Knowing when drug and alcohol use has become a problem can be one of the most challenging parts of seeking recovery. It can be hard to understand the available resources, including where to go or who to talk to, and how to discuss your addiction. Beginning the journey to a sober lifestyle is no easy feat. Unfortunately, the lack of public education regarding treatment resources may cause many drug or alcohol use disorders to go unchecked and untreated.
Although it is cliché, it is generally accepted that the first step towards rehabilitation is admitting alcohol or drug use has become problematic. Communication about the need for rehab services is a crucial step towards recovery. Communication efforts must be made safely and effectively.
Admitting oneself and others that one has a drug problem can be frightening, highly stigmatizing, and alienating. Read on to learn about how you can ask for help with drug addiction.
Asking for Help for Drug Addiction
For many battling substance use disorder, continuing a downward spiral into addiction is far easier than reaching out for help. A person may feel that asking for support is synonymous with admitting there’s an issue. However, it’s not unusual that that person will be met with compassion and understanding, especially when being honest about the struggles that they have concealed over time.
Who Do I Ask for Addiction Help?
Knowing who to ask for help is very important when seeking treatment options and social support. It is highly encouraged to ask safe, trustworthy, and reliable friends and family for support. Having accountable support systems can help reduce the potential for relapse and minimize the difficulties that may be encountered throughout rehabilitation.
There are several reasons a person may be unwilling to reach out for assistance with substance abuse, including:
- Denial of a problem
- Lack of knowledge about options
Asking for help for addiction isn’t easy, but it’s crucial because you can’t overcome addiction alone. Asking for help is an essential component to recovery – because without seeking out support, it’s impossible to get it.
What Do I Need to Ask for Help?
Minimal resources are needed when asking others for rehabilitative help. A person struggling with addiction can seek help via a phone call or even a letter. Finding the words to use when disclosing personal information can be extremely difficult. A common technique used in counseling psychology to help address hesitancy when disclosing information to another individual is open-writing. Open-writing is a freestyle writing exercise designed to narrow complex emotions and feelings into more coherent thought processing. It can be done by yourself, but it may be helpful to have a counselor, close friend, or family member to help support your efforts.
Where Do I Go When Asking for Help?
There are many places an individual can go to when asking for help. Resources are expanding for those battling substance use disorder, making it easier for individuals and families to find support during a critical time. Common places an individual may utilize or request support include:
- Close relatives
- Trusted coworkers
- Primary care physician
- Addiction treatment specialist
- Support groups
Every day, people are finding recovery options that best fit their individual needs. If you’re unsure of where to begin, it’s important to assess what types of support are needed. If you’d prefer to remain anonymous, for example, there are group meetings available through Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, Alateen/Al-Anon, and more.
For family members seeking aid for a loved one with addiction, here are some verified resources that can point you in the right direction.
When Do I Ask for Help?
Addiction is a progressive disease that can impact mental and physical health. It can also take its toll on friends and family members, plus increase risks of crime and abuse in other areas of life.
As with all complex diseases, environmental risk and protective factors interact with genetics to determine the course and outcome of disease. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is the complex nature of substance use disorder and its potential for relapse.
For a variety of reasons, obtaining help for substance abuse conditions is critical and it’s important to do so as soon as possible. Learning how to ask for help with drug addiction is half the battle. Understanding the appropriate time is another factor to consider. Studies have shown that the earlier support is sought, the higher the chances of long-term recovery.
The good news is that a spectrum of effective strategies and services are available to identify, treat, and manage substance use problems and substance use disorders. Research conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services shows that the most effective way to help someone with a substance use problem who may be at risk for developing a substance use disorder is to intervene early, before the condition can progress.
A prompt request for support can mean the difference between successful, long-term rehabilitation and the deadly effects of ongoing substance abuse.
Why Should I Ask for Help?
Substance use disorders range in severity, duration, and complexity from mild to severe. In 2015, 20.8 million people aged 12 or older met the criteria for a substance use disorder.
Asking for help from others is crucial. Rehabilitative services are not aware of the need for help if they need for services is not communicated to a safe and trusted support system. Communicating the potential need for alcohol and rehab services to family and friends, or reaching out to treatment facilities regarding the potential need for services is a courageous effort. Having the courage to reach out to others may provide many benefits.
Common benefits include:
- Family acknowledgment of mental health concerns
- Decreased substance use
- Minimize severe consequences
- Better quality of life
Why are Support Systems Important?
Learning how to ask for help with drug addiction is an acquired skill. Once you take the first step, it generally becomes easier to focus on healing from the conditions associated with mental health and addiction.
Supportive family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. can be a highly effective tool in rehabilitation efforts. Creating an effective support system may be difficult, if not impossible, to do alone. Many treatment options and programs will guide the individual and their family and friends through the proper development of support systems and care. Learn more here
Will I Be Judged for Asking for Help?
Drugs and alcohol are highly stigmatized and there is a potential for inappropriate judgments from others to be passed. Due to the potential for unsupportive, ridiculing, and overall dangerous responses when asking for help, it is strongly recommended to reach out to safe, trusting, non-substance using friends and family first.
Does My Support System Need to be Sober?
Although supportive systems do not necessarily need to be sober, research indicates better outcomes with recovery if a support system is able to minimize triggers that may impact cravings and urges during and after treatment.
Common risks that may occur due to a support system not maintaining sobriety may include:
- Increased relapse potential
- Risky behaviors
- Elevated cravings and urges
- Less accountability
- Less chance of successfully completing a rehab program
Additionally, those currently battling with addiction may not be in a position to provide support where needed. For this reason, it’s usually advised to find resources that model sober living and can provide care.
Can I Speak to AspenRidge First?
Yes! If you are interested in speaking with our licensed, experienced addiction treatment staff about possible resources available for problem drinking and drug use, contact us directly at 855-281-5588.
AspenRidge offers self-assessments that can help address any apprehension, confusion, and fear of recovery. You are highly encouraged to visit these assessments to evaluate your own specific needs.
AspenRidge offers a mental health self-assessment that can connect you with safe and effective professionals. Mental health and drug use often occur together. To best understand your own needs, it is encouraged to explore both mental health and substance use options. AspenRidge offers Colorado addiction treatment programs tailored to individuals and families.