Last updated: 05/6/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
I always thought that I could use drugs safely, that because I was aware of my actions, I would never end up as someone whose life was run by addiction. I was wrong, and without making the decisions I did in order to recover safely, I never would have stopped.
The Very Last Time…
After the last time I used drugs, I knew I needed help. I hadn’t been planning on doing it, and I paid the price. I also let down the people who care about me because I ignored my responsibilities in order to get high. The next day, I woke up feeling unable to cope with the mistakes I’d made. I knew that if I continued on this way, it would only get worse.
I Started Making the Right Decisions
Instead of telling myself I had control over my substance use, I recognized I no longer had the control I thought I did. I also knew that, if I continued, I would lose more and more of my control. Because of this realization, I took several steps that, over time, helped make sure I wouldn’t ever turn to drugs again.
- I talked to my loved ones. When I told my family and friends that I was starting to worry about my substance abuse, they were actually relieved. They had been worried as well and were happy to see that I wanted their help.
- After talking to my close friends and family members and asking them to help me find treatment, I called a treatment locator and spoke with a recovery advisor. I was able to discuss important aspects of my recovery with them, including
- The recovery advisor I spoke to was then able to find a rehab program that suited my needs. She stayed on the phone with me, helped me set up a plan to get into the program I needed, and talked to me about my travel options.
I Got the Help I Needed
It felt good just to talk to others about my issues with substance abuse. For a minute, I wondered if I really needed professional help because I was doing so much better and not feeling the desire to use. I confided this in a friend, and she told me I still needed to seek help.
“Think of it this way,” she said. “You don’t feel like using now, but you didn’t always before. What if you start feeling like it again and you don’t know how to stop yourself?”
I realized then that treatment is about more than getting medication or talking to a doctor. It prepares you for an actual life in recovery, for those times when, even if you don’t want to use again, you feel yourself being tempted.
Because I checked into a treatment facility, I was able to learn the ways to cope with cravings, triggers, stress, and other issues that might cause me to want to use again. I know how to ignore those thoughts that ask if it would really be so bad if I just smoked a little. And I know what kinds of things to avoid in order to keep myself from having those thoughts at all.
Seeking Treatment Does Make a Difference
Without treatment in a rehab center, I don’t think I would have been able to keep the promise I made to myself when I decided I never wanted to get high again. Now I understand what it takes to continue keeping that promise. My recovery is stronger because I chose treatment, and my life is better because I chose recovery.
Even if you think you can stop using on your own, the safest way to put an end to your substance abuse is to do so through addiction treatment.