Do I Need Rehab?

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If you have been wondering “Do I need rehab” or “Should I go to rehab“, you are not alone.

The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health  shows that 28.5 million U.S. adults had alcohol use disorder in 2020, and that 40 million were diagnosed with substance use disorder in the same year. Among these tens of millions struggling with addiction in the United States, less than one in ten engaged with professional treatment.

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There are many reasons that prevent people in need of addiction treatment from connecting with therapy, including: 

  • Perceived cost of rehab.
  • Uncertainty about what is involved with rehab.
  • Complication of undiagnosed mental health conditions.
  • Shame or stigma about engaging with treatment.
  • Denial that a problem exists.

Although there is no cure for addiction – it is a chronic and relapsing brain disorder – both alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) and substance use disorder (drug addiction) normally respond well to treatment with a combination of these interventions: 

  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment).
  • Psychotherapy (talk therapies – CBT and DBT, for instance).
  • Counseling.

Today’s guide will help you to determine whether you require rehab and which type of program would be most appropriate for your needs. 

Do I Need Rehab Quiz

Consider the way you use alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs. If your use of any of these substances is starting to cause negative outcomes at home, work, or school, you may already be developing a substance use disorder.

Alcoholism (alcohol use disorder) and all types of substance use disorder (drug addiction) are classified in DSM-5-TR  (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Alcohol use disorder and substance use disorder are diagnosed according to the number of criteria that present as follows: 

  • Mild addiction: 2 to 3 criteria
  • Moderate addiction: 4 to 5 criteria
  • Severe addiction: 6 or more criteria

For the first part of our quiz, answer the following questions based on the diagnostic criteria from DSM: 

  1. Do you often use substances in larger amounts than intended or for longer periods than planned?
  2. Have you made unsuccessful attempts to reduce or discontinue substance use?
  3. Are you spending lots of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the use of substances?
  4. Is your substance use causing you to neglect personal and professional obligations?
  5. Do you continue to use substances even though it’s creating problems in your relationships?
  6. Do you frequently use substances in potentially dangerous situations?
  7. Are you cutting back on social and recreational activities in favor of substance use?
  8. Do you need to use more of the substance to achieve the same effects as tolerance forms?
  9. Are you still using substances even though you know it is causing or inflaming a physical or psychological condition?
  10. Do you experience withdrawal symptoms which you can alleviate by taking more of the substance?
  11. Have you experienced intense cravings for the substance?

For the second part of our quiz, consider the following five indicators that substance use disorder might be developing: 

  1. Do you engage in heavy drinking or binge drinking?
  2. Is substance use the driving force in your life right now?
  3. Do you feel a physical or psychological need to use the substance?
  4. Are you unable to control your use of substances?
  5. Have friends and family criticized your use of substances?
A man asking himself the question, do I need rehab?

1) Do you engage in heavy drinking or binge drinking?

If you are a man and you consume fourteen or more standard drinks each week, NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) classifies this as heavy drinking. A woman consuming eight or more standard drinks weekly is also breaching guidelines for moderate drinking. 

CCD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) defines binge drinking as when a woman consumes more than four alcoholic drinks in two hours, or when a man has more than five standard drinks in two hours. 

Both of these abusive patterns of alcohol consumption could increase the likelihood of an addiction developing and suggest that you might need to consider heading to rehab if those habits are left unchecked. 

2) Is substance use the driving force in your life right now?

When substance use assumes a central role in your life, this is a sign that substance use disorder is building. 

Three of the criteria for addiction are associated with the social problems caused by substance abuse. As you spend more time using drink or drugs, you are liable to spend correspondingly less time with loved ones. Problems are likely to present in your closest relationships and you might also start neglecting your responsibilities at home, work, or school. 

If substance use is the primary focus in your life, it could be time to consider a stint in inpatient or outpatient rehab. 

3) Do you feel a physical or psychological need to use the substance?

Over time, using an addictive substance will cause tolerance to build. When this happens, you will need to use more of the substance or to use it more often in order to achieve the same effects. 

Tolerance often but not always leads to physical dependence. By this stage, you will need to use the substance just to feel normal. 

If you feel a physical or mental need to use any substance, you should strongly consider exploring treatment options before things get worse. 

4) Are you unable to control your use of substances?

