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5 Signs That You Need Rehab

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

December 19, 2023

Table of Contents

Perhaps you are struggling with substance use issues and wondering, “Do I need rehab?

Maybe you have already tried to engage with professional treatment and then relapsed leading you to ask, “Should I go back to rehab.”

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Either way, there are many others in a similar position. The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health  shows that 28.5 million U.S. adults had alcohol use disorder in 2020, and that 40 million were diagnosed with substance use disorder in the same year. Among these tens of millions grappling with addictions in the United States, fewer than 10% engaged with professional treatment.

There are many reasons that prevent people in need of addiction treatment from connecting with therapy, including:

  • Perceived cost of rehab.
  • Uncertainty about what is involved with rehab.
  • Complication of undiagnosed mental health conditions.
  • Shame or stigma about engaging with treatment.
  • Denial that a problem exists.

Although there is no cure for addiction – it is a chronic and relapsing brain disorder – both alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) and substance use disorder (drug addiction) normally respond well to treatment with a combination of these interventions:

Today’s guide will help you to determine whether you need rehab and which type of program would be most appropriate for your needs.

Do I Need Rehab Quiz?

Consider the way in which you use alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs. If your use of any of these substances is starting to trigger negative outcomes at home, work, or school, you might already be developing a substance use disorder.

Alcoholism (alcohol use disorder) and all types of substance use disorder (drug addiction) are classified in DSM-5-TR  (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Alcohol use disorders and substance use disorders are diagnosed as follows depending on the number of criteria present:

  • Mild addiction: 2 to 3 criteria
  • Moderate addiction: 4 to 5 criteria
  • Severe addiction: 6 criteria or more

For the first part of our quiz, answer the following questions based on the diagnostic criteria from DSM:

  1. Do you often use substances in larger amounts than intended or for longer periods than planned?
  2. Have you made unsuccessful attempts to reduce or discontinue substance use?
  3. Are you spending lots of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the use of substances?
  4. Is your substance use causing you to neglect personal and professional obligations?
  5. Do you continue to use substances even though it’s creating problems in your relationships?
  6. Do you frequently use substances in potentially dangerous situations?
  7. Are you cutting back on social and recreational activities in favor of substance use?
  8. Do you need to use more of the substance to achieve the same effects as tolerance forms?
  9. Are you still using substances even though you know it is causing or inflaming a physical or psychological condition?
  10. Do you experience withdrawal symptoms which you can alleviate by taking more of the substance?
  11. Have you experienced intense cravings for the substance?

For the second part of our quiz, consider the following five indicators that substance use disorder might be developing:

1) Are You Spending A Lot of Time Using or Thinking About Using?

When substance use assumes a central role in your life, this is a sign that substance use disorder is building.

Three of the criteria for addiction are associated with the social problems caused by substance abuse. As you spend more time using drink or drugs, you are liable to spend correspondingly less time with loved ones. Problems are likely to present in your closest relationships and you might also start neglecting your responsibilities at home, work, or school.

If substance use is the primary focus in your life, it could be time to consider a stint in inpatient or outpatient rehab.

2) Is Your Alcohol or Drug Use Causing Social or Financial Problems?

Both alcohol and drugs are expensive, and the ongoing abuse of either can trigger myriad financial stressors. If you are in financial duress due to the cost of substance abuse, it might be time to consider investing in your recovery at inpatient or outpatient rehab.

All types of addictions also provoke many social problems, particularly in your closest relationships. This is one of the diagnostic criteria of addiction. When addiction starts impacting all areas of your life, it’s time to strongly consider engaging with professional treatment.

3) Is It Affecting Your Physical and Mental Health?

Abusing addictive substances can prompt a range of short-term and long-term physical health effects. These effects will vary depending on the substance of abuse.

Addiction is also closely intertwined with mental health disorders. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) reports that in 2020, 17 million adults in the United States were diagnosed with dual diagnosis – addiction co-occurring with mental health disorders.

If addiction is impacting your physical and mental health, engaging promptly with treatment can simplify your eventual recovery. Addictions and mental health disorders seldom clear up without treatment.

4) Do You Need to Take More to Get the Desired Effects?

Tolerance is a diagnostic criterion for all types of addictions. When tolerance to a drug develops, you will require more of it to achieve the previous effects.

When tolerance forms, this often prompts more abusive patterns of consumption, speeding up the development of dependence, and often leading to addiction in the form of substance use disorder.

If you feel that you need more of an addictive substance to generate the same results, taking prompt action is advisable. The problem is likely to get worse if untreated.

5) Do You Feel Uneasy When You’re Not Under the Influence?

When physical dependence to an addictive substance develops, you will require the substance to function normally, with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms presenting in its absence. If this describes your relationship with alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription medications, it might be time to investigate inpatient or outpatient treatment programs.

How to Get Help

If you acknowledge the need for treatment, you may now be asking yourself, “Do I need to go to rehab in an inpatient or outpatient setting?

Inpatient rehab is also known as residential rehab. This is the most intensive form of treatment available on American Society of Addiction Medicine’s continuum of care.

With inpatient treatment, you remain at the facility for 30 to 90 days or more, depending on the severity of the addiction and any co-occurring mental health conditions.

Most people with severe addictions, especially when they co-occur with mental health disorders, find that inpatient treatment provides the most suitable springboard for recovery. With medications and 24/7 clinical and emotional care to streamline detox, you can build a firm foundation for ongoing recovery before segueing from detox into treatment in the same facility.

If you have a volatile or unsupportive home environment, you may that residential rehab offers a more suitable setting for the early phase of recovery, with no distractions or triggers to take your focus away from therapy.

Research suggests that IOPs (intensive outpatient programs) are just as effective as residential rehab for the treatment of most mild and moderate substance use disorders.

Outpatient rehab gives you access to broadly similar services and the same therapies as you find in inpatient treatment centers. The main difference between these treatment modalities is that you return home after outpatient therapy sessions rather than remaining at the treatment center.

Many people with milder addictions find that outpatient treatment lets them remain anchored to personal and professional responsibilities without compromising their recovery.

If you are committed to sobriety and have a home background conducive to recovery, you can choose from treatment at these levels of intensity:

  • OP: A regular outpatient program involves just two or three hours of therapy sessions scheduled on weekdays.
  • IOP: An intensive outpatient program provides at least 12 hours of therapy sessions each week.
  • PHP: A partial hospitalization program is a full-time treatment program providing at least 30 hours of weekly therapy sessions in an outpatient setting. PHPs are the most intensive form of outpatient treatment and a step down from residential rehab.

If you’re still wondering, “When should I go to rehab”, it might be time to take action. We can help you here at Renaissance Recovery Center in Orange County.

Rehab at Renaissance Recovery

Here at Renaissance Recovery in Orange County, we offer affordable luxury rehab in an outpatient setting for the following conditions:

●  Alcohol use disorder

●  Substance use disorder

●  Mental health disorders

●  Co-occurring disorders

Whatever level of treatment intensity you require, you can go to rehab around your personal and professional commitments.

All treatment programs at Renaissance draw from these evidence-based treatments:

●  MAT (medication-assisted treatment)

●  Individual counseling

●  Group counseling

●  Family therapy

●  Psychotherapy (CBT and DBT)

●  Holistic therapiesWhen you are ready to commit to recovery in Southern California, you can do so without needing to head to residential rehab. Reach out to admissions for immediate assistance by calling 866.330.9449.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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