Signs You May Need Rehab

Most addicts will enter treatment on the heels of a crisis situation. For some, this will be personal. For others, it will be legal or financial. And some people have health crises that motivate them to get help in quitting their addictions. While most addicts believe these are reasons for using or drinking more, they are really outcomes of the behaviors of addiction.

Signs You Might Need Rehab

Those who are ready to stop the cycle of dependence, abuse and addiction frequently go into treatment or rehab. One indicator or sign that you might need rehab could be that you are having trouble at work or home because substance abuse is interfering with these relationships. Your troubles at work or home may manifest as chronic lateness to work, important appointments, and personal engagements or just skipping out on any of these altogether.

Other signs you may need rehab include:

  • being hungover or high at work or during important family occasions
  • saying or doing inappropriate things during these events
  • co-workers, boss or family members telling you that you are drinking/using too much

Perhaps there have been legal consequences, such as getting DUI or Reckless Driving tickets, missed court appointments, or failure to pay fines, alimony or child support

Financial signs that you need rehab might include things like spending so much on partying that there is not enough money to pay rent, car payments, utilities or food.

Health issues are another common area of recognition that drugs and alcohol are a problem. If any of these are happening for you, perhaps you might consider a rehab situation.

Stumbling Towards Rehab

Most addicts will maintain their conviction that they can control the situation by stopping, slowing down or otherwise controlling their use. This is certainly the way the addicted mind works. After numerous failed attempts to quit, addicts will most often remain convinced that they are "just fine, thank you." One of the most difficult things to do that will occur in the life of an addict will be when they finally reach the point where they will actively ask for and accept help from outside sources. At that point, they may have already paid a very high price for their addiction. Some addicts have lost jobs, significant relationships, custody and visitation rights with children, their health may be seriously compromised, and jail may be a real possibility.

When Rehab Makes Sense

Rehab makes sense for most people, because an addict has created a structure in their life that supports their use and abuse of substances. Therefore, an interruption in that structure or routine may be the necessary tool that allows them to make the behavior changes and alter the mindset of active addiction. This can be done in 30, 60 or 90 day programs. Some rehab centers offer either residential or out-patient programs to allow for other responsibilities to be maintained. While it may be a hardship for the addict to seek and receive treatment, it is usually the best route to halt the ongoing cycle of abuse and dependence.

Rehab: The Road to Recovery

Relapse will likely be a part of early recovery for most addicts. This is like learning to ride a bicycle. While some riders will be very cautious and not fall off the bike, most will have a crash or two while they are developing skills for staying upright and riding easily. Family and friends who understand recovery are helpful, but most often they have been so negatively impacted by the addict's behavior that they are not able to be supportive. Most of time, family members have their own feelings and issues around the addiction as well. Family programs are very useful for those who have an addict in early recovery. Knowing how and when to provide support and when to stand firm are difficult navigating tools family members need to learn. Ongoing support for early recovery is essential for addiction treatment. Those who know and understand both the addiction and the recovery processes are your best bet when you are looking for help with getting treatment for a possible addiction.


Kelly McClanahan has an MSW in clinical social work and a CATC IV in addictions counseling. She teaches meditation and mindfulness, specializing in addiction and trauma. She also leads workshops and seminars on treatment of addictive disorders and stress reduction.