Recovery Center Blog

Is Addiction Treatment Really Necessary?

Written By Recovery Centers - January 14th, 2023
Is Addiction Treatment Really Necessary?

There is often a thin line between recreational substance use and the development of a legitimate problem. Some people drink heavily for years, finding they have no issue stepping away from alcohol entirely once a good enough reason presents itself. Maybe they have a run-in with the law that serves as a wake-up call, and they successfully cut out alcohol as a direct result. Maybe they start a family, and swiftly walk away from their partying years with not so much as a second thought. Other people have a more difficult time quitting, even when their overall happiness and well-being depends on it. Individuals who develop substance use disorders often exhibit several risk factors, including genetic predisposition, underlying mental health concerns, high stress levels, and environmental factors. It is impossible to determine who is at risk and who can use chemical substances with impunity. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize their relationship with drugs and alcohol has taken a turn until they are physically and psychologically dependent.

At this point — once a person has become dependent on their substance of choice — it is nearly impossible to quit without help. But how do you know when you’ve reached this point? And if you haven’t, can you quit on your own?

Is addiction treatment really necessary?

At Recovery Centers, we know how difficult it can be to come to terms with a substance use issue. What can be even more difficult is admitting that you can’t do it on your own, and that some degree of professional help has become necessary. If you are still on the fence about which treatment options are right for you or for a loved one, we are available to help. Contact us today and we will gladly answer any questions you have.

How Do You Know If You Have a Problem?

How can you tell whether you have transitioned from social drinking and/or drug use into the realm of a diagnosable substance use disorder (SUD)? Most people who engage in recreational substance use are able to quit on their own if a good enough reason presents itself. The same is not true of addiction. If you are physically dependent on a chemical substance, it will seem impossible to successfully quit on your own for any substantial amount of time. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, lays out several additional diagnostic criteria those with SUDs tend to experience. If you answer “yes” to more than two of the following questions, there is a good chance you would benefit from some degree of treatment.

  1. Do you often drink or use drugs more frequently than you intended, or do you use greater amounts of the substance than you originally intended?
  2. Have you attempted to quit on your own with limited success?
  3. Do you experience cravings for alcohol or drugs throughout the day?
  4. Do you spend a significant amount of time obtaining your substance of choice, using your substance of choice, and recovering from its effects?
  5. Have you started to experience problems at work or at school directly related to your alcohol consumption or drug use?
  6. Do you continue to drink or use despite newly developing or worsening physical and psychological symptoms?
  7. Have you been instructed to cut back on your substance use by a licensed healthcare professional?
  8. Do you engage in risk-taking behavior while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, like driving while intoxicated or mixing substances?
  9. Have you started to neglect activities you previously enjoyed?
  10. Have you developed a physical tolerance, meaning more of the substance is required in order for the desired effects to be achieved?
  11. Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to cut out your substance of choice entirely?

If you answered “yes” to two or more of these questions, you might be suffering from a diagnosable substance use disorder, and professional treatment of some degree is likely beneficial. This does not necessarily mean that committing to a 90-day inpatient treatment  program is the right choice for you.

Which Treatment Option is Best for Me?

The right treatment option for you will depend on several factors, including:

  • The severity of your substance use disorder.
  • Whether or not you are suffering from any underlying mental illnesses, behavioral addictions (like an eating disorder or gambling addiction), or unresolved trauma.
  • Whether or not you have been to treatment in the past.
  • The type of substance you were using, and for how long.

If you have only been using chemical substances for a short period of time, you might be inclined to try getting sober on your own, without any professional help. While this might appeal as a way to save time and money while carrying out your day-to-day responsibilities, there are several questions we encourage you to ask yourself.

  1. Am I at risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms of any kind?
  2. Have I tried to quit on my own in the past? If so, was I successful?
  3. Have I been using chemical substances to self-medicate an underlying issue?
  4. Am I insured through a major regional or national health insurance provider/can I afford to cover outstanding treatment costs through other means?
  5. Have I really been fulfilling my daily responsibilities and personal obligations, or am I honestly doing the bare minimum?
  6. Would I be happier and healthier if chemical substances were no longer a part of my life?

Not everyone who wants to get sober will require a comprehensive, multi-staged program of recovery. The best treatment option for you will depend on your unique, clinical needs. Contact us today to learn more.

Contact Us Today to Get Started

If you or someone you love has been struggling with an addictive disorder of any type or severity, there is help available. If you have never previously considered entering into an addiction treatment program, you might be unsure of where to begin. First of all, we recommend considering which level of care will best meet your unique clinical needs. If you have been using one or several chemical substances regularly for longer than several weeks, we encourage you to begin your personal recovery journey with a short stay in an inpatient medical detox center. Once you have undergone withdrawal in a safe, structured environment, you will be cleared to transition into the next appropriate level of care.

If you need help finding the right medical detox or treatment center for you, feel free to contact us at any point in time. At Recovery Centers we are standing by to help guide you in the right direction. We look forward to speaking with you soon and getting you started on your own personal journey of addiction recovery as soon as possible.