Two of the criteria for addiction center on loss of control – using more of the substance than intended or an inability to moderate substance use. 

Anyone who is using alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs compulsively and uncontrollably would almost certainly benefit from treatment at a rehab center. 

5) Have friends and family criticized your use of substances?

Addiction is a family disease with the repercussions of substance abuse rippling far beyond the person using substances. 

Ask yourself whether your closest loved ones have been criticizing your substance use. Maybe they have already suggested that you connect with professional addiction treatment services. 

If all those around you can identify problematic patterns of substance abuse, it could be time to head to inpatient or outpatient rehab.

Do I Need Inpatient Rehab or Outpatient Rehab?

If you acknowledge the need for treatment, you may now be asking yourself, “Do I need to go to rehab in an inpatient or outpatient setting?” 

Inpatient rehab is also known as residential rehab. This is the most intensive form of treatment available on American Society of Addiction Medicine’s continuum of care

With inpatient treatment, you remain at the facility for 30 to 90 days or more, depending on the severity of the addiction and any co-occurring mental health conditions. 

Most people with severe addictions, especially when they co-occur with mental health disorders, find that inpatient treatment provides the most suitable springboard for recovery. With medications and 24/7 clinical and emotional care to streamline detox, you can build a firm foundation for ongoing recovery before segueing from detox into treatment in the same facility. 

If you have a volatile or unsupportive home environment, you may that residential rehab offers a more suitable setting for the early phase of recovery, with no distractions or triggers to take your focus away from therapy. 

Research suggests that IOPs (intensive outpatient programs) are just as effective as residential rehab for the treatment of most mild and moderate substance use disorders. 

Outpatient rehab gives you access to broadly similar services and the same therapies as you find in inpatient treatment centers. The main difference between these treatment modalities is that you return home after outpatient therapy sessions rather than remaining at the treatment center. 

Many people with milder addictions find that outpatient treatment lets them remain anchored to personal and professional responsibilities without compromising their recovery. 

If you are committed to sobriety and have a home background conducive to recovery, you can choose from treatment at these levels of intensity: 

  • OP: A regular outpatient program involves just two or three hours of therapy sessions scheduled on weekdays.
  • IOP: An intensive outpatient program provides at least 12 hours of therapy sessions each week.
  • PHP: A partial hospitalization program is a full-time treatment program providing at least 30 hours of weekly therapy sessions in an outpatient setting. PHPs are the most intensive form of outpatient treatment and a step down from residential rehab.
an image of the california detox & California rehab facility

Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment at California Detox

If you are still unsure about whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is the right choice for you, we can help you with a personalized program at whatever level of intensity you need at our inpatient drug rehab in California. We offer the following treatment programs for alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental health disorders: 

  • OPs (outpatient programs)
  • IOPs (intensive outpatient programs)
  • Virtual IOPs (remote rehab)
  • PHPs (partial hospitalization programs)
  • Inpatient rehab (residential rehab) 
  • Dual diagnosis treatment programs 

Whether you need inpatient or outpatient rehab, you can first engage with a supervised medical detox at our licensed detox center in Orange County. After a week or so, you will be substance-free and ready to tackle the psychological component of addiction. 

Whatever program you choose, your treatment team will personalize your therapy from this array of evidence-based interventions: 

  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
  • Group counseling
  • Individual counseling
  • Talk therapies (psychotherapies like CBT and DBT)
  • Holistic therapies
  • Family therapy

Connect with integrated and research-backed treatment for addiction or mental health conditions that are holding you back in our serene beachside setting at California Detox. Take the first crucial step by calling admissions today at 949.567.8790. to discuss your options. Wondering how long alcohol rehab will take? Learn more here.


All addictions are unique, and everyone has different personal circumstances. This means that no universal approach to recovery works for everyone. That said, among all the possible routes to recovery, rehab provides the most support and structure, as well as ongoing aftercare. Addiction has high relapse rates of between 40% and 60%, so engaging with inpatient or outpatient rehab will strengthen your chances of maintaining recovery without relapsing.
If you are unable to moderate or control your substance use, you would likely benefit from treatment at rehab. When substance use starts causing problems in your personal life and overall health and you continue to use substances anyway, this is another powerful sign that you need to go to rehab. If you are in doubt, consult your physician and request a diagnosis for substance use disorder, or a referral to a mental health or addiction specialist.


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