol just to feel “okay.” This is due to the way drugs affect the brain.
Drugs and alcohol are chemicals that alter the way the brain functions. They physically restrict a person’s ability to control impulses, make decisions, and think about consequences. The longer a person uses drugs, the more their brain is changed in this way. The brain starts to rely on the drugs to function. It tells the person it needs the alcohol to get through the day. Even when a person wants to stop, the cravings are incredibly strong. The withdrawal symptoms can be strong, too, which is a reason why so many people go to rehab to quit successfully.
- They are vulnerable to the long-term risks of drug use.
It’s no secret that addicts or alcoholics are constantly teetering on the edge of danger. At any moment, they can overdose, make a risky and wrong decision, or get wrapped into a life-threatening situation. In addition to the obvious dangers of substance abuse, they are also vulnerable to some devastating long-term effects:
- Addiction (i.e. substance use disorder)
- Loss of job, home, or relationships
- Irreversible health problems
- Co-occurring mental illness
- Brain damage or loss of function
- Fatal accidents or overdose
Young people, specifically those under age 25, are especially at risk for developing an addiction and/or co-occurring mental health disorder down the road. This is because their brains are still in progress, and any drugs or alcohol introduced during this period increases their chance of mental health related problems in the future. As a result, early intervention is critical for teens and young adults with a drug or alcohol problem. This vulnerability is enough to get them into a rehab program.
- They have a co-occurring mental health disorder.
An estimated 60 percent of adolescents in drug treatment today meet the diagnostic criteria for another, co-occurring mental illness. Between 50 and 75 percent of adults battling a substance use disorder are also suffering from a mental health disorder.
According to the national sources, people with an established mental illness (such as mood, anxiety, or antisocial disorder) are also twice as likely to become addicted to drugs. That said, when a person is battling an issue like depression or anxiety, and starting to dabble with drugs, it is important to seek help. The same goes vice versa. If a person is addicted to drugs and starts developing depressive, anxious, or other mental health symptoms, it is important to find a professional rehab that is experienced in co-occurring disorders.
Co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders are very dangerous, and can take a major toll on sufferers. It is important they are treated together, and symptoms are addressed together, so that the person can have the best chance at a successful recovery.
- Their family and friends have been affected.
Substance addiction does not just impact the person who is drinking or using drugs – it hurts all those who care, too. Spouses, siblings, parents, friends, children. This is because people who battle addiction often lie to, deceive, or manipulate those closest to them. If you are a loved one of an addict, you already know this first-hand.
Many people go to rehab because they realize the detrimental toll their problem has taken on loved ones. Many parents, for example, develop significant stress and financial issues when their child is addicted to drugs, on top of the emotional pain. Often, relationships end due to addiction, and a lack of a communication and trust. Going to rehab can show that a person is committed to changing, and help to re-build bridges that were once burned with loved ones. At Turnbridge, for example, we specifically help clients re-connect with their loved ones, and help to re-establish trust in family members. This is an important piece of the recovery process.
- They are in trouble.
Some people go to rehab because they are in trouble with the law (for example—driving while high), and professional addiction treatment is provided as an alternative to jail-time. Some go to rehab because they got in trouble with school officials (i.e. expelled from college), and their parents provide rehab as the only alternative. Some get fired from work because of their drinking or drug problem, and that’s when they realize they are in trouble. No matter the case, the important step here is that these people are getting into a rehab program. Their substance use has negatively impacted their life in some way, and they have been pushed to make a change.
- Drugs have consumed their life.
People go to rehab when the drug use becomes too much—when it literally consumes every aspect of their life. They can’t sleep normally without being intoxicated. They no longer have an appetite. They cannot function at school or work. They only think about obtaining drugs, getting high or drunk, or spend their time doing those things. If they are not high or drunk, they are recovering from the night before. These are signs that drugs have taken over, and they no longer have control: control over their choices, and control over when they can really stop. This is when a person requires professional help.
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease. If your loved one expresses a desire to quit, or has tried to quit multiple times but cannot, it is a sign that he or she should find a drug rehab center.
It’s Never Too Early to Go to Rehab
A lot of people will wait until they hit “rock bottom” to commit to a rehab program. Rock bottom often means something catastrophic happens, like an overdose or losing a house. However, you do not need wait this long to start or encourage drug treatment. And you shouldn’t wait. The longer a person uses drugs, the stronger the addiction will be—and the harder it will be to treat.
There is no “right” time to go to rehab. And no matter how “small” a drug or drinking problem might seem, there is a benefit to attending a drug rehab program. Early intervention can increase a person’s chances of success in recovery, particularly in teenagers and young adults whose brains are still developing. If your loved one is young and using drugs, intervening now can save him or her from some of the detrimental, neurological effects down the road.
To learn about Turnbridge’s drug rehab programs for young men and women, please do not hesitate to reach out. Call 877-581-1793 to learn more.