Serving the People of Hawaii Since 1960
Well, how sick are you? That's going to have a lot to do with the kind of help you're going to need. What we'll try to do is let you know what we believe should be the factors you consider when making a decision about the level of care and intensity of services you're looking for. In all of this we're going to be stating the position that is going to give you the greatest opportunity for safety and success from the start.
What kind of drugs are you doing? How much of the drug you're doing and how often you're doing the drug is also something you need to look at. If you've crossed over from abuse to dependence (addiction) you're most likely going to feel sick when you stop using the drug.
Different drugs have different withdrawal symptoms. Generally speaking you'll tend to snap back in the opposite direction from the direction the drug was taking you.
If you've been amping on stimulants, with a euphoric (feeling way better than you have a right to) effect, you're probably going to feel depressed, maybe really depressed. It's likely that you'll also feel paranoid (people out to get you). This will pass with time and right action.
Drugs that take you down are generally going to have a snap back in the other direction when you stop doing them. You may feel very agitated and nervous. Easy does it. This will pass too.
Heroin and other opiates are also going to make you feel sick, like the flu. Again, the severity of the unpleasantness is going to be dependent on the quality, the quantity and the frequency of your usage and your general physical condition.
You've also gotta watch out for suicidal or homicidal thoughts. These kinds of thoughts can occur during either intoxication or withdrawal and they will pass, so don't do anything dumb.
While you may not experience all of these things, depending on the substance used, quality, quantity and frequency of your usage, the symptoms you do experience could be pretty bad and they could get to be overwhelming.
There are serious health issues connected to all withdrawals and you should be under the care of a physician when you decide to "kick". By now, most treatment programs have a physician on staff, or have access to one, who can help you with this.
When choosing a treatment setting pick one that, if it accepts you, acknowledges the seriousness of your condition and assures you that the treatment services being offered are comprehensive, complete and based upon the true nature of your problem and not financial considerations.
It'll be better if you can detox and then move straight into treatment with the same folks who helped you through your withdrawal. You really don't want or need much additional tension or disruption through this period.
There are agencies that will provide you with detox services and bill your insurance company to pay for it. Where you run into problems is when the detoxing agency has no intention of, or ability to, move you smoothly into a level of treatment that is appropriate for the actual circumstances of your addictive disorder.
By detoxing you and then billing your insurance company it is likely that, after your detox, the best services you're going to be able to get will be outpatient. They will have pretty much made this choice for you. What the people at the detox agency have done, in effect, is severely limit your ongoing treatment options so that their agency can get a payday. I've seen this happen too many times. It's wrong.
You have to be a wise consumer. Don't get sold short and have all of your insurance benefits expended and still not know what's going on. Does this happen? You bet it does, just don't let it happen to you. Ask, "If I were your son or daughter would this be the course of treatment you would choose for me?" "Is this level of treatment really going to help me get better or is this just the easiest way for you guys to get paid?" "When all the money is gone, will you still help me or am I out on the curb?"
If someone tries to tell you that relapse is "normal" what they're saying is that "failure" is an option. Is "failure" an option for you? I didn't think so. Every person is unique and will need to have their treatment structured and paced in a way that genuinely helps them resolve their individual issues. The notion that relapse is "normal" was originally put forward by treatment approaches and professionals in whose work relapse was "normal." Don't walk away, run away.
I know that when you're "kicking" it's hard to keep details like these straight but if you don't watch out for you, who will?
Another thing you have to look at is why you're trying to get into treatment. Do you think you have a drug problem or does everybody around you think you have a drug problem? It's not unusual for spouses, parents, kids, probation or parole officers or bosses and co-workers and friends to lean on a person and try to get them to get help.
I have seen so many people fail in recovery when they didn't, themselves, believe they had a problem. It wasn't because they didn't have a serious problem, it was because they were afraid of giving up the alcohol and drugs and they didn't want to admit how bad the problem had gotten. When alcohol or drugs have become the only thing that makes life tolerable it's a really frightening thought to have to give them up.
Tough spot, huh? Well, at some point you just have to take some time and get real honest with yourself. If you have to, go ahead and lie to everybody else for a little while longer, but try to slow down and start getting honest with yourself.
This is a progressive and fatal condition. It's going to continue to get worse and worse, and then it'll kill you, if you don't take some real serious action to put a stop to it. I've watched a lot of really good people die over the years, who bought into their own PR and refused to get the help they needed because they let their fear keep them from getting honest with themselves. Please, don't make that mistake. Work through it.
Finally, you have to ask yourself. Can they all be wrong? Do I really believe that they don't care about me and that they're just trying to mess me up? Get honest. Get real. Get help.
In short, you know how sick you are. You may not want to come right out and admit it to everybody around you, but you know if you're a "Dope Fiend" or a "Dabbler". Make decisions about your treatment that will put you in the greatest position for safety and success from the very start. Be just as honest as you possibly can be with the people who are trying to help you.
Recovery from a life threatening disorder should occupy your full attention. Don't allow yourself to get sidetracked and use this, that or the other as an excuse for not focusing on first things first.
Put everything else on hold and save your life.
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