There are three paradigms of drug use that are addressed in an addiction treatment program, (abuse, dependency, and addiction), with the characteristics of each overlapping another in most cases.
Despite some very good reasons to enroll in an addiction treatment program during the less intensive phase of abuse vs. dependency or addiction, there are any number of barriers to seeking help. Compounded with the ambivalence to change, millions of people who need addiction treatment do not get into a program or barely get past the detox phase.
Perceiving the Need For Treatment
Many substance abusers perceive no need for treatment and most, if not all, fail to recognize the severity of their conditions or the relevant impacts until they are faced with dire circumstances. Inability to manage stress, anxiety, depression, frequent intoxication and withdrawals, engaging in dangerous behaviors, and risking diseases or other illnesses is not enough to make someone enroll in an addiction treatment program if they perceive the pros of continued abuse outweighs the pros of treatment needs.
According to the Institute of Medicine (US), “Even drug consumers who are badly impaired or severely pressed by legal or other problems are often ambivalent about seeking treatment. They may yield in the end only because pressure from family members, the law, deteriorated health, psychological stress, or a combination of such factors becomes too intense to deny.”
Signs a Person May Need To Enroll in an Addiction Treatment Program
The initial abuse of drugs is almost always a result of wanting to satisfy some curiosity, need, or desire, basically, to feel good or to feel better. While many can go on for years without becoming addicted, others suffer problems almost immediately.
The most common signs a person should enroll in an addiction treatment program are:
- Cravings and preoccupations with the effects and/or behavioral associations with drugs
- Obsessing over the next dose or supply of drugs
- Using drugs despite harm to self or others
- Using to avoid negative senses or emotions
- Repeat attempts to quit unsuccessfully.
- Committing crimes, or engaging in dangerous or immoral activities to obtain and use drugs
- Changing behaviors or associations to make finding and using drugs easier
The Best Time to Enroll in an Addiction Treatment Program
Unfortunately, you have no control over the altercations that occur in your mind, body, or soul when using and there is a sure uncertainty that every drug abuser faces. The best time to enroll in an addiction treatment program is before your health, home, happiness, and purpose in life begins to suffer.
The sooner you enroll in an addiction treatment program, the faster you can reduce or eliminate your drug use as a contributing factor to any physical, psychological, or social dysfunction and transition back to living a productive, happy, and satisfying life.