Drug and alcohol addiction doesn’t just affect the user. It also has a strong impact on his or her family, friends, co-workers, and other loved ones. It can be incredibly difficult to know when you should seek help for someone struggling with substance abuse, but these six signs that indicate the need for rehab help may make it easier to tell when the time has come to seek treatment.

Understanding the Difference Between Treatment and Rehab

Many people use these terms interchangeably, but they’re actually very different. The recovery process begins with detoxification, which is just one part of rehab. During rehab you’ll learn new ways to manage your addiction and deal with life stressors in a healthier way. If you have serious drug dependency problems and need to detox, then seek out residential or inpatient rehabilitation (sometimes called a therapeutic community). However, if your problem is alcohol abuse, for example, rather than substance abuse—meaning you might just drink too much from time to time—outpatient treatment programs are typically enough to help you overcome your addictions and ensure that your drinking doesn’t get out of hand.

Who Needs Rehab

If you or someone you love is battling an addiction, it’s natural to ask yourself: Do I need rehab help? The short answer is yes. Many addicts know they have a problem and want help getting sober, but are afraid to ask for it. If you’re concerned about your drinking or drug use, reach out to someone who can offer support and start asking yourself questions like these: Do I continue drinking even though my family complains about it? Am I drinking more than I used to (or than my friends)? Have any of my relationships changed because of alcohol? Am I using drugs in ways that put me at risk for health problems? Am I having problems at work or school because of my substance abuse? Do I drink alone regularly? Are there other signs that suggest you may be struggling with an addiction—and could benefit from treatment services—even if your answers to these questions aren’t necessarily yes? Even if you aren’t sure whether or not you need rehab help, talking with a professional can be one way to determine what kind of help might be best for you.

How To Determine If Rehab Is Right For You

A year ago, I lost my mother to a tragic motorcycle accident. It was tragic in more ways than one: she wasn’t wearing a helmet, which is illegal in California. She never saw it coming. Some people say that it’s nobody’s fault but hers; she should have been more careful. Perhaps they have a point, but there are other things to consider: if she had gotten professional help for her problem with substance abuse in time, perhaps she would still be alive today—and if nothing else, maybe she wouldn’t have died from riding without a helmet. Knowing when to seek rehab help matters.

Why Getting Professional Advice Matters

Even a relatively small addiction to opioids can cause major damage in a short amount of time. In fact, more than 20,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses in 2015 alone. But getting professional help doesn’t have to be scary—in fact, it can take some of the guesswork out of your recovery process by giving you access to specialized care and education tailored to your situation. Whether you want to address an issue with prescription painkillers or heroin addiction, rehab will equip you with life skills and coping mechanisms that can help lead you down a path toward wellness.