How to Know When You’re Ready to Seek Treatment

For a person with a substance use disorder (SUD), the decision to seek treatment does not come lightly or easily. Many people don’t realize they have a problem, or just aren’t ready to admit it, until they are well into the throes of addiction.

Conventional wisdom says most people with an addiction problem need to hit “rock bottom,” in order to finally be ready to change. However, “rock bottom” looks different for everyone. So, it’s not always clear what that is.

In order to seek treatment, you need to be ready. Ready for the emotional, physical, and psychological work it takes to learn how to live without addictive substances. Here are some surprising, unexpected signs that point to being ready to get treatment.

You Find People Don’t Want to Be Around You

One of the more painful parts of having a serious Substance Use Disorder is having people disassociate with you. Those who were your close friends, even your family, will stop spending as much time with you, or may avoid you altogether. Losing your loved ones is isolating and sad.

This utter lack of human connection outside of the community surrounding your substance abuse can be a huge wake up call. Coming to the realization that you are the problem is a powerful motivator.

Getting Drunk or High Isn’t Fun Anymore

Many people recognize their need for treatment when the substance they’re using ceases to be enjoyable. Instead, using drugs or alcohol becomes a cyclical prison: You use to numb the pain your substance abuse has caused. You use to just get through the day with no euphoric high any more.

When using becomes something you hate, you’re definitely ready to start looking at treatment options.

The Consequences are Overwhelming

The behavior caused by your addiction is beginning to amass a pile of repercussions. For example, maybe you’ve been violent, or emotionally abusive, leaving you divorced or separated from your children. Maybe you’ve had multiple DUI’s or have other legal concerns that are taking over your life. It could also be that you’ve been fired from your job or kicked out of school because of your behavior.

Whatever the case or cases might be, it’s clear much of your life is beginning to unravel. When you recognize the cost of your substance use and abuse is an ever-growing source of pain for you, it’s time to seek treatment.

You Are Actively Looking for Treatment Information

When you find yourself wondering if it is possible to stop using. Could you change? Is there hope? In the past, you may have scoffed at information about addiction treatment as “preachy” or “annoying,” but lately, you may be taking a greater interest in how treatment works and what you can expect.

Being interested in treatment, and actively seeking information is a telling sign that you’re ready to explore treatment as a way to turn your life around.

You’re Experiencing Life-Threatening Health Problems

Over use of drugs and alcohol can wreak havoc on your body. In the short term, you can experience blood pressure and heart rate spikes, stroke, and numerous problems with anxiety, appetite, and sleep. Long-term health issues can be even more serious. Using drugs and alcohol puts you at higher risk for heart and lung disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and mental illness.

If you’ve been hospitalized or have had significant health scares due to your addiction, then you may have no other choice than to seek treatment. Continuing on the path you’re on is dangerous.

If you’re still not sure if you’re ready to seek treatment, call The Walker Center at 800-227-4190 or visit us at We’ll take you through a private assessment to determine your readiness for treatment and select the best program to suit your particular needs.