7 Signs That You Need Drug Treatment

Making the decision that you’re ready to seek treatment for your drug addiction can be difficult. It’s a big commitment that’s going to change your life, and it might feel a little scary. It’s hard to discuss it with the people around you. You might feel like they’re angry at you or they don’t understand what they’re going through. 

As much as they love you, the decision isn’t about them. It shouldn’t ever be about them. The decision should be a commitment to yourself that you decide to make for your own betterment. 

If you feel like everyone is shouting at you, it’s hard to think clearly about what your next move should be. The best route is to find a quiet moment to really think about the decision and what’s best for you.

Start by individually evaluating yourself honestly. You know what’s true and what’s not, and you’re not going to judge yourself. If you’re recognizing many signs that you need drug treatment, it may be the ultimate act of self-love and self-care to get the help you deserve. 

You’re worth the effort of getting better.

Here are some signs to look for as you think about the possibility that it may be time to seek help. 

1. Drugs are an everyday priority.

There are casual drug users, and there are problematic drug users. Someone who smokes a joint with their friends once or twice a month is a casual drug user. It may not be a healthy decision, but it’s not a decision that involves any kind of intense rehabilitation. 

To call someone who uses drugs once or twice a month an addict is an extreme overstatement. Sure, they might need healthier habits, but an inpatient facility is not at all necessary to achieve those habits.

If you find yourself using drugs every day, or at least most days, this is a problem. 

Even if you’re only using enough to stave off withdrawal symptoms and you aren’t getting “high,” you’re still dependent on drugs. Just because you’re walking around and living your life doesn’t mean you don’t need drug treatment. The substance is still harming your body and mind, even if you’re mostly coherent when you use. 

2. You cannot work or pay your bills.

If so much of your life is devoted to finding drugs, doing drugs, or buying drugs that you cannot work or pay your own bills, you’re not a functioning member of society. Drugs should never overtake your ability to be a responsible adult. If you constantly fear getting a new job because you don’t want to fail urinalysis, that’s a big sign that something is wrong. 

It means you’re unwilling or unable to stop taking drugs for even a few weeks to allow the substance to leave your system. If you weren’t a drug addict, you could take or leave your substance of choice for however long you pleased.

Your inability to work means you won’t have money coming in. Is someone else paying your bills for you? Are you staying with friends a lot because you cannot afford an apartment of your own? Are you financially dependent on others? Where does your money go? If it’s all going to drugs, your priorities aren’t where they should be. 

Addiction has a tendency to skew our priorities towards what feels good in the immediate moment, rather than what feels good for a sustainable life. Being high for an hour might be fun, but having electricity for the month is better.

3. You’re getting in trouble, with the law or otherwise.

If you’ve been arrested for buying or possessing drugs and still continue to use, this is a sign that the message isn’t quite sinking in. Legal ramifications exist to deter people from committing crimes. The threat of jail or having freedoms taken away is supposed to be enough to keep people from making decisions they know to be unwise. If it didn’t serve as a wake up call for you, that might indicate that you enjoy drugs more than you enjoy your freedom. 

You may have been caught for things for which people have declined to press charges. If you’ve stolen money from a family member or friend, this is still a crime. Whether or not the person met your crime with compassion is irrelevant. 

Whether you used that money to buy drugs or to pay bills you couldn’t afford to pay because you’d already spent your money on drugs doesn’t necessarily make a difference. If the drugs weren’t in the equation, that situation never would have occurred.

4. You get sick when you don’t have drugs.

If you go through withdrawal when you don’t have your drug of choice, you’ve become physically dependent on that drug. Even if you don’t feel like your behavior mirrors the behaviors of an addict, your physical response is telling you otherwise.

Some people are addicted to medications prescribed to them by their doctor and paid for by their insurance. They aren’t committing crimes to get the drugs, and obtaining them doesn’t cause them significant ruin or complications. You might have become an opioid addict merely by taking what your doctor has given you.

Drugs like opioids were never designed for long-term use. They were intended to ease patients through temporary pain like during surgical recovery or from a minor injury. Doctors overprescribe them because patients report a constant need, but doctors don’t always stop to understand the source of that constant need because it’s hard to objectively judge if someone is in pain. 

5. People you love have suggested you go to rehab.

If everyone around you is constantly telling you that you need drug rehab, it might begin to feel obnoxious. It’s true that they don’t understand what you’re going through. It’s true that they don’t know what it’s like to live a day in your shoes. And unless they’ve ever used drugs for the long-term, they cannot possibly fathom what it’s like to try to stop. Your feelings and opinions in those regards are valid.

But, you need to consider where they’re coming from. 

Even if they feel confrontational or if you feel as though they’re talking down to you or belittling you, there’s a reason why they’re telling you these things. If you focus less on the exact words they’re saying and more on what their motivations may be for what feels like lectures about rehab, the picture may become a little clearer. 

6. You’ve forgotten about or abandoned personal goals.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you want to travel the world? Did you want to get a doctorate degree? Did you want to raise a huge family? To play Olympic hockey, or paint a giant mural, or build a dream house? How close to achieving that are you? Do you even try anymore?

When trying to find drugs preoccupies your brainpower half the time and the other half of the time you’re too under the influence to make any actionable progress towards anything you want to do, you need to reevaluate. If you weren’t dependent on drugs, you would have the time and energy to make your goals a reality.

Even scarier is a scenario where you realize you don’t have any goals. You never got around to setting them or made any effort to figure out what you want to accomplish by the end of the year, as small as it may be. The fear of the unknown may be driving you further toward drugs, because you don’t know who you are or what to do without the high.

That’s a problem that inpatient treatment can work to solve. Therapists work with patients to establish strengths and weaknesses, recognize personal achievements, set goals, and find a positive trajectory. This is a benefit to rehab that not many people realize exists, and provides the answers that millions of addicts are looking for.

7. You’re reading this article.

If you’re wondering if you need drug treatment, you probably do. The idea merely entering your mind is a sign that you know something is wrong. You wouldn’t be contemplating treatment if you didn’t understand the potential for a better life if drugs were removed from the equation

Independently toying with the idea is a sign that you might be ready for treatment. It’s not coming from external or societal pressures. It isn’t the people around you telling you how to live your life. It’s an idea that originated in your own mind. 

When you make up your mind to do something to better yourself, you’re more likely to succeed.


Coming to accept the fact that you need drug rehab may be hard. Many addicts live and die (usually of their addiction or from conditions exacerbated by their addiction) without ever taking the first step. 

You have the potential for a future. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be successful. You deserve the opportunity to work for all the things you want and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. 

If you’re ready to get started, get in touch with us

If you need a little more motivation, check out the programs we have to offer and click around our site. 

We hope to hear from you soon — whenever you’re ready. 





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