You don\u2019t have to hit rock bottom to be ready to accept treatment for addiction, but some addicts do. The truth is that the timing of recognizing that you\u2019re ready for treatment is different for everyone. Whenever it occurs, there are some things that are common to the breakthrough moment that may help you take the next all-important step. Enough is Enough Whether the issue is problem drinking, alcohol abuse, dependence or addiction, or illicit or nonmedical use of prescription drugs, compulsive gambling, compulsive sexual behavior, overwork, eating disorder or co-occurring disorder (substance abuse and mental illness), there comes a time when you realize that enough is enough. You\u2019ve had it up to here and beyond with the way your life has been going. Not only are the walls closing in with depression, anxiety, sleepless nights and other myriad physical and mental complaints, but your relationships are suffering, your job may be in jeopardy, bills are mounting up, and you can\u2019t stand the sight of yourself in the mirror. Where did the real me go, you may wonder? You\u2019re still there, although you\u2019ve lost yourself under the cloud of your addiction. You have two choices at this point: Accept that you have a problem and seek treatment for it or continue on your path of self-destruction. What have you got to lose? This is a no-brainer. Go for the treatment. This is your breakthrough moment. Life has No Joy For some, the breakthrough moment appears gradually, over a period of months or even years. If you find yourself dreading the day ahead, or just barely making it through your everyday existence, life has lost its joy. This is no way to live. What you\u2019ve been doing to mask your pain, beat back the stress, or deal with all your troubles (financial, legal, social, medical, psychological), is just making the problems worse. Alcohol, drugs or other addictive behavior just doesn\u2019t cut it anymore. You need more of it, and more often. You\u2019re totally out of control, or nearly getting there. In any case, it\u2019s a bad situation that you\u2019re coming to realize. When life is all gray, seemingly an endless vista of pain and more addictive behavior, it\u2019s time to cut out the addiction and go for treatment. Can\u2019t remember feeling good without the help of your drug of choice \u2013 but you want to? Go for treatment. This is your breakthrough moment. Maybe They\u2019re Right Has your wife, partner, family member, boss, co-worker or other person close to you tried to convince you for some time that you need to get help? Have you found brochures or information downloaded from the Internet on various treatment facilities lying around for you to see? Are things a little frosty at home due to your addictive behavior? Tears, angry scenes, maybe even an intervention staged by your loved ones and a professional interventionist? Think about what you\u2019ve seen and heard \u2013 really think about it for once, instead of automatically rejecting the obvious pleas for you to get help. If the inkling occurs to you that maybe, just maybe, they\u2019re right \u2013 then this could be your breakthrough moment, the time when you begin to do something to overcome your addiction. Assess Your Situation Once a year, you have to pay your taxes to Uncle Sam. This involves preparation, of sorts, gathering together all your financial documents and sitting down with your tax professional (or doing it yourself) and getting to work to see what the damage is. Using this analogy, you may find yourself unconsciously doing a self-assessment about your life when it comes to your addiction. Things may not quite add up \u2013 or they may be way off-kilter. Where does all your money go? If it\u2019s getting harder to pay the monthly mortgage, car payment and insurance (especially for a two- or multi-car family), utilities, educational expenses, medical expenses, and all the rest, you may soon face the dilemma \u2013 if you haven\u2019t already \u2013 of where to find the funds to continue to take care of your family obligations. You know, instinctively, what happened to the money. It went to finance your addiction, to pay for the booze, pills, grass, poker, or whatever. You\u2019ve tried your best to hide the big hole in the savings and checking account, or to grab the credit card bills before your spouse or partner sees them, but, after a while, you just can\u2019t stem the flow of red ink. When you begin to assess your situation from a dollar and cents standpoint and you see that you\u2019re rapidly sliding downhill, what will you choose to do? Again, you have two choices: Continue to drain your family\u2019s finances to finance your habit, or put a stop to the self-destructive behavior and go for help. Getting Past Denial Most addicts go through a period of denial. I don\u2019t have a problem. I can handle my liquor (or pills, gambling, etc.). Everything\u2019s under control. You\u2019re making way too big a deal out of this. It\u2019s nothing, really. Get off my back. Do these words sound familiar? Despite evidence to the contrary, it\u2019s amazing how often and how long a person will deny what everyone else can see to be true \u2013 they\u2019re addicted and failing fast. Denial is one of the first stages addicts generally go through before they move up the ladder of consciousness to admit there is, indeed a problem. If you had an open wound that progressively got worse \u2013 and you did nothing about it \u2013 that would be completely foolhardy, wouldn\u2019t it? The damage caused by addiction may not be so outwardly visible, but those closest to you are more than aware of the change in your behavior, mood, and physical condition. You know in your heart that things aren\u2019t the same as they once were. You may no longer have the energy, mental alertness, ambition or emotional stability that you once took for granted. All that you can remember is that when you really felt good was before you got hooked on alcohol, drugs, or other addictive behavior. When you start allowing the thought to enter your mind that you do have a problem, maybe this is your ah-ha moment \u2013 the time when you begin to consider that the only way to get better is to accept and go for treatment. Nothing Else Worked \u2013 Maybe Give it a Try Give yourself a little credit \u2013 actually, a lot of credit \u2013 if you\u2019ve tried to wean yourself off your fix of alcohol, drugs or other addictive behavior. Chances are, it may have worked for a day or so, but, inevitably, it probably failed. You may