//Getting Sober
Getting Sober 2018-08-08T14:28:01+00:00

Getting Sober

Addiction affects nearly every family in some capacity, and the treatment gap is staggering. Roughly 60% of Americans abuse drugs or alcohol during any given year. Nearly 10% suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, but less than 1% receive treatment at a facility that specializes in addiction treatment and recovery. Getting and staying sober can appear to have formidable odds, even for those who make the decision to quit on their own. For family members with loved ones who don’t make the decision on their own, the challenges can seem even greater.

Deciding To Quit

Recognizing that you might have a substance abuse problem is the first step in making the decision to quit. Identifying the signs of addiction can be challenging unless you are willing to be honest with yourself. Lifestyle and environment are major factors, and often encourage the continuation of bad habits that lead to increased substance abuse and addiction.

Signs that the situation is out of your control and you might be addicted include:

  • Frequently thinking about your substance of choice
  • Attempting to stop using on your own without success
  • Using drugs or alcohol in order to fit in socially or as an emotional crutch
  • Using drugs or alcohol to offset the effects of other drugs or alcohol
  • Making mistakes at work or school as a result of drug or alcohol use
  • Engaging in risky behavior while using or trying to obtain drugs or alcohol

While this is not an exhaustive list, it does present those that are the most outwardly obvious. If you have any of the signs above, it is important to seek help. Addiction can happen to anyone at any age. No culture, gender, or socioeconomic status is exempt.

What Are Intervention Services?

When a loved one is faced with addiction but denies they have a problem or refuses to seek treatment, an intervention may provide the best means for others to get them help. The goal is to gather family, friends, and perhaps even the individual’s employer to help them make the connection between their substance abuse problems and other difficulties in their life, and ultimately agree to get help. It’s important to note that an intervention is not simply a confrontation. It is intended to educate everyone who is being harmed by the substance abuse and resulting consequences, including the addict, and should be lead by a professional. Attempting an intervention without the guidance of a trained addiction specialist may further alienate or harm loved ones, and could be dangerous.

Professionally-led intervention services may include:

  • Counseling and education for those hoping to help the addict
  • Evaluation of the addiction and situation
  • Developing a plan and strategy for the intervention
  • Recommending treatment and aftercare options

It is critical that families realize the impact their loved one’s addiction has had on them, and that they too will need treatment to overcome their own experiences. Continued counseling and aftercare are important for everyone involved. If the substance abuse and its impact on family and friends is not addressed, it is likely that involuntary interventions will occur. These include legal consequences such as going to jail, medical problems like overdose or other drug-related emergencies, financial hardships including job loss, or familial consequences such as divorce.

Finding The Right Drug And Alcohol Rehab

While an intervention specialist can guide you and your family through the treatment selection process, not all individuals will need an intervention before they are willing to seek help. Once addiction is acknowledged, professionally-led treatment is the best option for detoxification and getting recovery under way. All treatment options will focus on addressing behavioral health, and some may use medications to help aid recovery. Professionally-led treatment can happen in a number of environments, but it can be challenging to determine which route will produce the best outcome for each individual circumstance.


Some types of care environments include:

Inpatient Hospitals: This arrangement is often involuntary, or may occur out of medical necessity if the addict has overdosed or otherwise attempted to harm themselves.

Outpatient Treatment: Visits to counselors and physicians, support groups, or other types of therapy are made to support recovery.

Rehabilitation Centers: These are residential programs that are generally voluntary, but act to remove the addict from their normal environment in order disrupt their routine, get them clean and sober, and help them make the necessary lifestyle changes to stay that way.

Geography, financial means, legal requirements, and personal preference (among other constraints) will likely factor into each treatment decision. Before making an investment of both time and money into a treatment program, it’s important to understand that different types of treatment and care environments will impact the effectiveness and success rates for different types and magnitudes of addiction.

Understanding Your Payment Options

The cost of treatment can vary significantly. Cost can be a deterrent for many individuals and families seeking intervention services or treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Even those with insurance or the financial resources to cover the cost may be apprehensive about seeking professional help given there is no guarantee that recovery will be maintained.

For those concerned about cost, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Helpline is a good place to start. Their referral service is free to everyone, and they will direct those without insurance or private funds to cover the cost to state funded programs and treatment facilities.

If you are lucky enough to have insurance or other financial resources to work with, each service provider should be able to estimate costs in order to help you plan. Insurance providers can address questions about plan limits, but it’s important to work jointly with treatment providers to determine how much and what aspects of treatment are covered.

Many treatment providers will accept insurance, cash, or credit, or create a payment plan when needed. As with most medical treatment, you can expect individual doctors and therapists to bill for their time by the hour. You may be able to negotiate a special rate with these providers. Rehabilitation centers and inpatient programs will likely bill by the day for their services. Generally, this cost is based on the cost of supplies, facility overhead, and other fixed-fee items, and will not be negotiable. Ultimately, the goal when selecting a treatment program is to balance cost and quality to produce the best outcome for you or your loved one.

Maintaining Your Sobriety

After the personal and financial commitments have been made and treatment has been sought, maintaining sobriety becomes the detail that makes it all worthwhile. For most, this will require significant lifestyle and environmental changes. It will likely include purging people and places from your life that may trigger relapse. Moving, changing jobs, or making other major life changes should not be ruled out. Once your care provider has helped you understand what events led to your addiction, you will have a clearer picture of what changes you will need to make for lifelong success.

After completing a professionally-led treatment program, it is important not to be convinced you are cured. Continuing care is often needed for everyone who experienced your addiction with you. Both you and your family members must unlearn defensive responses and coping mechanisms that have developed during the addiction that can become catalysts for relapse. Attending therapy or joining a support group can help ensure long-term sobriety.