Asking for help can be a difficult step to take for a lot of people that are battling addiction. It may even deter a lot of people from seeking help in the first place. Learning how to ask for help will enable you to feel confident when you’re ready to have that conversation. Fortunately, there are many different ways to ask for help.
We assure you that letting addiction get worse will only lead to more pain and heartbreak in the long run. However, as scary it may seem to figure out how to ask help for getting sober, you can get through that initial fear. Once you ask for help and realize how much others are willing to support you, you’ll recognize the powers of simply asking.
Before we tackle the different ways you can ask for help getting sober, let’s first understand the definition and symptoms of addiction.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is a brain disease that results in an individual being unable to function without drugs or alcohol daily. Addiction often intertwines with physical and psychological dependency. No matter the consequences, someone who abuses drugs or alcohol keeps using and feels unable to control the impulse.
Recognizing that there’s a problem at hand is the first step one can take when figuring out how to ask help for getting sober. Understanding the severity of your addiction will show the person that you’re talking to that you’re serious about getting help. It also demonstrates a sense of self-awareness.
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
There are many warning signs to look out for when assessing yourself for addition. The symptoms range from individual to individual, but there are a few general ones that most can typically relate to.
Some of the signs and symptoms of addiction include:
- Extreme mood changes – happy, depressed, excited, anxious, etc.
- Significant changes in sleeping patterns
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Financially unpredictable, such as having large amounts of cash at times but no money at all at other times
- Changes in social groups, new and unusual friends, odd phone conversations
- Repeated unexplained outings, often with a sense of urgency
- Drug paraphernalia such as unusual pipes or small weighing scales
- Tolerance, which can be defined as the need to engage in addictive behavior more and more to get the desired effect
- Withdrawal can be explained by the uncomfortable and often painful symptoms when the addictive substance stops being taken
If you require learning how to ask for help getting sober, then recognizing the problem at hand is the first step. It can help to sit down and be honest with yourself first about the severity of the addiction.
5 Ways to Ask Help for Getting Sober
1. Write a letter or an email.
Some people may find comfort in writing out their needs and feelings rather than verbalizing them. Writing is a powerful tool, so we must understand how to utilize it now. Writing allows you to collect your thoughts and organize them in a way that makes sense.
One of the many benefits of writing is that you may even have a breakthrough about yourself and come to new realizations about your struggles. Another advantage is that once you press send, or the letter is mailed off, there’s no going back. What’s done is done – now you just have to patiently wait for a response.
2. Ask for help from a doctor or addiction specialist.
To reiterate, addiction is a serious disease. This is why it may be helpful to reach out to medical professionals that are experts on addiction. Medical professionals are trained in knowing what to look for and how to proceed when someone is asking for help getting sober.
Getting help from a medical professional can involve talking to your doctor or reaching out directly to a rehab center. Keep in mind that doctors or rehab specialists will have a few questions for you to better assist you in the next steps. Not much can surprise addiction specialists or doctors, which should provide you with a sense of comfort.
3. Reach out to someone online or by phone.
Resources are abundant on the internet, including helpline numbers, chat rooms, and websites for rehab centers. A quick Google search will show you that there are multiple answers to the question – How do I ask for help getting sober?
At this stage of your addiction, it may be easier to admit to struggling from the safety of a computer rather than face-to-face with someone. That’s perfectly okay. Some people benefit from talking to a stranger first before speaking to someone they are close to, such as a family member or a close friend.
4. Look for others who have overcome similar problems.
Talking to someone that truly understands what you’re going through can be a huge relief. These kinds of people can help give you valid advice that they’ve used themselves when going through the same challenge. Get a better idea of what worked for them and see if you can replicate it in your own life.
5. Talk to someone you truly trust.
Many people have at least one loved one they’re able to turn to for support. Is there anyone that came to mind after reading that sentence? Even if they have no personal experience with addiction, you can lean on them for support. You may find that talking to a friend alleviates a lot of the stress and pain you’re feeling.
It’s important to remember that your loved ones are there for you through good and bad times. It’s never easy talking about our struggles, but it’s something we must overcome and do. It may be initially hard, but you’ll feel much better after.
How to Talk to Your Loved Ones About Addiction
You may be stuck with the question, “How do I ask for help getting sober?” Navigating this question is easier than it seems. The first step is to make the decision that you’re going to talk to a loved one about your addiction. Commit to a day and time that you know will work favorably for both of you. Once you take that first step in deciding, use the following tips to prepare for the big moment:
Choose the right time
Pick a moment when you’re calm and relaxed. Make sure that you’ve mentally prepared yourself for the conversation. It’s also important to consider your loved one’s time. Ensure that they’re not in a rush and have the time to have a full conversation with you.
Have a plan
Plan what you’ll say ahead of time. You can rehearse to yourself and write down key points you want to bring up. Being prepared will help to ease any stress you feel regarding the talk.
There’s a chance that you may have lied or bent the truth regarding any substance use problems. It’s time to be honest with not only yourself but those close to you as well. The more honest the conversation, the more those who are close to you will be able to help. We encourage you to have realistic expectations about the conversation. It may take a few difficult turns, and you may have to give your relationships time to heal.
Understand that your family may feel frustrated and disappointed
They may have gone through a lot as a result of your struggle with addiction. They may show some intense emotions. When responding to them, talk from a place of love and peace. We encourage you to approach the situation without anger and hostility.
Remember they may not be surprised
Although you may think you’ve hidden the addiction well, your loved ones may be more aware of it than you realize. Those close to you can often sense quite easily when something is off.
Explain your plan to take action
They may not trust your words if they’ve heard it before. It’s an understandable reaction so make sure to talk them through it, rather than get angry. Explaining the concrete steps you plan to take towards sobriety and recovery is a way to prove to them that you mean it.
Share information about treatment programs
If you’ve done some research about treatment options, show them information about the program. We highly recommend doing some research and proving to them that you’re serious about sobriety.
Opening up to your loved ones is an amazing step that will provide plenty of relief once it’s over with. Remember to be patient with yourself and those you love. Honesty will free you in more ways than one.
How to Ask for Help Getting Sober: Talking to a Treatment Expert
Whether talking to a treatment expert is your first or second step, it helps to be prepared for the conversation. After admission to rehabilitation, “pre-intake screening” will typically be conducted through the phone. Pre-intake screening can also be done during a potential patient’s initial phone call.
Our trained staff’s goal is to help guide you from the very beginning through the end. To best help you, an in-depth conversation is first required. To help prepare you, our caring counselors will discuss matters such as:
- Types of drugs abused
- Drug history
- Length of time drugs were used
- Treatment history
- Any possible underlying mental or emotional disorders
- Employment conditions
- Family life
- Legal issues
- Any medical issues
- Family history
- History of trauma or abuse
- History of psychiatric care
- List of any current medications
Seek Help Today
There is no reason to let the fear of asking for help about getting sober prevent you from doing so. Asking for help about getting sober is a sign of strength. Being able to admit that you have a problem, and taking the right steps to fix it is huge. We would be honored to be the ones to help guide you along this journey.
At North Jersey Recovery, we have many treatment resources to help you through recovery. Our team of expert physicians, psychologists, and other medical professionals are eager to help you change your life. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here for more information about treatment programs.