If you’re reading this, you’ve already overcome the most difficult barrier in seeking help: admitting that you need it.

Many individuals who struggle with an addiction of any kind will never reach the point that you have, because they choose to handle their problems without the help they need. This decision prevents them from a wide variety of resources – support groups to psychiatry, medication to sober living homes – that can help them turn the tide in their fight against an addiction.

It’s never our goal to make a decision for you, or force a certain solution on you against your will. It’s only our goal to ease any anxiety you’re feeling, or to help to know which right step to take when it comes to seeking help for your addiction. After all, the goal of any addiction treatment, no matter the type, is that eventually you would no longer need it.

If you’re looking to take your life back but you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. Below, we’ve outlined simple steps you can take today, that can help you find the right treatment for your addiction.

Outline your goals before you begin.

Before you begin consulting others’ opinions on substance addiction treatment options, make sure you understand clearly your own goals. We recommend you even take the time to document those goals somewhere, maybe write them down, for motivation during the process and to reference once you’re on the other side of your addiction.

If you’re not sure how to phrase those goals, we’ve outlined three in sequential order below. Feel free to adopt these, reword them, change them however you would like:

1. End your participation in the addiction.

2. Maintain control over your addiction to make sure it never comes back.

3. Live the positive, productive life you’re dreaming of.

Some individuals choose to frame their goals in a prominent place. Others choose to simply rewrite them, including their name in each step. However you choose to process your goals, make sure you understand what you’re looking to achieve from addiction treatment.

Understand the treatment options available to you.

With so many treatment options available to you, it can often be overwhelming to commit to a single one. It’s important to understand how each treatment option is offered, how your body will respond and what is required for each. We suggest you take the time to familiarize yourself with some of the most common addiction treatment avenues near you, likely categorized under the following types:

1. Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment provides the most serious type of treatment, for those individuals requiring more of an intense solution. Typically prescribed for a longer period of time, inpatient treatment requires the individual struggling with addiction to live onsite at the treatment center. Obviously, the amount of time an individual lives at the inpatient treatment facility depends on the severity of the addiction and the required treatment time.

Sometimes, inpatient treatment is only recommended for a few days at a time. Other times, an individual would reside at an inpatient treatment clinic for a month or more, until their addiction is under control, and they can progress to a less intensive level of care.

If you are having trouble staying away from your addiction, this option might be the one for you. Especially if you find that your addiction is actively taking control of your life, inpatient treatment helps you learn what freedom feels like apart from damaging substances.

2. Outpatient Treatment

Sometimes prescribed individually, other times suggested after a period of time spent in inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment centers allow you to benefit from addiction treatment without living onsite at the treatment location. That’s not to say that treatment itself is relaxed; outpatient treatment itself could be just as intensive as treatment received at inpatient clinics. Whether it’s biweekly therapy, daily counseling or simply an accountability program, outpatient treatment centers enable individuals beginning to break free from their addiction habits to continue their positive trend away from an inpatient environment.

Sometimes used as a stepping stone between inpatient and outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) last several hours per day, typically during evenings or mornings. You’ll follow more of a structured daily routine, while maintaining more personal freedom along the way.

3. Sober Living

Different from inpatient facilities, sober living houses are accountability communities where residents live together in pursuit of a common goal: freedom from addiction. Individuals who live in sober living houses typically maintain some authority for both themselves and for the maintenance of the house and the community, tasked with daily chores or responsibilities that affirm their place in the home. The support from fellow individuals suffering from addiction is there when you need it, but you’re still free to live your life on your own agenda.

Many sober living homes also institute schedule parameters for accountability purposes as well. More and more, these same sober living houses offer more than just an opportunity for individuals to reach freedom from addiction. In addition to onsite support groups, peer accountability and administered treatment from in-house medical professionals, many sober living houses can also offer frequent opportunities for adventure, friendship and thrill. For example, Real Recovery in Asheville, NC, one of the nation’s premiere sober living facilities, challenges its residents to participate in group snowboarding outings, picnics, fishing, whitewater rafting and more.

4. Other Options 

If you decide to take advantage of other options after consulting with a health professional, avenues like telecounseling, local support groups and accountability mobile applications are also great ways to actively pursue freedom from substance abuse.

Telehealth options allow you to receive the therapy and/or counseling services you need, from licensed psychiatrists, from the comfort of your own home. Local support groups allow you the freedom of a non-judgemental environment, among individuals who share your struggles and long-term goals. Mobile applications like Sober Grid and Addicaid can also help you track and eliminate negative habits, though they should never be used as a direct substitute for certified help from a medical professional or facility.

Making your decision, and sticking to it.

When it comes to making a decision as to the right treatment type for your addiction, we heavily recommend that you consult certified medical help. Even if you’re worried about admitting to your substance abuse, licensed medical professionals provide non-judgmental assessments that can help pair you with the best addiction treatment services.

Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to stick to it. The one thing even the best treatment type can’t do is force you to use it. You’ve done the hardest part in admitting that you need help. And yes, there will be some difficult days ahead, especially when you progress through the final stages of detox toward freedom. But sticking to the goals you first identified can mean the difference between a healthier, happier you, and returning to a broken cycle where your struggles can return.

Take the time to take control

Finding treatment for your addiction can be difficult. At Real Recovery in Asheville, we understand that. That’s why at every angle, we help you pursue a single goal: your own, personal freedom. From the day you walk through our front doors, we count the days with you until it’s time to leave for the last time. We celebrate the victories, work through the setbacks and feel every bump along the way, just as you do. The next step in your recovery could look like North Carolina’s best-respected, evidence-based recovery and addiction treatment center.

Obviously, this isn’t a process that can happen overnight. There will be the inevitable highs and lows, the optimistic mornings and the doubtful evenings. But if you can take the time to take back control of your life, you’ll never look back once you’ve reached freedom. Understand that you can’t put forth half the required effort if you want to restore full quality of life. Rather, you’ll need to put some parts of your life on hold so that you can earn it back. Take it from us – finding treatment for, and freedom from, your addiction is a process worth every moment, every sacrifice and every triumph along the way.