I knew things had gotten bad. I kept telling myself this would be the last time I used. But something stressful always happened, and I went back to using just one more time.
It wasn’t until I was late for work three times in one week that my boss gave me an ultimatum: go to rehab or I was fired.
I was one of the lucky ones, though, because my company was willing to pay for a program and hold my job until I had successfully finished it. I made good money, liked what I did, and didn’t want to lose my livelihood, so reluctantly I went.
Why Most of Us Need Rehab
One of the first things I learned there was that I was not a failure, because I couldn’t quit on my own. Nearly every addict needs help to stop. This is because, over time, my drug usage actually changed the way my brain works and my thought processes were affected. Because of this, the longer I used, the harder it was to stop.
The first time I chose to use drugs, it was my choice to do so, but over time it became less of a choice and more of a need. This need becomes more and more intense with each use. My brain literally began to crave the drug, in my case, weed, over everything else in my life. It told me I couldn’t function without it, so my usage was no longer a choice; it was a compulsion. This is why most of us need professional treatment in a facility staffed by healthcare providers who understand how addiction works and how to break the cycle.
What to Expect from Rehab
I was scared to go to rehab. I had heard all the horror stories about going through severe withdrawal, about being locked up and not allowed to leave, and that I would be unable to see my family for the whole 90 days I was there. But the thought of losing my job, and most likely my home as a result, propelled me forward.
Much to my relief, it turns out that rehab is nothing like that. Instead, it provided me the following benefits:
- I was put on a medication which greatly reduced my withdrawal symptoms. The staff was very kind, and I was allowed to simply rest until the symptoms passed.
- I received individual therapy where I learned why I chose to abuse drugs in the first place. That insight has helped me to stay clean on the outside.
- I was given the necessary tools to deal with stress and cravings so I don’t relapse.
- In group therapy, I learned that there are mood disorders that can lead to drug abuse or intensifying it. In my case, I was diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder.
- Shortly before discharge, I was provided aftercare options to help me avoid a relapse.
Do You Need Rehab?
If you find yourself unable to stop using on your own, then you have an addiction. And if you are suffering from an addiction, you need to go to rehab. It is really that simple.
I am so grateful to my employer for calling me out that day. She could have just fired me, and I probably would have lost everything. Instead, I have been clean and sober for two wonderful years. If you are addicted, I urge you to give rehab a try. It will be the best decision you ever made.