Do I Need Help for Addiction? Signs You Should Go to Rehab
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition that can negatively impact how a person thinks, feels, and behaves.1 Some people may not be aware that their substance use has become problematic or know when to seek rehab for addiction. However, there are evidence-based treatments out there that can help people stop misusing drugs and start mending the disruptions to their lives brought about by compulsive drug or alcohol use.3
If you are concerned about the impact of substance use on your life or that of someone you love, this guide will review the signs of alcohol or drug addiction, the health risks of substance misuse, and how to get addiction treatment.
Do I Need Help for Addiction?
If you are wondering if you or someone you know has a substance use disorder — the clinical term for addiction — the following list outlines multiple criteria that treatment professionals may use to evaluate people struggling with substance misuse. Though substance use disorders may be more definitively diagnosed by doctors or other healthcare professionals, the following diagnostic criteria can provide you with a better understanding of the signs of alcohol or drug addiction. Meeting at least 2 of these criteria in a 12-month period may indicate a need for professional treatment for addiction:4
- Taking substances in greater amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
- Experiencing a persistent desire to cut down or control substance use or trying and failing in attempts to do so.
- Spending a great deal of time obtaining or using a substance or recovering from its effects.
- Having a strong desire or urge to use drugs or alcohol (cravings).
- Failing to fulfill responsibilities at work, school, or home due to substance use.
- Continuing to use drugs or alcohol despite repeated social or interpersonal problems caused or worsened by use.
- Giving up or reducing participation in important social, work, or recreational activities to use substances.
- Using drugs or alcohol in dangerous situations (while driving, for example).
- Continued substance use despite knowing that it likely caused or worsened a physical or psychological problem.
- Needing more of a substance to experience the same effects (tolerance).
- Experiencing uncomfortable symptoms when use is cut down or stopped (withdrawal).
How Drug Use Impacts the Brain
Three major areas of the brain impacted by substance use include:5
- The basal ganglia. Sometimes referred to as the “reward circuit,” these structures in the brain are involved in pleasure and motivation for healthy, life-sustaining activities such as eating. Over time, drugs can over-activate this circuit and diminish its sensitivity, thereby decreasing your ability to feel real pleasure from anything not involving the drug.
- The extended amygdala. This part of the brain is involved with feelings of stress, anxiety, unease, and other symptoms that arise as part of withdrawal. Circuitry within this area of the brain may become increasingly sensitive with continued substance use. People who become dependent on drugs may begin to use them more as a way to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms rather than as a way to get high.
- The prefrontal cortex. Associated with planning, judgment, and impulse control, this part of the brain is the last to develop, putting young people especially at risk of dangerous behaviors — including substance misuse. When drug use creates a balance shift between the prefrontal cortex, the extended amygdala and the basal ganglia, self-control and good decision-making become more difficult, and drug-seeking can become more compulsive.
Health Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Apart from the ongoing risk of overdose, heavy drug or alcohol use and addiction may lead to serious, sometimes irreversible, health issues.6 Some health risks of substance use are well-known. For example, most people understand that tobacco smoking is linked to several types of cancer, that excessive drinking can lead to liver disease, and that IV drug use can put someone at a high risk of developing a bloodborne disease like hepatitis C or HIV.6
However, other long-term health consequences of drug and alcohol use may not be as well-recognized. Depending on the substance used, health risks may include:7,8,9
- Cardiovascular disease.
- Cognitive impairment and memory problems.
- Chronic bronchitis.
- Severe gastrointestinal problems, such as chronic constipation and bowel necrosis.
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
- Mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, or psychosis.*
It’s never too late to reach out for help. If you or someone you love is struggling with the devastating side effects of addiction and are unsure of where to turn, call us today at . Oxford Treatment Center, American Addiction Centers’ drug and alcohol rehab center in Mississippi, is ready to help you get the treatment you need today.
Benefits of Professional Addiction Treatment Programs
There are several benefits to seeking professional addiction treatment at a reputable rehab facility like Oxford Treatment Center in Mississippi. Whether you opt for inpatient or outpatient care, you’ll work with qualified professionals who use evidence-based methods such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and treatment medications to put you on a path toward recovery and give you the tools to stay on that path.
In treatment, you’ll also find that you begin to grow a network of people with similar experiences as yours, who also share the goal of finding recovery. Having a support network of like-minded people who can support you – and you can help in turn – can be a huge benefit both during and after treatment.
Professional addiction treatment also provides a safe and supportive place to drill down into the issues that led to your substance misuse, such as past traumas. You’ll learn new skills to cope with stressors and triggers that don’t include the use of drugs or alcohol.
There are many benefits to getting help, from preventing a deadly overdose to repairing relationships with those you love. If you’re ready to see how treatment can change your life or the life of someone you love, you can call us at to discuss our addiction treatment programs.
How to Choose the Best Treatment Program for You
The proper treatment program for you or your loved one will depend on your specific needs. Many factors, such as the severity of the substance use disorder, the location of treatment, and cost, are important considerations when exploring treatment options.
Additional things to look for in a treatment facility include:
What to Expect in Addiction Treatment
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to substance use treatment.
But understanding the process can help you be better prepared. Care plans are tailored to each individual’s experiences, needs, and goals. Treatment can take many forms and may include one or more of the following levels of care:
Medical detox: Detoxification is the first step upon entering a treatment facility or rehab for many people. Medically managed detox allows healthcare providers to help manage a person’s acute withdrawal symptoms and cravings and prevent unnecessary complications.
Outpatient addiction treatment: This level of care enables people to continue to live at home and work while also participating in treatment according to a specific schedule which will vary based on how intensive the outpatient program is.
Inpatient or residential addiction treatment. This is a more intensive treatment option where a person receives round-the-clock care onsite at a facility. While in residence, individuals have access to nurses, doctors, and other addiction treatment specialists and participate in all-day clinical programming.
Rehab aftercare services: This refers to ongoing support for recovery after rehab ends. This may involve participation in 12-Step meetings, connection to fellow alumni or use of a recovery app, a move to sober living, or continued outpatient therapy. Your treatment team will work with you to create a viable aftercare plan and adjust it as needed.
How Long Does Rehab Last?
How long a person stays in treatment is dependent on their needs, goals for treatment, and level of care. While some people may wish to remain in treatment for a short-term rehab program (for example, only to complete detox), others may prefer to stay for a month-long rehab program or even longer.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that participating in treatment (in one or more forms) for an adequate period of time is critical. For many people, that means a 90-day rehab program.3
How Much Does Rehab Cost?
The cost of rehab will vary based on the type of care you need, the duration of the treatment, the location, your insurance coverage for rehab, and other factors.
We know it can feel overwhelming to figure out how to pay for rehab without health insurance. Our compassionate admission navigators can answer your questions about costs, what to expect, and how to start the rehab admission process
Can I Use Insurance to Pay for Rehab?
Though individual plans will vary, many health insurance policies cover substance abuse treatment and rehab. Thanks to recent laws, plans that provide coverage for substance abuse treatment must do so in a way that is no more restrictive than coverage for medical and surgical benefits. If you have insurance, your treatment may be covered to a greater extent than you expect.
The best way to keep your out-of-pocket costs at a minimum is to stay in your plan’s network. Oxford Treatment Center is in-network with multiple local and national insurance providers. If you have insurance, you can easily see if you’re covered for treatment by filling out our