Drug and alcohol addictions can fool both addicts and their loved ones into thinking that everything is fine. It does not want to be found out, so it may find countless ways to disguise itself as part of “normal” life. One of the most important things to know about addiction is that denial is a key characteristic of this life-threatening disease. In that light, waiting until an addict hits “rock bottom” to get help is dangerous, and the wait also makes the road to recovery that much more challenging. Ergo, when you or a loved one finally decide to get sober, it is crucial to act upon that desire without delay! Here are three good reasons to act immediately on the decision to seek recovery:
You Will Never Be Strong Until You Admit to Weakness
Is there a rule anywhere that says an addict must suffer through the sobriety process alone? No! In fact, many recovering addicts observe that simply admitting they had a substance use disorder was one of the most difficult parts of getting sober. The fact is that people who refuse to get help and who continue with their addictive behaviors are actually not yet strong enough to implement necessary lifestyle changes.
To overcome the disease of addiction, both addicts and their loved ones need great strength and perseverance. Admitting you have a problem and seeking treatment is not a sign of weakness, because it takes a strong person to take responsibility for her problems; only strong people take action to conquer what hurts both themselves and those around them. For that reason, admitting powerlessness to addiction is Step 1 of the 12-Step program. Once you or your loved one acknowledges that she needs help to change her life, the way toward healing opens. At this point, you will be able to begin a new lifestyle based on sobriety, respect for oneself and others and trust. The strength that addicts receive from admitting powerlessness will be vital for the lifelong path to recovery.
You Will Look Back Later upon a Wasted Life
To avoid getting professional help, addicts often use denial, a powerful coping mechanism. Addicts who are in denial avoid addressing the feelings and thoughts that motivate drug abuse, so they believe that drinking and doing drugs causes less damage than understanding the pain that underpins their addictive habits. In fact, they often respond with anger to those who question whether or not they are actually fine. Although it can seem impossible to convince a loved one that substance abuse is a problem, you could try by stressing any of the following consequences of long-term denial:
- Continuing to compromise reality for a fantasy – The more your loved one refuses to accept that substance abuse is a problem, the harder it will be for him to come around to facing life as it is
- Serious professional and financial damage – Although employment may be going well enough now, a steep downward spiral is inevitable if a substance use disorder continues
- Permanently damaged relationships – People who are in denial are at risk of permanently damaging the trust of those who love them the most, including their spouses, children, parents and siblings
- Serious legal consequences – People who refuse to get help are at risk of losing their freedom, harming others or becoming the victim of violence
- Potentially fatal health problems – If your addicted loved one has developed heart disease, liver disease or other substance-related conditions, then continuing to drink and/or use drugs becomes a life-threatening issue
In short, discuss the consequences of drug abuse to confront denial head on.
You Love Your Family and Friends too Much to Keep Hurting Them
If addiction hurt only the addict and no one else, then it would not be so big a problem. However, as drug and alcohol abuse often engender dishonesty, legal troubles, financial issues, abusive behavior and more, this disease affects more people than just the drug user herself. In fact, friends, families and coworkers tend to feel the effects of an addiction, even if they completely avoid alcohol and drugs.
Imagine a family whose children watch parents drink themselves to sleep every night or have to deal with the challenges of an addicted sibling. Furthermore, think about parents who are desperate to help their teen avoid the lifelong challenges that addiction presents. Lastly, put yourself in the place of a spouse who spends nights lonely and afraid of what might happen after hours alone. The answer to these situations is to seek help.
If you call our toll-free helpline, then you will find out for yourself what we know to be true: our resources are highly effective, professional and discrete – a recognized leader in the field of addiction rehab (according to 11 federally-funded studies). Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day at a toll-free helpline to take your call and to help you make an informed decision about treatment. When you call, remember to ask if your health insurance can cover rehab. You can call right now to begin creating a better life for yourself and the ones you love.