It’s going to be one of the most important decisions of your life. You know you have to go, and the only reasons for not going are the ones you’ve made up…and you can always think of another one. Getting yourself into treatment is a heavy resolution. In one moment you know that it’s the right decision; the only decision, but the next minute you feel like it’s unnecessary.  This is even more apparent in your first go-round.

Some of the most common drawbacks in deciding to get into treatment are the fact that it’s going to disrupt your life and those around you. This is a fairly lame excuse, and while there may be a grain of truth to it, the simple fact is that if you’re even considering going onto treatment, your addictions have already disrupted your life and those around you. Another factor is the financial cost. Certainly it’s going to cost a significant amount of money to get onto rehab, and depending on the level of care you’re looking at; the cost could indeed be staggering. But if it comes down to just getting onto treatment of some kind, there is always a way to work it out, whether it be a county-funded facility or similar program that offers some form of financial relief. If someone says that they couldn’t attend treatment because it was just too expensive, then they clearly weren’t looking hard enough. This is merely a structural barrier, and is, at best, a complication.

But as far as the personal decision, no one can tell you what’s right for you. You (and your body) know your condition best. However, if you are having difficulty making that key decision, one method that might help you is what clinicians call Decisional Balancing. It’s essentially creating a pros and cons chart including the reasoning for going and not going. The important part of it is to actually write all of it down; preferably with pen and paper, and not on a computer.

Some of the reasons for going would be:

  • Will be able to detox safe and sound and feel improved in a short space of time
  • Will have a interval away from temptation to get clean and sober and get your head sorted out a bit
  • Will have a period of time to concentrate solely on your recovery
  • Will discover relapse prevention and other skills that will make it easier to stay sober after rehab
  • Will have a period to get physically and mentally fit.

When you get sober, you won’t be getting DUIs or be getting in trouble at work, with the law, or with loved ones due to your addiction  anymore.

We mentioned a few of the reasons for not going to treatment earlier; here are a few more:

  • Can still go out and get wasted and have fun
  • Will save a lot of money
  • Won’t have to answer uncomfortable questions about where you’re going and what you’re doing.

Won’t have to try to get a month off at work

Looking at things that way is a no-brainer (for most). But, making a resolution to change the course of your life is seldom simple, and although one large part of you probably desires treatment, another part of you might wonder if you’re prepared, or if you even can achieve lasting change. Ambivalence to transformation is normal and life is seldom black and white, which is why making major decisions about behavioral change, like about going to rehab to quit drugs or alcohol, can be so challenging. But what was an unattainable decision sometimes becomes an obvious choice in the end.