When you have a substance use disorder, it can be difficult to ask for help. With stigmas like Addiction is a choice and Only criminals are addicts floating around, the stereotypes associated with addiction are culturally pervasive and unfair. These stigmas can discourage people from seeking the treatment that they need, but you shouldn’t let them keep you from asking for help. There are some things you should keep in mind when asking for addiction help.
Tell someone you trust… Telling someone that you need help with a substance use disorder can be scary and stressful, so reach out to someone with whom you are fully comfortable. This person will listen to you without judgement and be willing to understand so that they can help. Having someone you trust to confide in and to support you in your recovery journey is essential.
…or someone who has been through the same thing. Maybe you are afraid of telling even someone you trust about your addiction. You probably know someone, or someone who knows someone, who has dealt with substance abuse and has been through treatment. Don’t hesitate to reach out, even to someone you don’t know well. This person can likely get you the help you need, has great advice, and become part of your support network.
Be honest. Your family and friends may not be aware that you are abusing a substance, or they may already know about your addiction. Either way, honesty is essential when asking for addiction help. Don’t downplay the issue. Be upfront and answer any questions truthfully and without censorship. If the thought of telling someone about your addiction and asking for help intimidates you to the point that you are considering not doing so, write them a note. Getting your thoughts onto paper will not only ensure that you do not forget anything that you want/need to say, but also help alleviate some of the anxiety you are experiencing.
Keep in mind that, though you may have been hiding your addiction from loved ones, they may already know. Habits and behaviors often speak louder than words, and it’s possible that the people you are close to are already aware of the issue. If you are seeking help, you know how harmful your addiction has become, so don’t try to make it seem less severe than it is.
Remind yourself that you can’t do this alone. There’s a reason you’re considering asking someone for help— that reason is that you know that you can’t do this by yourself. Maybe you’ve tried and been unsuccessful, or maybe you don’t know where to begin. Either way, you’ve come to the important realization that recovery is not something you can do without support.
Don’t limit yourself. There is no limit on how many times you can ask for help. Some people go through treatment once and find lasting recovery, while others may need several or many rehab stays. This number has no bearing on your worth or your ability to stay sober. Everyone deserves the best substance abuse treatment, and everyone can live a sober life.
Remember that it’s never too late to ask for help and that doing so does not make you weak or incapable. It’s also perfectly acceptable to ask for addiction help more than once; addiction is a chronic brain disease, and it takes a lot of trial and error to find and maintain lasting sobriety. If you are able to show your loved ones that you are committed to your recovery through your words, actions, and dedication, they will respect you for seeking help.
At Royal Life Centers, we understand how hard the first steps toward recovery can be, which is why our admissions team is available 24/7 at (877)-RECOVERY to answer your questions and address your concerns. We treat dependence on alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, and opioids.