If you’ve struggled with alcoholism or drug addiction, you may have conflicting feelings regarding residential treatment. You may have gone to several 12-Step meetings or other fellowships where you heard other people’s stories. So many people seem to be able to just stop drinking or using by going to meetings. After years of substance abuse, they were seemingly able to stop on a dime after their first 12-Step meeting. Once you’ve heard stories like this, it seems incredibly tempting to follow in their footsteps. If they’re able to do it, why can’t I?
Other people may be able to just change their habits without really trying that hard. You’ve seen people who used to drink every day of the week suddenly moderate as they got older. They got a family or an outstanding job, and suddenly they found a way to control and enjoy their drinking. By comparing ourselves to these people, we make ourselves feel inadequate and wonder why we can’t just do what they do.
However, the key to successful long-term sobriety is to take a look at only your own experiences. Every other person in recovery has their own story and their own personal experience with getting and staying sober. What works for them may not work for you. So how do you know if you need residential treatment?
Take A Look At The Record
When we suggest that you examine the record, we’re talking only about your own personal history. The only way to know whether you need inpatient treatment is to look at what has or hasn’t worked for you in the past. For instance, have you tried to get sober on your own before? If so, what was the outcome? If you relapsed, what did you get hung up on? When people get sober on their own, they usually struggle with a lack of support or a lack of access to a group of people who understand alcoholism and addiction. Having an understanding and empathetic support system throughout early sobriety can often make the difference between success and relapse.
Likewise, think about your track record with 12-Step recovery groups or similar communities of recovering people. Perhaps you’ve hit a few meetings in the past and even put together a couple months of sobriety. Maybe you picked up a sponsor and worked a few of the steps. If you relapsed, though, try to put your finger on what went wrong. For some people, the inherent spirituality of the Twelve Steps becomes an obstacle. Other people may feel like they don’t fit in at the meetings in their area. A significant hurdle facing those in outpatient groups like these is that there’s minimal accountability outside the meetings themselves. Sure, you can call people from the meetings whenever you want. Still, that’s not a particularly easy task when you’re in the first 30 days of sobriety. When the urge to drink or use takes hold, it can be nearly impossible to pick up the phone and ask for help.
How Long and Severe Has Your Drinking & Using Been?
This is another crucial question to ask ourselves. The most important reason to seek treatment is that we haven’t been able to stay sober on our own. Even if we’re confident in our ability to remain sober without help, however, it can be a dangerous decision if we’ve been drinking or using in large quantities for several years.
If you’ve ever experienced a detox, you already know that it can be intensely painful and unpleasant. What you may not know, however, is that detox can also be extremely dangerous. Many people can handle detox on their own, but the longer your substance abuse history is, the more dangerous it becomes. Depending upon the substance, withdrawal can include life-altering impacts, including death. Drugs like alcohol and benzodiazepines, in particular, can have lethal side effects when quitting “cold turkey.” If you suspect you may fall into the category of long-term, heavy substance use, make sure you get professional help when it’s time to get sober.
At the end of the day, the goal is to get sober safely and create a foundation for long-term sobriety. At every step along the way, you should aim to take every precaution you can to protect your health and recovery. While many people can do this in the comfort of their homes, that may not be your story – and that’s okay. As recovering addicts and alcoholics, we need to accept and understand that our own recovery journey may not look like others. However, if it works for us and keeps us safe and sober, that’s what really counts.
If you’re considering residential treatment or just need extra support and help along the way, Hired Power is your solution. We offer sober coaching, sober transport, and monitoring services to suit your recovery needs. Whether you’re a chronic relapser or this is your first time seeking help, Hired Power can help. Our services are designed to work hand-in-hand with other recovery tools and boost your recovery to the next level. Getting sober is scary, painful, and incredibly challenging at times. You don’t need to make it harder by placing impossible expectations on yourself. It’s okay, and even necessary, to ask for help.
Give us a call today at (800) 910-9299 to learn more about how we can help.