Is My Addiction Bad Enough? Why You Should Get Help Before Reaching Rock Bottom
When you are stuck in the middle of active addiction, it can be difficult to admit you have a problem. It can be even more challenging to decipher exactly how bad your addiction has gotten. If you’ve found yourself wondering, “is my addiction bad enough?” The answer is always yes–because it’s never too early to get help.
Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to seek help in the early stages of addiction. These individuals have not hit rock bottom and do not think their addiction is bad enough. The truth is, if you’re questioning whether or not you need rehab, you most likely do–no matter how severe your addiction is. After all, addiction is a chronic and progressive condition that gets worse–not better–without professional help.
Assessing the Severity of Your Addiction
Substance and alcohol use disorders are diagnosed on a spectrum and labeled as mild, moderate, and severe. There are 11 criteria outlined in the DSM-IV which doctors and counselors use to diagnose and determine the severity of the addiction. The more criteria you relate to, the worse your addiction has become.
These 11 criteria are:
- Lack of control – Once you start using, you find yourself unable to stop or control the amount you use.
- Desire to quit but the inability to follow through – You may know you are hurting yourself and you may genuinely want to stop. However, if you’re addicted, stopping isn’t that easy.
- Cravings – You may spend a lot of time craving your drug of choice, especially when you aren’t under the influence.
- Spending excess time on the substance – People who struggle with addiction spend a lot of time getting their drug, using their drug, and recovering from the effects of it.
- Neglecting responsibilities – You’ve stopped showing up (mentally and/or physically) for work, school, or your family.
- Problems in your relationships – Between lies, worry, and mistrust, addiction complicates relationships.
- Dangerous and risky behaviors – You may lie, cheat, steal, and act out in illegal or risky behaviors to continue your addiction.
- Loss of interest in hobbies and passions – Over time, your addiction will become more important than anything else in your life.
- Continuing to use despite worsening circumstances – You know you are addicted when you continue using substances despite consequences.
- Tolerance – As your addiction progresses, your tolerance grows. You will constantly need to increase your drug use.
- Withdrawal symptoms – When you sober up, you feel sick and unable to function because you’ve developed physical dependence.
If you meet 2-3 of the criteria, you have a mild substance use disorder (SUD). 4-5 indicate a moderate SUD, and more than 6 is considered severe. However, if you relate to at least 2 of the above-listed criteria, you can still benefit from getting help before your addiction gets worse and you hit rock bottom.
If Your Loved One’s Don’t Think You Have a Problem
Oftentimes, your family, friends, and people closest to you are the first persons to realize when something is wrong. But, what if your friends and family are telling you that you are OK and don’t have a real problem? Consider the following.
- If your loved ones are addicted to drugs and alcohol as well, they may be blind to the fact that you have a problem. Or, they may not care because they don’t want to lose you. In the long run, the people who really matter are those who want you to be healthy. You probably shouldn’t be friends with people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, anyway.
- If you have done a good job at hiding your substance use and keeping it a secret, your friends and family may have no idea something is wrong with you. This is an opportunity for you to get honest and open up about the things you have been struggling with. Again, the people who love you will want you to get help.
Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to go to rehab is up to you. However, if you think your addiction is bad enough, that should be all the convincing you need to get help.
Potential Devastating Consequences of Addiction
Regardless of whether you have a mild, moderate, or severe substance use disorder, things can always get worse. People who struggle with addiction almost always continue to get worse until they accept help.
The term “rock bottom” may have different definitions depending on who you ask and what their experiences are. Any consequence that jeopardizes your health, safety, or happiness is enough to be considered rock bottom.
A few potential consequences of leaving your addiction untreated and continuing to use substances are:
- Getting a DUI
- Getting arrested for public intoxication
- Crashing your car
- Suffering an overdose
- Sustaining permanent health issues
- Damaging your mental health
- Breaking up with your significant other
- Losing meaningful relationships
- Spending all of your savings
- Losing your job
- Ending up in jail, an institution, or dead
Some people can use substances for years before experiencing any detrimental consequences. Others hit rock bottom within a matter of months. No matter how bad you think your addiction is, the time to seek help is now.
The Importance of Seeking Professional Help Before Reaching Rock Bottom
If you are struggling with addiction and want to avoid hitting rock bottom, the best thing you can do for yourself is admit you have a problem and ask for help. Going to rehab can help stop your addiction in its tracks, prevent it from getting worse, and shield you from devastating consequences.
Overcoming addiction requires addressing both the physical and mental aspects of addiction. You must go through detox to eliminate substances from your body, participate in therapy to learn new coping mechanisms, and build a solid sober support network for ongoing support. Although this may seem like an insurmountable task, you don’t have to go through it alone.
Speak With an Addiction Specialist to Get the Help You Need
Here at Woburn Addiction Treatment, we’re here to be by your side every step of the way. From detox and residential treatment to IOP and OP, we can help guide you along your journey to sobriety. Don’t wait until your addiction gets any worse. Call us now to get the help you need.