Congratulations, you have taken the first step in your recovery. You’ve acknowledged that you have a problem with substance abuse and that you no longer want to be a slave to your addiction. While you may not realize it now, acknowledging your problem was the biggest, and maybe most difficult, step you can take. But it is important to keep the momentum and continue to seek help for your addiction.
Who Can Help?
There are many resources that you have available that you may not have thought of. An obvious choice is to speak to your primary care physician. She/he has probably had experience dealing with people who have substance abuse and addiction issues. They can provide you with information to help you further understand what addiction is and ways you can work with this disease.
Other initial resources could be your minister/priest/pastor/spiritual counselor; these advisors often encounter people who have come to them with their problem. Many of them actively seek information about not only the disease but programs and therapies that have been effective in dealing with drug addiction.
College and high school guidance counselors certainly have referral information available to them as do friends who have had family members who dealt with addiction. If those options are too transparent for your current comfort level, you can attend a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and learn more in a more discreet manner.
Once you have been made aware of your options, you may feel somewhat overwhelmed by all the choices you have. It is important at this stage to make a critical assessment; by answering some of these “hard” questions, you can focus your research on your options:
- Are you going to be more successful if you enter an inpatient facility?
- Considering your finances and family obligations, is outpatient treatment a more viable option?
- What type of support do you think you would benefit from the most?
- Do you feel your needs would be better met by a specialized program, specific to your addiction?
- Do you need medical assistance with detox or do you need a program that focuses on addition only?
- Do you want a program that specializes in your age, gender, or has a particular religious association?
Choices, Choices, Choices
So far, you have gotten information about program options from your doctor, a trusted friend or family member, or another reliable source. You may have even explored options online; so the next step is to call the places you are interested in and ask about their treatment methods:
- the services they offer,
- whether or not they have space available
- what your options are for payment
- if a counselor is available via phone or whether a tour is recommended
- what is necessary for the application process.
If you or someone you know is abusing or is addicted to either prescribed or illegal substances, it is often difficult to determine when a person’s use moves from therapeutic to addictive.