How to Admit Yourself to Addiction Treatment

Addiction can happen to anyone at any time, no matter their social, ethnic, or economic background.

Despite the best intentions, those who find themselves facing addiction are often unable to reach sobriety without help.

Overcoming substance abuse and alcoholism usually requires more than willpower alone, essentially because drug abuse causes the brains’ reward circuit to become negatively rewired.

No longer able to enjoy organic pleasures such as food and socialising, a compulsive need for the substance is established. [1]

Does this resonate with you? Have you tried to quit or reduce your drug or alcohol use and been unsuccessful? If so, it may be time to think of signing up for addiction treatment.

It’s normal to be sitting on the fence, unsure if addiction treatment is for you. You might have a loved one who refuses help or even admit they have a problem.

Go ahead and ask yourself or your loved one these questions; you might be surprised by the answers.

  • Has your addiction begun to dictate and interrupt your everyday life?
  • Has your life started to revolve around where and when you can get your next drink or fix?
  • Are your friends and family worried about your drug use?
  • Has your drug or alcohol abuse affected those around you?
  • Have you tried to quit or cut down your substance use but been unsuccessful?
  • Is the amount you drink or your drug use starting to have an impact on your job or family life?
  • Have you ever become angry or defensive when questioned about your drug or alcohol consumption?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, it might be time to begin addiction treatment. Admitting you need help can be daunting when your current situation seems downright impossible. However, recognising that a treatment plan or rehab could be beneficial to your future is a promising start.

Congratulate yourself on admitting to yourself that it’s time for a change, that you need help. This realisation is probably the most challenging step but the most important.

Choosing the Right Addiction Treatment

Finding the most suitable type of addiction treatment is the next vital step in the process. The kind of treatment an individual needs depends on the substance they are addicted to and its severity, i.e., how much it has taken over your life.

Bearing this in mind when researching treatment options will help you manage your expectations realistically.

Pre-Admission Prep-Work

An essential part of the process is to do your pre-admission homework.

Some of the things you’ll need to consider are:

  • What local addiction treatment options and support are available?
  • The type of addiction you suffer from and the subsequent support you need.
  • Finding a programme tailored to your personality will result in a higher chance of success. For example, if you find nature and meditation calming, you might want to find a centre with outdoor and yoga/meditation activities included.

Finding a centre that provides the specialised support and treatment options you need based on your addiction is vital. Specific treatment and therapy combination approaches have proven to be more successful than others when treating certain types of substance misuse.

For example, a heroin addiction treatment plan may utilise a different drug or opioid, such as Methadone, to reduce the harsh effects of withdrawal or the patient resorting to street drugs.

This medicinal treatment is often followed in combination with talking therapies or support groups.[2]

You can find most of the initial information you need online to self-refer to your local NHS drug and alcohol treatment services.

Addiction Treatment Centres

Finding the right treatment centre online might seem overwhelming, so why not try discussing your options with a professional. Your GP is a good choice in helping you find the best possible path for recovery.

Through open and honest discussion, your doctor can recommend a treatment plan through their practice or referral with the NHS, charity or private drug and alcohol treatment services. [3]

Following the recovery process alone is not recommended as it can feel impossibly intimidating. Don’t be afraid to ask for help as you go through the process.

Try to be honest with family, close friends and loved ones about your addiction and commitment to sobriety. You would be surprised how understanding and supportive they are.

How to Help a Loved One

Loving someone addicted to a substance is never easy. It can often cause suffering for loved ones and family members.

Your instinct might be to criticise the individual, but that is the last thing you want to do. Never blame, attack, or attempt to force the person struggling with addiction to get help.

This approach never works. The individual is suffering from a compulsion, not a choice they made. They are usually unable to stop without help.

They do not have control. Choosing to become sober must be their choice; otherwise, failure to achieve sobriety or relapse can occur.

Staging an intervention can be a helpful way to show your love and support. Before gathering your family and friends, you must plan the intervention thoroughly, with the primary focus of helping and supporting, rather than blaming.

Sitting the individual down and explaining your concerns in a calm and supportive manner that does not revolve around blame can be very helpful.

Using ‘I’ language rather than ‘you’ language can also appear less critical and less likely to make the individual feel less attacked.

‘I feel worried when you drink too much’ is less antagonistic than ‘You are so selfish. You never think of me when you drink.’ It’s easy to see which would result in a better response. [4]

The more times you offer support, suggestions or information on drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, the more likely they will accept your help.

Understanding Rehab

The natural progression in the admission process is to make that first dreaded phone call to the referral or admission line.

It’s normal to be nervous or apprehensive but try not to let the nerves stop you from making that all-important initial call. How will you learn all about the centre’s services and referral process for admission if you don’t make this call?

During your first contact, staff will ask all sorts of questions about your life, such as work, housing, and family.

The team will expect you to be completely open about your drug use, as this is the only way to ensure you get the appropriate treatment. They might also take a urine or saliva sample.

Remember to ask questions and be honest about your needs and personality; this allows staff to make recommendations regarding the services and amenities most beneficial to you.

Centres with medically assisted detox programmes could be helpful for a heroin user in combination with yoga, meditation, massage therapy, talking therapy or psycho-pseudo therapy.

You’ll have the option to discuss the centre’s location, along with any questions you have.

During the conversation, if the admissions staff feel that treatment through their programme would not be appropriate, they may refer you to other types of support.

Free initial phone evaluations are widespread now from most treatment centres; however, you may need to provide a more thorough assessment to provide a suitable treatment plan upon admission.

Rehab Finances

Unfortunately, NHS rehab in the strict term does not exist; however, it is possible (although very difficult) to obtain private rehab funding from the government. Spaces are limited, and waiting lists are long and narrowed to strict criteria.

Difficult as this might be for patients, they will need to prove that they are highly motivated to achieve sobriety and deserve a place on the list.

For some, privately funding their treatment may be an option and should most definitely be considered if this is possible.

Financing your treatment will give you the chance to receive a highly structured, intensive, and instantly accessible treatment plan that will provide you with the best chance at sobriety.

You can also sign up for twelve-step programmes through self-help groups, which are also instantly accessible. Many people find this beneficial as you’ll receive both a recovery program and be part of a support network.

Your initial conversation may leave you with more questions. You may want to know if you’re eligible for treatment, the different treatment options the facility provides or the fee for the service. You may also want to find out if the rehab centre accepts your health insurance cover.

The admission staff will be more than happy to answer your questions and work very closely with yourself and your family, ensuring that everyone knows what to expect.


  1. NIDA. 2020, July 10. Drugs and the Brain. Retrieved from on 2021, June 7