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Drug and alcohol treatment: To go, or not to go 

By Tim Woodley

We’re all human, and the resistance we often feel when it comes to making serious decisions is a thing we all share. In life, the actions we know will impact us the most can be the most intimidating to make, and that fear and resistance to ‘do’ is strongly felt when a person is weighing up the decision to enter drug and alcohol treatment.

The urge to enter a programme when the timing is ‘right’ or ‘perfect’ is a familiar story to the Help Me Stop team; it’s an understandable sentiment that, unfortunately, is used most often as a crutch to avoid commitment.

Today we’re talking about why – and how you can overcome it in the interest of your own health and wellbeing as well as the benefit to your friends, family, finances and career.


Why the ‘right time’ is a problem

For most who struggle with problematic drug and alcohol use, it’s a spiral down to rock bottom. All those that struggle with drug and alcohol use, both current and recovered, can recall the decline in their quality of life and wellbeing as their “addiction” takes greater hold of them and their actions. There reaches a point when the person knows they are in too deep and need to act, but it’s a different story entirely to be decisive and do what needs to be done.

In this situation, the concept of the ‘right time’ is dangerous and insidious. There is always denial that your problem is really that bad, and the false hope that it will magically get better on its own or through willpower. It becomes a trick our mind uses to avoid us making today the day we act. If you know you need treatment, the right time to enquire about it isn’t tomorrow. It’s now. It isn’t when you’ve used the last of your drugs or alcohol, and it isn’t when tomorrow comes around in the hope you’ll be more motivated to pick up the phone, email an enquiry or use a contact form. It's now.


You’re not at fault for thinking this

With this truth said, it’s important we state right after that this isn’t a message intended to make our readers feel guilty if it resonates with them. The concept of delaying an action we need to take by waiting for it to be perfect is a pattern most of us repeat in many areas of our lives, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of or angry about.

Just as every client of Help Me Stop grows and matures as a person as they proceed through our programme, we all too can think about this tendency that exists within us and use it as a learning point to help better ourselves.


The motivation trap

The online motivation and self-help industry is staggeringly large. Estimates on its growth put it in the region of £10,000,000,000 by 2022. While it's great to help ourselves, many individuals become addicted to consuming motivational content online as a means to avoid taking action.

The same pattern repeats itself in those who are facing up to their need for treatment from drugs and alcohol. The notion that we’ll be ready when we feel motivated to enquire or we haven’t hit rock bottom yet is, in fact, another face of the resistance everyone experiences before discussing treatment with a provider like us.

Delaying what needs to be done in the hope that a high level of motivation will make it easier, or that the problem will magically get better on its own or by just relying on willpower is a logical fallacy that may be holding you back from enquiring about treatment. Instead, the Help Me Stop team would like to offer this: if you can act now without high levels of motivation and hitting rock bottom and still succeed in what you know you need to do, imagine how much better equipped you’ll be.

If you can do what you know you need to do without the benefit of extra motivation or further decline, you’ll be even better off when it comes around. By being brave and doing what must be done despite how you feel at the time, you grow as a person and improve your chances of succeeding in life and in recovery. It will make you stronger and in doing so improve the lives of your family, home life, finances and career prospects.


We hope you’ve found this useful

We’d like to say again that this article isn’t intended to be discouraging – quite the opposite, in fact. The Help Me Stop team knows how deceptive the mind can be when facing up to the question of drug and alcohol use. All of our therapists have recovered from their own substance addictions in the past.

If you’re ready to talk, we’re here to listen. Call us now on 0208 191 8920 or get in touch via our contact form.  


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