You ask, “What can I lose because of my drug or alcohol use?”
More importantly, “What can I gain from drug or alcohol rehab?”
When staring into the mirror at “the end of your rope” and on a gut level acknowledging just how much you’ve already lost and how much more can still be lost because of drug or alcohol abuse – asking questions like: “Will I lose my medical license over drugs or alcohol?” or “Will I be disbarred for DUI or drug use?” – it’s necessary to recognize there’s a distinction between what you can lose (by continuing in addiction) versus what you can gain (by getting addiction treatment).
Certainly, whenever you’ve put great effort over an extended period of time to achieve a professional license or acquire the ability to practice in your field, the threat of losing such valuable aspects of life as these can, at times, grab your attention and cause you to earnestly consider whether or not a substance abuse treatment program is in order.
But as is commonly heard in treatment centers and in the rooms of 12-Step recovery, addiction is “cunning, baffling and powerful.” (There is actually a 12-Step reading that states: “Addiction is such a cunning enemy of life that we had lost the power to do anything about it.”)
In other words, so many well-intentioned professionals (including doctors, nurses and lawyers facing drug abuse) have found themselves in the throes of trying to quit on their own, yet inevitably have to choose whether or not to believe the voice in their heads that whisper, “If I do ‘x,’ I can handle it” or “Tomorrow, I’ll start weaning myself off of it” or “If it gets really bad, I’ll put it down for good!”
And then soon enough, even with the impending horrible consequences—both personal and professional losses—staring them straight in the face, they drink or use again, helpless against the obsession and compulsion that’s driven them in the past.
The point is, surely it would behoove anyone living this sort of hellish life to consider getting into a professionals health program (i.e., impaired professionals program) to stop the relentless stream of loss in their lives. However, what may add significant (perhaps even crucial) incentive, motivation or inspiration to such a person’s decision is this:
How much will I GAIN from entering a drug and alcohol treatment program?
For indeed, the benefits of getting and staying sober/clean can go far beyond the retaining of one’s licensure, credentials or practice. Here is a list of some of the “gifts” of recovery to be had by any professional seeking alcohol or drug treatment:
1. End to physical withdrawal symptoms and freedom from active addiction
2. Supportive medical care, as needed
3. Identification of co-occurring issues (including mental health, learning or behavior disorders)
4. Treatment, wherever necessary, of any mental health symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc.)
5. Provision of family support and therapy, when applicable
6. A wide range of results-oriented therapies, including both traditional (e.g., 12 Steps, individual & group counseling) and alternative therapies (e.g., TMS, EMDR, CBT, DBT, MI, Mindfulness training, Yoga)
7. Aftercare support that can extend your treatment and therapy to ensure a strong foundation is built for stepping successfully into the future
8. You start feeling better, become healthier and begin reconnecting to your authentic self
9. You make new friends and develop a caring, supportive recovery network that can last a lifetime
10. You find yourself becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be, including someone your family, friends, associates and community turn to for help and service.
These “gains” are just some of the benefits and gifts countless recovering professionals have experienced. But all of it comes from their decision to move forward into addiction treatment.
In summary, you can choose to go to rehab to stop the heartrending losses addiction has been shoving onto your plate every day OR to gain freedom from active addiction and so many other gifts… but ultimately, entering a drug and alcohol treatment program puts you on the road to accomplishing both.
“Refrain from asking what’s going to happen tomorrow, and every day that fortune grants you, count as gain.” – Horace