How Do You Know if You Need Rehab?

If you're looking for addiction help but not sure if you need rehab, you're not alone. learn more about addiction, and when rehab is appropriate here.

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If you’re wondering exactly how you’ll know when you need rehab, the answer is simple. When life becomes unmanageable because of substance abuse, you likely need rehab.

Many people wonder, “Can I detox on my own?” “Do I need rehab?” You should not wait to seek treatment just because you haven’t hit rock bottom. In fact, treatment can help you regain control of your life, your well-being, your relationships, and your health before things go from bad to worse.

Addiction is a serious and growing problem in the United States. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, around 14.8 million people aged 12 or older had an alcohol use disorder, while an estimated 8.1 million people aged 12 or older had at least one illicit drug use disorder.1 Addiction can wreak havoc on your life and the lives of those around you. Your life can quickly spiral out of control if you don’t seek help. If you suspect that you have a problem, it’s time to say, “I need help with my addiction.” At the same time, if your loved one struggles with substance abuse, you should understand that a person cannot typically just stop using on their own; they need professional help to get better.

Is Your Addiction Bad Enough For Rehab?

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual has developed the criteria for a diagnosis of addiction, which is referred to as a substance use disorder. To receive this diagnosis, a person needs to meet at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Taking more of the substance or using it for longer than originally intended.
  • Expressing a desire to cut down on substance use yet being unable to do so.
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of the substance.
  • Experiencing cravings or an intense desire to use the substance.
  • Being unable to fulfill your work, school, or home obligations due to substance use.
  • Continuing to use the substance despite social or interpersonal problems that are probably caused by substance use.
  • Giving up activities or hobbies you once enjoyed so you can use.
  • Using the substance in situations where it is dangerous to do so (such as while driving or operating machinery).
  • Continuing to use the substance despite knowing that you have a physical or mental health issue that is probably due to substance use.
  • Experiencing tolerance.
  • Developing withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop using.

Addiction and Your Family

Your social environment plays an important role in addiction and recovery. Social pressure is a risk factor for substance abuse. Conversely, having positive relationships is a protective factor, meaning that it reduces your risk for substance abuse.5 Do your family and friends use drugs or alcohol? Being surrounded by people who use can be a significant trigger and will likely impede your efforts in rehab. Do your family or friends acknowledge your addiction, and do they encourage you to seek help? If you have a supportive social circle, then you are more likely to succeed in recovery.

One thing to realize is that addiction often has a serious impact on your social well-being and can negatively impact your relationships with family and friends. Ask yourself if you are hiding your substance use, engaging in secretive behavior, lying to family or friends, or stealing money to buy drugs or alcohol. While these are all signs that you may have a serious problem, being willing to ask yourself these questions is a positive indication that you are ready to get sober.

Addiction and Your Career

Addiction can have wide-ranging effects on your career. People who have substance use problems often show up late, call in sick due to hangovers, miss deadlines, experience diminished job performance, and have problems with their peers.

Addiction affects people’s careers regardless of whether they hold white-collar or blue-collar jobs. A 2019 survey published by the National Safety Council showed that 75% of employers said they were affected by the opioid epidemic, 38% reported absenteeism or impaired worker performance due to opioid use, and “31% have had an overdose, arrest, a near-miss, or an injury [in the workplace] because of employee opioid use.”  Studies have also shown that addiction has a significant impact on a person’s ability to obtain and maintain employment. One study that examined people from low-income, high-crime areas showed that “chronic drug use significantly reduced the probability of being employed.”6 You don’t need to come from a low-income or high-crime area for addiction to have a detrimental effect on your career.

People with successful careers may be able to function in the workplace while simultaneously suffering from serious addictions. This is known as high-functioning addiction, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not a problem. High-functioning addicts can hold jobs and perform at work, at least for a time, until the addiction eventually starts to impede their ability to function. Supervisors and managers are often aware of the problem but they may turn their backs until people stop fulfilling their job obligations. Workplaces should be aware of the signs of addiction so they can provide early intervention and support.8

If your addiction starts to affect your livelihood and your ability to earn an income, you should seriously consider rehab. Studies have shown that admitting yourself to rehab can help you retain employment. One study reports that people who completed treatment “were 22% to 49% more likely than non-completers to be employed and to earn higher wages in the year following treatment.” It also showed that people who stayed in treatment for longer than 90 days were “22% to 43% more likely to be employed in the year following treatment than those who stayed a shorter time.”9

Are You Truly in Control of Your Addiction?

You may think that you don’t have a problem and that you can control your substance use. But ask yourself, are you actually in control, or are you just telling yourself you are in control? It’s important to evaluate your situation today and ask yourself if it’s sustainable. Do you want to be in the same situation 5 years, 1 year, or even 1 month from now? Left untreated, addiction will become worse. Your life will continue to become increasingly unmanageable and spiral out of control.

Finding Rehab Near Me

American Addiction Centers may have the answers you need. The mission of American Addiction Centers (AAC) is to help people access treatment. If you have any questions, call the free and confidential AAC helpline. You’ll speak with a passionate and understanding admissions navigator who will either help you start treatment at one of AAC’s centers or give you the resources you need to find treatment elsewhere. When you are ready to say, “I want to go to rehab,” ACC is standing by to help. They are available 24/7, 356 days a year at .