Knowing when to get help for substance abuse isn’t as easy as outsiders might think. Some people will argue that you should consider rehab as soon as you start using drugs or drinking too much, but the reality is that most people with a substance use disorder don’t realize they have an addiction until they start to experience severe consequences.

Admitting you have a problem that’s beyond your control is one of the biggest barriers to treatment, but it’s also a milestone you should be proud of. Here are a few signs you should seek help for substance abuse.

You Think About Quitting but Can’t

The thought of no longer drinking or doing drugs crosses your mind, but something always stops you. The idea of going without any of your preferred substances in your system gives you anxiety or even makes you feel depressed. If envisioning your life drug-free is both a dream and nightmare, you become paralyzed in the cycle of addiction that only gets worse with time.

If you’ve thought about quitting, then listen to your heart. When you no something is genuinely not helping you live your best life, it’s important to be honest and admit that you need help getting sober. There is no shame in this, and it doesn’t make you weak. Overcoming addiction and its associated mental health struggles isn’t something you should do alone.

You Have Done Things That Aren’t You

Drugs, alcohol and addiction transforms people. You may feel like a stranger to yourself sometimes, wondering how you’ve possibly justified some of the things you’re done in the past. Maybe you’ve  gotten in trouble with the law or even overdosed. Your friends and family may not want to spend time with you and may not trust you with their children. When you’re saying and doing things that you wouldn’t have done before your addiction, your addiction is in control, not you.

If you’re no longer in full control of what you do and how you act, it’s time to get help. An inpatient residential care recovery program can help you get clean and learn the skills that will help you beat your addiction. You can start fresh and turn your life around.

Your Life Seems Smaller

What was once a passing habit is now an all-consuming need. When you aren’t high or drunk, you’re wondering about how and when you’ll get your next fix. Going without substances feels almost unbearable, and you don’t experience many emotions that aren’t connected to using somehow. You might not have hobbies you enjoy anymore and you might avoid friends you were once close to.

Addiction steals so much more than your security; it gradually leeches all the opportunity from your life, drains you of ambition and convinces you that even if you want help, it’s too late or not bad enough yet.

Don’t listen to addiction. Trust your own voice. If you’re worried about your substance abuse, that’s reason enough to get help. You always have a choice, and it’s never the wrong time to seek treatment.