How soon is now?

If you or anyone you know has ever considered going to rehab there might be very good reasons for considering it.

It’s not a decision people take too lightly, as it’s generally a considerable purchase and there is a lot of effort involved. Most programs require that you stay a least one month and most will recommend that you stay at least 3 months (my personal recommendation is 3-6months).

I’ve seldom seen anyone in a residential rehab who isn’t really struggling with at least one of the following:

  • Health – Quite notable deterioration in mental well-being and physical well-being. Perhaps the onset of some physical morbidity, long-term low moods, paranoia and in some cases psychotic-symptoms.
  • Relationships – There are usually a lot of issues in maintaining healthy relationships when a substance use disorder begins to dominate someone’s life. There may be the complete lack of meaningful relationships, breakdown of the nuclear family, broken promises and manipulation.
  • Work/meaningful occupation – As a substance use disorder begins to progress most things begin to deteriorate around a person.  Sometimes a person can neglect to fulfill their duties at the workplace entirely or let their performance really dip.   In some cases some people only work to keep using and have nothing else in their life.They work to use and they use to work.  Stuck in a vicious cycle without the ability to apply the breaks to themselves.
  • Law – Most countries have incredibly punitive laws towards substance use outside of pharmaceutical drugs, people get so caught up in their own bubble that they forget that they are in fact breaking the law frequently and constantly “rolling the dice” with their future. Drug convictions can have a serious impact on a person’s career.  Behaviour on substances, including alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs, often flaunt the law – drinking and driving, public arguments and aggressive behaviours all fall outside of the perimeters of what is considered legal.

Considering the above, how far are you willing to let things go?

A useful analogy of this is to imagine yourself in an elevator.  When your substance use begins to go badly the elevator goes down, if you continue to use then the elevator will continue to carry on going down. Where does it end?   Wherever you get off.

One of the saddening aspects of my work is that I’ve encountered a fair few people over time who were thinking of making the decision to get help but never did.

More often or not the consequences for themselves got progressively worse in one of the above the areas.



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