Having an extra drink at lunch beyond what’s recommended? Then having something else in the evening as a late nightcap? Feeling like you need something to help balance you out and help you make it through the day? How much is too much?
These questions are hard enough to answer for ourselves, let alone when we are looking at someone who is important to us and around us. When buzzed driving goes from just getting home to the second DUI, or that original pain pill prescription becomes your once a month script fix, these are reasons for additional concern. When we crossover that plane where just a little bit of partying or a little bit of pain management becomes too much of a good thing, then it is time to seek some addiction treatment.
It starts with admitting that you have a problem. Or when it is somebody else, you have to be the one that recognizes that they need substance abuse help. This may be met with resistance from that person, including outright denial of a problem existing.
Note too, that oftentimes it is not just the addictive substance that can be a problem, but there may be an underlying mental health issue as well. For addiction treatment to be effective, any type of underlying issues (including mental health) has to be addressed as well. Be prepared for the long haul. This is not a one-stop shopping experience.
Having adequate health insurance is a big portion of getting well, both mentally and physically. Without good health insurance or the means to pay outright, your treatment can be subpar or non-existent at all if some health institution refuses to treat you.
Unfortunately, there is a fair chance that you will have an encounter with law enforcement and/or the legal system if dealing with an ongoing addiction. Having some sort of support from family, friends or just someone who takes an interest in you and wants to see positive outcomes in your future helps greatly in your path forward.
Also, the path from recognizing a substance abuse issue to sobriety is not usually a straightforward one, like a ‘walk-in-the-park.’ Often, it is more like Dorothy starting on that path to Oz, you have to put one foot in front of the other. You may make some stops, get off on the wrong track even, or encounter some unexpected detours. But you may also meet some people along the way who take care to be vested in your well-being and who want to see you do well. Before you know it, you’re meeting the Wizard in Oz!
Sobriety is an every minute of every day, of every month, of every year thing. Falling off the wagon happens. But the most successful treatments look at the reasoning behind why you fell off the wagon and then gives you the tools and assistance and resources to help manage these detracting situations. These problem management tools become part of your arsenal in order to hopefully build another string of days, weeks, months and years of success successful sobriety.
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