The simple answer is RIGHT NOW. Why? Because an addiction only worsens with time; so committing yourself to getting help now is critical to preserving your health, your relationships, and your financial wellbeing.
For most of us, few days pass that aren’t completely filled to the brim. We are constantly being pushed and pulled between work obligations, our personal lives, and everything else in between. Taking time to focus on anything – even things that we know are important – can seem impossible.
So, it makes sense that even if you are beginning to realise that you may have an addiction, you are coming up with a million excuses about why you need to just manage it on your own for the time being. You might be thinking something like:
“In a couple of months things should settle down with work and I can start talking to someone about how to cut back a bit on my drinking.”
“Things are so stressful, and the medication really helps take the edge off. After things calm down then I’ll focus more on how to replace it with something healthier.”
“When the kids are back in school, I’ll have more time to focus on myself. I’ll do it then.”
The common underlying theme of these excuses is an assumption that addiction treatment is something we can delay, and that the consequences of doing so will not be that serious. The unfortunate reality is that this assumption is rooted in denial (a hallmark of addiction), and doesn’t align with the facts about addiction as a disease.
Going to treatment may not be convenient, but just like you cannot put off going to the doctor after breaking a bone, delaying treatment until things are less busy isn’t a healthy option. Understanding more about why immediate action is necessary can help you prioritise your health, and make the right choices for your future. Here are a few key points to remember:
1. Addiction is a disease
Addiction isn’t a nuisance, or a bad habit. It is a chronic, progressive disease that will get worse without treatment, and will require lifelong management and care. Think of it less like something you just should not do and more like diabetes, asthma, or heart disease. Addiction is a condition that without action will have significant and lasting impacts on your physical and mental health, affect your relationships, and potentially have professional and financial consequences as well.
2. Addiction will get worse
Because addiction is a progressive disease, this means that the effects of it will worsen over time. As the body becomes more accustomed to the effects of a substance, it develops a tolerance for it, leading the user to require greater amounts of the substance in order to feel the same effects.
The increase in consumption correlates with an increase in physical risks – despite building a high tolerance for drugs or alcohol, the body has absolute limits. Constantly pushing those limits means putting yourself at increased risk for an overdose, as well as sustaining potentially long-term damage to your physical health.
Aside from the physical effects of addiction, the mental and social health consequences of prolonged addictions can also be significant, threatening your connections with people you love. Substance abuse was cited as the key reason for divorce in 34.6% of all breakups in the US, and in 7.4% of divorces in Australia.
3. With addiction, the longer you wait, the less time you have
To put it bluntly, your addiction could be costing you years of your life. Researchers have devised an addiction calculator that can estimate the impact of your addiction on life expectancy based on the type of drug used, the frequency of use, and the length of time used. The results are a stunning reminder of just how significant the effects of substance misuse are, and underscores why it is so important to seek treatment today.
4. Spending money on treatment now means saving money over time
Does treatment seem like a good idea – except for the price tag? A common reason that people put off the idea of treatment is the perceived cost, but what they aren’t considering is the price they are paying already. You may be somewhat aware of how hard your addiction is hitting your wallet, but for many, it can cost thousands of dollars a year.
The financial burden of addiction isn’t just in the price of consumption. Related costs can be incurred from things like:
- Health issues
- Legal fees
- Intoxication-related accidents
- Job loss
Over time, addiction expenses add up to massive costs. Treatment is an investment not only in your health, but in your financial future as well.
Do I Really Have a Problem?
At the core of your reluctance to enter treatment may be a lingering sense of denial. You might find your brain running through a defensive line of thought like:
“My drinking isn’t really that serious, I should just cut back a little”
“I think my substance use is still pretty casual”
“A doctor gave me those prescriptions – how bad can they be?”
First, accept the idea that you may be in denial, and understand that this is a very normal part of addiction. Then, ask yourself some questions and answer them as honestly as possible. If you find yourself second-guessing your answers, or feeling uncomfortable or angry about responding, gently note that this reaction is an addiction’s best defense against treatment. Some questions you may want to start with include:
- Have friends and family expressed concern over your substance use?
- Have you tried to hide or downplay your substance use?
- Have you tried to quit or cut back on your use, but been unsuccessful?
- Have you noticed symptoms of withdrawal when you are not using, such as headaches, tremors, insomnia, rapid heart rate, stomach problems, and anxiety?
- Have you been experiencing mood swings and irritability?
- Do you have cravings for the substance that drive you to use?
- Do you prefer using over other activities that you used to enjoy?
- Do you feel guilty or concerned about your drinking?
If you have answered yes to some of these questions, it is best to immediately contact an addiction specialist to learn more about what your next steps are. The good news is that there are many quality treatment options available that can work with your every need and provide specific, personalised care so that you can overcome your addiction.
A Treatment Retreat at The Dawn in Thailand
The Dawn Wellness Centre and Rehab Thailand specialises in providing holistic, customised treatment for those who want to heal from addiction and develop their own personal growth. The fundamental objective of The Dawn’s signature addiction programme is for clients to achieve and maintain long-term recovery by equipping each individual with a personalised set of coping tools to use when dealing with life’s challenges – eliminating the desire to use again.
Long-Term Treatment at The Dawn
At our internationally accredited centre operated by a team of highly experienced, Western addiction therapists, we offer the option of long-term rehab. This treatment approach typically encompasses a period of 90 days, and focuses on comprehensively addressing all parts of an addiction. The first 30 days of long-term rehab prioritise physical and mental detox, giving those with addiction time to stabilise their moods, emotions, and overall mental state. This is then bolstered by a deep dive into the factors behind the addiction – identifying and understanding the root causes, building alternative coping mechanisms for stress, and looking for and addressing any co-occurring disorders.
If you are looking for a way to break free from your addiction, call The Dawn today and learn more about what we offer.