Addiction and rehab are shrouded in stigma. As such, most people with substance use disorder hesitate to seek treatment. And when they do undergo rehab, they’d face judgment from their peers and, sometimes, loved ones, too.
The only way to break the stigma is to educate. When we spread the truth about addiction and rehab, we can change our society. Substance use disorder patients can openly talk about their struggles, just as someone with the flu can share their experiences.
Most importantly, it would prevent many people from developing severe addiction. We can end the notion that rehab is for extreme cases only and is therefore embarrassing. In truth, patients can prevent all cases of substance use disorder if they seek out treatment earlier.
That said, here are the rest of why you should have your addiction treated early on:
1. Mild Addiction Is Addiction
Contrary to popular belief, addiction doesn’t always cause delirium, hallucinations, and other odd behaviors. Only severe addiction can lead to such symptoms. A case of addiction that only causes a growing dependence on a substance is a mild one. But it’s an addiction all the same.
Simply put, mild addiction is the early stages of a substance abuse problem. It is easier and faster to treat than severe addiction.
Instead of inpatient rehab, mild addiction is often treated through an excellent outpatient rehab program. It consists of counseling, education, and support groups. However, there is no universal treatment for mild addiction, or any degree of addiction, for that matter. Treatment plans are customizable depending on the person, the substance used, and other relevant factors.
As such, getting treated for mild addiction gives you a high chance of preventing severe addiction. Rehab addresses the root causes of substance abuse, like undisclosed traumas or genetic factors. If you tackle these sooner, you will overcome not just the addiction but also your other psychological issues.
2. High-functioning Addicts Aren’t Invincible
A high-functioning addict is someone who can still live normally with their condition. They can go to work or have a healthy social life as if they have no substance use problem. They mask their struggles so well no one would notice until it’s too late.
If you have a mild addiction, you’ll most likely go through the high-functioning phase. This is where you might deny that you have a problem. You’d think having one more shot won’t hurt you. You also believe you’re in control of your substance use.
The fact that you believe those things is how the problem grows. Instead of accepting that you’re becoming an addict, you claim that your tolerance is just increasing. Keep this behavior going, and you’d be at rock bottom when you finally admit to your addiction.
Just because you’re functioning well doesn’t mean your problem isn’t serious. So avoid your triggers and seek help before it’s too late.
3. Not All Addictions Are the Same
Addiction isn’t just drug or alcohol abuse; nicotine and painkiller addiction exists. In rare cases, addiction to inedible things occurs, as shown on TLC’s “My Strange Addiction.”
Let’s say you’re addicted to shopping. Your condition may appear like a mere way of enjoying your money to many. Some of your peers may even admire you for being able to buy so much stuff as if you’d never run out of money. But in reality, you have no savings.
This behavior isn’t normal and, therefore, shouldn’t be glamorized. An addiction to shopping is called compulsive shopping or buying disorder. It’s not officially recognized as a distinct disorder, but it’s not downplayed, either. Shopping addiction is a serious problem that destroys many people’s financial freedom.
Thankfully, it can be treated with counseling and psychotherapy. Hence, no matter how bizarre your addiction is, there is always treatment for it. Don’t allow yourself to suffer just because your condition isn’t perceived as real.
4. You Can Maintain Your Job or Business and Relationships
Lastly, getting treated early allows you to keep your job or business and healthy relationships. Going to rehab—inpatient or outpatient —won’t get you fired. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers can’t fire employees who receive treatment for addiction. The only time you can legally be fired is if your addiction has caused major problems or harm in your workplace.
Getting treated early also allows you to maintain healthy relationships. It can stop your friends, parents, or partner from giving up on you. Your determination to change will make them believe in you, so they’ll support you every step of the way.
Waiting until you hit rock bottom may cause you to become a different and dangerous person. As a result, the will to change will be harder to find. So don’t underestimate mild addiction; address it as soon as you should.
Meta title: Reasons to Seek Treatment for Addiction Even If Your Case Is Mild
meta desc: Many people think only severe cases of addiction should be treated. But severe addiction can be prevented if addressed during its mild stages.