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Addiction and Residential Treatment: How to Tell If It’s Time

“They tried to make me go to rehab, I said No, No, No.

So begins Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”, the best-known ode to addiction treatment. The song is an excellent example of an individual who is not ready to go to treatment.

But if you’re a bit farther along than that — if you’re strongly considering the possibility of seeking inpatient support — then this post is for you.

Here are our top four signs that it’s time to go to rehab.

You’re truly committed.

This is the reason to trump all other reasons. If you’re truly committed to doing the work of addressing your underlying core issues, then that’s a key indication that you’re ready.

You are the expert on you. No one else knows you better! And no one else can know for sure whether you’re ready.

If you’re prepared to throw yourself wholeheartedly into doing the work and making positive changes in your life, then a carefully-chosen residential treatment center is a great place to start.

You’re not in acute crisis mode.

If you are struggling with a severe crisis, get the immediate help you need and don’t worry about making big decisions! Once your condition is more stable, you can start looking into residential treatment.

Why do we encourage patience? Well, chances are good that you’ve been dealing with this issue for a long time; there’s no need to rush and make a hasty decision that you’ll regret later.

Better to take your time and make an informed choice about a program that’s right for you.

You’re dealing with a significant mental health condition.

Having a mental health issue such as depression or anxiety along with substance abuse is called dual diagnosis.

If that’s you, you’re not alone; in fact, it’s pretty common. Most people who struggle with addiction have an underlying mental health condition that contributes to their substance abuse.

That said, if you do have a dual diagnosis, you’ll require additional mental health supports in order to heal. Simply going to a local 12 Step meeting probably won’t do it.

Why not? Because the 12 Steps — though helpful for many — were not designed to treat mental or emotional health disorders.

Moreover, it takes time to effectively address long-standing issues such as trauma and depression.

Going to an outpatient group or therapist’s office once a week may not offer you the kind of structured, intensive support you need as you begin your recovery journey.

With this in mind, consider residential rehabs with a Non 12 Step approach that provide significant mental health care.

You’re game to do some research.

Did you know that there are approximately 14,500 specialized drug treatment facilities in the United States alone? That’s a lot of options!

And even if you narrow your search based on treatment modalities (treatment approach), geographic region, and other important factors, you’ll likely still need to choose between several options.

That’s when the real research comes into play.

As you sift through the options, resist the temptation to book a luxury vacation rather than a residential treatment. After all, what good will it do if you spend your time in treatment perfecting your tan instead of working on your issues?

Yes, you want to choose a rehab that provides safe, clean, and comfortable accommodations that allow for personal privacy, but you also want to ensure that it has a substantive recovery program in place.

You’re ready to ask the right questions

Don’t be deceived by persuasive-yet-evasive answers. Ask potential treatment centers powerful questions about their offerings, such as …

  • What’s your treatment approach?
  • What’s a typical daily schedule?
  • How many hours of individualized professional counseling will I receive? What about group counseling?
  • What kind of professional credentials do your therapists have?
  • What type of counseling approaches do you teach?
  • What type of self-counseling strategies do you model?
  • What’s your program’s success rate?
  • How much does it cost? Are there any extra charges?
  • Are the participants respected in treatment, or is shame part of the program?
  • May I speak with some folks who have been through the program?

The best programs won’t shy away from these questions. On the contrary, they should have clear, compelling answers for you.

Make sure you pay specific attention to testimonials and third-party reviews. This is often the best way to get the unvarnished truth about the specific program. You’ll be able to determine whether successful graduates share commonalities with you and your specific situation.

Want to learn more about this process? Check out this free resource, The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Residential (Inpatient) Addiction Treatment Program.

What Better Investment?

There’s no doubt about it: going to rehab is a big decision. Choosing to commit means dedicating a significant amount of time, effort, resources, and energy to your own recovery.

If you start feeling overwhelmed at the prospect, consider this question: What better investment could there be? What better gift could you give to those you love than a sober, clear-headed, confident version of you?

If you decide to pursue your growth and healing today, your future has already begun to change. Chances are, you can’t even imagine how much better it might be.

Addiction and Residential Treatment: How to Tell If It’s Time

Joe Koelzer

Joe Koelzer is a co-founder and CEO of The Clearing. He has years of counseling experience and a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

After observing how depression and substance abuse impacted his wife Betsy’s life, Joe realized how broken our current system is for addiction and related mental health treatment.

He witnessed firsthand how an evidence-based approach coupled with Spiritual Psychology saved Betsy and enabled her to gain control of her life.

In co-founding The Clearing, Joe realized his dream of creating and sharing this innovative approach with others in a structured clinical setting.

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APA Reference
, . (2017). Addiction and Residential Treatment: How to Tell If It’s Time. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from


Last updated: 25 Jul 2017
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