Is My Addiction Bad Enough for Rehab?

July 15, 2022

3 mins

Dane O'Leary


How do you know when you've reached the point of needing treatment? Is there ever a time when you’re “not addicted enough” to warrant an inpatient program? Do you have to hit rock bottom before you're ready to embrace recovery?

As the saying goes: If you have to ask, then the answer is almost certainly yes. But many criteria for addiction could be interpreted as your run-of-the-mill problems in daily life, so it’s easy to say “No” when you’re a “high-functioning” addict. 

However, it’s a huge gamble to assume your usage won’t escalate as you build a tolerance over time. Many who become addicted reject the prospect of recovery until they hit “rock bottom”, which can come with destroyed relationships, lost careers, criminal charges, injuries, and even death. 

Or you could stop things before they go that far. But how do you know when you've reached the point of needing treatment? Is there ever a time when you’re “not addicted enough” to warrant an inpatient program? Let’s find out. 

Delay and Denial 

“I can stop whenever I want.”  

There’s a good chance that you or someone you know has said this very phrase. However, by the time this sentence crops up in conversation, you’re already in the early stages of a substance abuse disorder (SUD). “I can stop whenever I want” is the typical response to someone suggesting that you have a problem with alcohol or drugs when it’s definitively absolutely completely untrue. In a word: denial. 

Unfortunately, many people won’t break with this way of thinking until they hit rock bottom. However, you don’t have to wait until you’ve reached your lowest low to get treatment for addiction.

Diagnosing Addiction

Doctors use a list of criteria to identify and diagnose the severity of your addiction. Those criteria include: 

  • Lack of control 
  • Desire to quit but has the inability to actually do so 
  • Large amounts of time spent to obtain 
  • Cravings 
  • Lack of responsibility 
  • Relationship problems 
  • Loss of non-substance-related interest
  • Worsening life situations 
  • Rising tolerance 
  • Withdrawal symptoms 

However, what's often lacking in such depictions of addiction is the fact that there's a spectrum of severity for addiction. Think of it like there's a slider for each of the diagnostic criteria. Someone who has the sliders turned down would, in theory, have a less severe addiction than someone whose sliders are all maxed out.

The question becomes: Does the person with "less severe addiction" need to seek treatment? The consensus seems to be that a person's need for treatment comes down to whether or not he or she is displaying signs of addiction rather than the extent or severity of those signs.

Being proactive rather than reactive with your health is the best way to prevent future problems down the line.

A High-Functioning Addict 

If you feel only some of this discussion applies to you, then it’s possible you have a more minor SUD. But even for less severe addictions, you can and should seek treatment. 

A high-functioning addict lives normally each day without his or her addiction causing much interruption. This is notable because addiction is typically defined as a disruption in your everyday routine. For someone who’s not experiencing disruption, it might feel like you shouldn’t get treatment until addiction starts posing a more direct problem. 

Behavioral Indicators 

Whether or not you’re a high-functioning addict, there are often behavioral indicators that it might be time to seek treatment. A prime example would be hiding behaviors related to and stemming from substance abuse from your loved ones. 

Hiding your substance use from friends and family members is a clear sign that your alcohol or drug use warrants treatment. Listen to your conscience. When you embrace treatment before you hit rock bottom, your journey to sobriety may not be as long. 

Early Intervention Saves Lives 

Even if addiction and its effects on your life aren’t yet severe, it’s never the wrong time to stop a problem before it gets worse. If you’re looking up things like “medical detox near me” or “Illinois addiction center,” then you’re ready to start a fresh chapter in recovery. Not sure where to start? Let Never Alone Recovery be your guide. 

Never Alone Recovery partners with rehabs and providers across the country, including drug rehabs in Indiana, Illinois addiction centers, luxury sober living homes, and so much more. For more information about the best drug rehabs in the US, call Never Alone Recovery today.

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