have even remained clean and sober for some period of time before you relapsed back into your bad habits. For many addicts, this is a pattern that\u2019s repeated time and again until they finally go into treatment. Sure, there\u2019s no guarantee that you\u2019ll be forever clean and sober following treatment. It could be that you didn\u2019t give it long enough, or learn enough coping skills, or the cravings and urges were just too tough at the time. But you\u2019re not in a good place now, are you? Talking yourself out of using didn\u2019t work. Staying away for a day soon went by the wayside. All you think about is when you\u2019re next going to drink or smoke or pop pills or inject or lay money on the table. That\u2019s no way to continue for the rest of your life. Depending on your type of addiction, you may wind up in jail, a psychiatric institution, or the morgue. That\u2019s no joke. When addiction is chronic and long-term, without treatment, the results are predictable and grim. Since nothing else worked for you \u2013 or lasted very long \u2013 maybe it\u2019s time now for you to think about getting treatment for your addiction. If you\u2019re ready to allow that maybe you could give treatment a try \u2013 for real, not just going through the motions \u2013 this could be your breakthrough moment. Whatever it Takes is Worth it Naturally, it\u2019s a little scary thinking about the whole treatment process, what it entails, how long it takes, what you have to do, and so on. Pick up one of those brochures your spouse or partner left on the table and read through it. Do your own Internet search and learn more about the disease of addiction, the evidence-based treatments available today, and the promising anti-craving medications on the market to ease the transition off addictive substances and allow treatment to proceed. All you need to do is get to the place where you believe that being clean and sober is the lifestyle that you want to adopt, that you need to adopt, and that you will adopt. When you arrive at this decision, the rest will go along with it. You will tell yourself what you need to know in order to take it to the next level. You will say to yourself, \u201cWhatever it takes is worth it.\u201d This will be your breakthrough moment. Overcoming Multiple Relapse History If you\u2019ve been through treatment before and relapsed, perhaps several times, dispel the thought from your mind right now that you\u2019re a failure. Just because you slipped back into your addiction in no way means that there\u2019s something wrong with you. Relapse has nothing to do with lack of will power or strength of character or moral fiber. It only means that you didn\u2019t develop sufficient coping skills to be able to withstand the sometimes overpowering urges and cravings. Perhaps you went back too soon to your old life \u2013 including revisiting the same people, places and things that got you into trouble before. In any case, sometimes addicts need to go to treatment more than once before they\u2019re ready to embrace sobriety \u2013 with all the requisite tools and strategies to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Experts in the field of addiction treatment say that it\u2019s never too late for treatment. Granted, for a late-stage, chronic alcoholic, it may be nearly too late, but still the quality of life may be able to be improved. You\u2019re most likely not in that position \u2013 and you surely don\u2019t want to be. What will happen when you go back into treatment after relapse? You\u2019ll need to detoxify, of course, to purge your body of the toxins of your drug or alcohol abuse (or stay away from the addictive behavior). You\u2019ll again enter the active treatment phase where you\u2019ll receive individual and group counseling, utilizing various forms of therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy (MET), family therapy, 12-step group participation, and other treatment modalities. You may be prescribed medication to help with the cravings. You will analyze what did work for you and try to come up with modifications on those strategies that can help you in the future to avoid relapse. You will look at where you went astray and develop ways to cope with those types of situations. The good news is that the more committed you are to becoming clean and sober, the better the likelihood that you will be successful in your recovery. So, if you are someone who has relapsed before, but still wants to get clean and sober, this may be the breakthrough moment for you. Seize the opportunity and get back into treatment. The sooner you go, the better your outlook. One Day at a Time Remember the old saying by Confucius? The longest journey begins with the first step. This is a wise adage that applies very well to the concept of treatment for addiction. Just as no one would venture on an uncertain journey of indefinite length if all they thought about was how long and how difficult it might be or if they\u2019d have the strength to complete it, so, too, it would be prohibitive for someone to embrace treatment if they concentrated on only the negatives: too difficult, too painful, too lengthy, too uncertain. While treatment isn\u2019t to be considered a cake walk, it isn\u2019t the dank and horrific nuthouse depicted in old black-and-white movies, either. The field of addiction treatment has made many significant strides, particularly in the last two decades. Addiction is treatable and offers positive outcomes for many addicts. Advances in treatment medications mean withdrawal symptoms may be reduced or eliminated altogether. There are anti-craving medications that are non-addictive and can sustain you through the uncertain period of early recovery so that you can get a better handle on effective coping strategies. Support and encouragement from self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous offers long-term fellowship months and years after treatment is concluded. The important point to think about is that you take it one day at a time. This isn\u2019t a religious mantra, or a political slogan, or anything other than common sense. No matter how bad things get, if you tell yourself that you will make it through the next 24 hours, you will. Things will look better and be better if you adopt this type of approach. When you are ready to tell yourself that you will embrace treatment and you will take it one day at a time \u2013 this is truly your breakthrough moment. This is the time when you are truly ready for treatment. Now, all you have to do is: Do it.