Everyone needs a little help. As human beings, most of us genuinely want to help others. It’s why we listen to a friend who is struggling emotionally, run errands for a family member, or take a neighbor to an appointment. There are also times when it is good for us to ask for help from others. If you are struggling with alcohol or drug issues, now might be that time for you. With substance abuse or addiction issues, there are three types of times in your life that you might get into outpatient substance abuse treatment.
The most obvious time for therapy is a current or impending crisis. Your drinking or drug use is out of control: you know it and others have told you. You are craving the alcohol or drugs and you spend a lot of your time planning, using alcohol or drugs, or recovering from using. You feel stressed, fearful, and perhaps even unable to function at times. You are at the point where you must do something different or lose the things that are the most important to you.
Getting into outpatient substance abuse treatment at this time would be ideal to help you to stop drinking or using drugs. You can work with your addictions counselor to ensure your physical safety and gain some emotional stability. The therapist should be able to teach you some basic refusal skills and provide emotional support during this time.
The second time in your life that is appropriate for therapy is the healing period. Your drinking or drug use may still be a problem at times or perhaps it is no longer interfering in your daily life. You are ready for growth but you still feel unsettled, anxious at times, and stuck. Personal guilt and shame or relationship issues are rearing their ugly heads. There are some feelings and behaviors that you need to deal with before you can take that next step in your life.
Getting into outpatient substance abuse treatment at this time can help you repair old wounds, salve new ones, and gain additional coping skills to help you move beyond the pain. You will work with your addictions counselor to maintain your sobriety and change specific thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that will improve your daily coping skills and create a healthy state of living.
You may not recognize the final time that it may be good to get into therapy. This is the time in your life when there is nothing obvious wrong. You are no longer drinking or using drugs and your recovery has been stable for a period of time. Your life is on the upswing, your relationships are healing, and there is not a lot of trauma or drama. However, you may be struggling with those inside issues of acceptance, self esteem, confidence, or respect. These issues will not necessarily derail your life, but they may make it more difficult for you to be your best self.
Getting into outpatient substance abuse treatment at times like this can help you to build on the previous skills you have learned and gain new ones to help you build your internal strength and resilience. You can work with your addictions counselor to identify and realize your full potential and create your best life.