Substance abuse is a serious problem in the United States and all over the world. In fact, it is one of the leading problems in many parts of the country, where drug offenses top the list of reasons why people: are in jail, awaiting trial or homeless.

What most people won’t tell you about drug addiction is that wanting to get clean is normal, even when you’re using it’s just hard to get there. There are treatment options available to you though, and it is something you can work through when you’re ready.

However, substance abuse treatment can be difficult for a lot of people and you have to go in knowing certain things and expecting others. Whether you’re an addict seeking substance abuse treatment for yourself or you’re a friend or family member of an addict, use this checklist to prepare yourself or your loved one for the experience that is substance abuse treatment.

It can also help you decide whether or not you need to enter an inpatient program or whether you can get help on your own through other types of programs. Answering yes means you or your loved one is ready for a rehabilitation program.

    • Do you feel ready to stop drinking or using drugs, even if that means dramatically altering your lifestyle? Inpatient programs require a lot of commitment, but they can make sure that you get clean as quickly as possible so you can get back to enjoying your life.

    • Do you only think you need to cut down your drinking or drug use? If so, rehabilitation may not be right for you since most substance abuse treatment programs require sobriety. If you’re not ready for that, you may not be ready to get help.

    • Are you willing to take medication during the drying-out process? Many rehabilitation facilities use medication to ease withdrawal symptoms, especially if you’ve been taking drugs like heroin or drinking for a long time. These medicines are designed to be helpful, and people who are serious about quitting should consider them.

    • Are you interested in joining AA or NA to help you get over your drug addiction? Most substance abuse treatment programs require you to enroll in AA or NA and talk about your experiences with others to help you from going back to drug abuse once you leave their facility.

    • Are you prepared for therapy to help you with your problem? Therapy greatly benefits most addicts who want to recover and live a clean life.

    • Do you want to learn how to prevent a relapse? Relapse prevention is something that many drug rehabilitation facilities want to teach.

    • Are you ready to find out what your triggers for substance abuse are? Without learning your triggers you likely won’t be able to keep yourself clean and sober for more than a few years, at best. Learning your triggers is essential, even if it’s a painful process for many people.

  • Do you want faith-based rehabilitation options? If so, there are options out there for you, and you can get help in a nurturing environment that uses faith to help you stay clean and sober for a lifetime.

  • Do you need help with other physical problems? You may need to take care of a variety of health problems if you’ve been abusing drugs or alcohol for years.

  • Do you need help with dental problems? Many treatment facilities can help you with this.

  • Are you ready to deal with depression that may occur when you get sober? This often requires more therapy and talking to get clean and enjoy your life at the same time.

  • Do you need help with legal problems? Legal issues affect many drug and alcohol abusers and a good rehabilitation program can steer you toward clearing those up so you can lead a happier, law-abiding life.

  • Were you ordered to attend a program as part of a settlement or sentence? You’ll need to do this as soon as possible in order to make sure you don’t end up in jail or having to pay hefty fines for missing deadlines.

  • Are you unable to see a child because of drug or alcohol abuse? Attending a drug treatment program can persuade the courts that you’re ready to be a good parent.

  • Do you need help improving self-esteem and inner happiness? Treatment can help you with that and it is the ultimate goal of getting clean!