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What If I’m Not Ready for Treatment Yet?

Committing to treatment is a big decision. Even admitting you have a problem is difficult because it may force you to confront some unpleasant realities. Then, you have the prospect of a painful detox, more uncomfortable realities in therapy, and on top of it all, 30 to 90 days away from your normal life. It’s a lot to deal with all at once. What if you aren’t quite there yet?

First, not every improvement is all-or-nothing. Depending on your situation, there is likely something you can do to improve your life in a small way, even if it means drinking beer instead of vodka until you can decide to take the next step. Is there some way you can keep yourself out of danger while you’re thinking about treatment?

Next, there are people you can talk to without making any sort of commitment to inpatient treatment. If you can talk to your family or friends about it, that’s ideal. Let them know you’re open to the possibility that you need help and be honest about where you are. Listen to what they have to say.

If you feel like you can’t talk to friends and family, either because you’re worried they’ll hold you to it or you think you’ve already burned those bridges, there are other people you can talk to. There are addiction helplines you can call without making any commitment. You can contact a therapist and see if she might be able to help you. Even an introductory appointment is not a long-term commitment and it might help you better understand your situation.

Try to learn as much as you can about addiction and treatment. The more you know, the less intimidating the process will be. Try to understand the different treatment theories and modalities–medications, inpatient vs. outpatient, complementary therapies, and behavioral therapies. If you can, talk to someone who has been through it, ideally someone still in recovery. Also be sure to research what drugs are dangerous to quit on your own and the benefits of medical detox.

If nothing else, attend an AA or NA meeting. You don’t have to sign up for life and you don’t even have to talk. You can just go and listen. You don’t have to be sober to attend meetings. You may hear some things that clarify your situation.

The less you feel like you’re stepping into the dark, the more likely you will take the first step. Learn what you can about addiction and treatment and be as honest with yourself as possible. You may never feel exactly comfortable with the idea of going into treatment, buy you will probably get to a point where it feels doable.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox safely and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at to learn more.