You may think that your problem with drugs isn’t that severe. Maybe you still hold down a job and keep your use a secret. There are two problems with this kind of thinking though:
- It’s impossible for you to be truly objective about yourself
- Addiction is a progressive disease
It May Be Later Than You Think
Your problem is probably far more advanced than you think it is. No one wants to think of themselves as an addict, even if they are one. An addict continues to use a substance for non-medical reasons even in the face of negative consequences. Some addicted people have quit their drug of choice on their own, but these people are the exception, not the rule. It’s a hallmark of addiction that the addict cannot stop using their drug of choice without help. It’s safe to assume that you fall into the latter category.
You may think you’re not that addicted, but if you’re using an illicit substance, you’re risking arrest every time you buy your product. Sooner or later, the odds will likely work against you and you will be arrested. It’s just how it is when you repeatedly do something illegal. You’re also risking death from overdose or contaminated product. If you inject, you’re risking serious heart damage from endocarditis. You could easily get septicemia, or blood poisoning, too.
Even buying a supposedly prescription drug, such as oxycodone, on the street isn’t safe. Those can be pressed by clever dealers to look like the real thing, but in reality, they contain deadly fentanyl or some other toxic substance that can make you sick or kill you.
If you are regularly using an addictive, psychoactive substance, you are probably more addicted than you think. If you doubt that, then stop. If you can’t, then your addiction has progressed far more than you think. If you can stop for a consecutive period of time measured by at least a month, but you find that your life seems empty and you’re tempted to start using again, then perhaps you would benefit most from outpatient treatment. You don’t require detox, not after a month of abstinence, and the fact that you could stay away from your drug for a month probably indicates a lower level of addiction than many people have.
Note: if your drug of choice is alcohol, benzodiazepines or barbiturates, and you are addicted, never try to stop on your own. It’s dangerous and could even kill you. See the last paragraph below for information on how to seek inpatient rehab help with these substances.
Outpatient treatment is a great alternative for those who have lower-level addictions. If you’re an occasional user, but your use is increasing even against your efforts to stop it, or if you have stopped on your own but find it hard to stay that way, these facilities can help. Many offer some type of detox therapy, too, so even if you’re physically dependent on opioids, they will be able to help. The idea is to slowly wean you off your opioid of choice. Suboxone is most commonly used for this purpose.
Outpatient treatment will offer some of the same types of therapy that you would receive as a resident patient in a drug treatment rehab center. It’s just not as intense. The supervision level is much lower, although you can certainly expect random drug tests. After all, you leave the outpatient facility every day, and the center will want to be sure you’re not using drugs.
Some outpatient centers offer programs designed for people who work. This way, you can receive the treatment you need without losing your job and income. After all, not everyone can just quit their job and attend treatment all day. If you don’t have to work and you have the time, you can go to treatment all day and return home at night.
What to Expect
In order to succeed in outpatient treatment, your addiction should be in an early phase. You must also be personally very motivated to face your addiction. You will not have the constant support that an inpatient program would provide.
Outpatient treatment centers offer assistance with understanding why you became addicted in the first place. They use therapy and counseling. Some utilize the 12-step program; others do not and may use other methods. If you’re not the type that believes in a higher power, then the 12-step program may not be for you. The 12-step program is right about one thing, however: all addicts have lost, or will soon lose, control over their own lives if their addiction isn’t stopped.
You can expect your treatment center to provide you with tools to help you stay sober. Many offer some sort of reinforcing aftercare program, too. If they do, be sure to take advantage of it. It’s hard to stay clean alone.
If you need help, it’s just a phone call away. Call us 24 hours a day at 833-762-3739. We are always here to help you select the right place for you to find a whole new life.