There’s a point in a person’s life, if they’ve been drinking alcohol on a regular basis, when they realize that they need addiction treatment. And although a person might recognize this in themselves, it might still take a while to actually seek help. However, this period of time in between recognition and action can be a critical time. In fact, most experts agree that there are many factors that can keep a person from getting the treatment they need for addiction. This article will discuss the steps to take during this time so that you’re not drowning in confusion, fear, and anxiety.
Once you recognize that you need alcohol addiction treatment, you might worry about all sorts of things. You might worry about how you’re going to pay for treatment, how you’re going to take the time to participate in treatment, or how you’re going to make such a drastic change in your life. Along with worry, you might fear how your life will be without the substance you’ve been so heavily dependent upon. And you might be confused about the steps to take, where to get help, and how to get help confidentially so that you don’t feel judged. The many feelings that arise during this time might in fact lead you to drink or use drugs more frequently. For many people substances are a means of escape, coping with life, and/or self-soothing. Yet, this is one of the factors that can contribute to a dependency and the illness of addiction.
Another feeling that might arise during this time is ambivalence. In fact, this is one of the most common feelings that a person has when they recognize that their substance use is beginning to be problematic. Ambivalence is an experience of feeling two things at once. In other words, you might feel like you want to quit using but at the same time, you might also feel like you don’t. And there is good reason why you might have both of these feelings at the same time. It’s likely that drinking or drug use provided you with a way to cope with life. At the same time, you might also recognize how your substance use has affected your relationships, work performance, and/or physical well being. Ambivalence is a very common way to feel when you know that you need treatment.
When you’re in this situation, the best first step to take is to talk to someone you trust. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to jump into treatment. You’re simply talking about it. You’re just getting your feelings of confusion, fear, and anxiety off your chest. This alone can be very helpful and provide some clarity for you. If you can, try to find someone who isn’t going to be judgmental or try to push you into treatment. At this time, it might be best to find someone who can simply listen.
If you can’t find a friend or family member to talk to, then you can talk to a therapist. It’s best to try to find someone who has experience with alcohol addiction. A mental health professional who is familiar with a therapy called Motivational Interviewing and/or the Harm Reduction model might be the most useful. These are therapeutic methods that are non-judgmental and emphasize your ability to make choices for yourself.
If you know that you need alcohol addiction treatment, but haven’t done anything about it yet, contact someone you can trust for support!
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