Treatment for Myself
Finding drug or alcohol treatment can be a difficult process. This page is designed to help you navigate the treatment landscape, decide whether you need help, and learn about the varying options available.
Do I Have an Addiction?
The definition of “addiction” is complex and sometimes controversial. If you are concerned about your substance use, a healthcare professional can provide a detailed evaluation and discuss treatment options with you one-on-one. The following information is meant to provide basic insight into addiction and help you determine whether your use is problematic.
Typically, drug or alcohol addiction is characterized by compulsive substance abuse despite negative consequences. A behavioral addiction is characterized by repeated and uncontrollable engagement in the behavior regardless of the ramifications caused or exacerbated by it.
If your use of drugs (or engagement in other activities, like gambling or sex – i.e., anything) results in excessive costs (e.g., financial, health and relationship woes) and involves craving, you may have an addiction.
Since these concepts can be ambiguous and their meanings vary across individuals, consider using this rule of thumb: does your drug use lead to negative consequences in your life? If your answer is yes, you may want to further evaluate your drug use.
Criteria for a Substance Use Disorder
You should always consult a medical professional instead of self-diagnosing yourself with a substance use disorder (SUD); however, the following criteria will give you some insight into what an SUD looks like.2
You may need treatment if you:
- Have been using a substance (e.g., drugs and/or alcohol) in greater amounts or for longer periods than you intended.
- Frequently express the desire to stop but have been unsuccessful in your attempts.
- Experience intense cravings for the substance.
- Spend a great deal of time getting, using, or recovering from the substance.
- Use the substance in a way that increases the risk of physical hazard (e.g., driving while impaired).
- Are unable or unwilling to fulfill responsibilities at work, school, home, or other social domains due to substance use.
- Cannot stop using despite significant social or interpersonal problems.
- Give up previously enjoyed social, occupational, or recreational activities because of substance use.
- Continue using the substance despite knowing about or adverse physical or psychological consequences.
- Need more and more of the substance to achieve the desired effects.
- Experience adverse physiological or psychological effects when stopping or cutting down use.
Do I Need Treatment?
One common misconception about substance addiction is that you must hit “rock bottom” before seeking treatment, but this isn’t the case. Many people suffering from an addiction are able to maintain stability at work and within relationships; however, as addiction progresses it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain this kind of stability.
It’s never too early to begin on your path to recovery. If your substance abuse is chronic and you have had recurring failed attempts to quit or cut back on use, you may find a recovery program to be beneficial.
The services and amenities may vary between treatment centers so it’s important that you do your research before choosing a recovery program.
Treatment encompasses a number of different services and benefits, which typically include some or all of the following:
- Intake consultation.
- Individual therapy.
- Group counseling.
- Aftercare planning
Severe addictions to certain substances may require the help of a professional substance abuse treatment program. In these instances, withdrawal symptoms, which appear with sudden cessation of use, can be unpleasant and potentially life-threatening without the support of medication and vigilant monitoring.
Detox can be safely and comfortably navigated under the care of a medical team at a hospital or inpatient treatment program.
If you have a comorbid mental health disorder, such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or posttraumatic stress disorder, it’s important that these be simultaneously addressed to increase the chances of successful recovery.
Be sure to ask the treatment center if they have experience in treating individuals with a dual diagnosis, which refers to the co-occurrence of addiction and a mental health disorder.
Options for Treatment
At a fundamental level, the 2 broadest categories of recovery programs are outpatient and inpatient. However, there are many different kinds of options and interventions within these domains.
- Support groups
- Psychotherapy or counseling
- Outpatient substance abuse programs
- Intensive outpatient (IOP) programs
- Partial hospitalization
- Inpatient treatment hospitals
- Inpatient rehab/recovery centers
Let’s verify your coverage for treatment at an American Addiction Centers location. Your information is always confidential.
Choosing a Treatment Option
It is ultimately up to you and your support system to choose which recovery option is the right fit for you. Below are a few ways in which you can find the treatment program that best suits your needs:
- Fill out our treatment inquiry form for more info on how you can get treatment for yourself.
- Contact your insurance company to learn about treatment options and providers that are covered under your plan.
- Insurance Providers with Treatment Coverage
- Search for local meetings held by 12-step groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Heroin Anonymous, and Crystal Meth Anonymous.
- If you are looking for alternatives to 12-Step groups, search for support groups like:
- Horvath, A. T. (2004). Sex, Drugs, Gambling, & Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions. Impact Publishers: Atascadero, CA.
- American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.
- McLellan, A. T., Lewis, D. C., O’Brien, C. P., & Kleber, H. D. (2000). Drug dependence, a chronic medical illness: implications for treatment, insurance, and outcomes evaluation. JAMA, 284(13), 1689-1695.