Being addicted to drugs and alcohol is a difficult admission. However, once you accept your addiction you can begin to treat it. Addiction becomes a lifestyle. It becomes the default answer to most of an addict’s problems. There is treatment for those struggling with an addiction. Doing a little research and answering some tough questions is the way to a brighter tomorrow.
Being an addict or alcoholic means you have lost control on your substance use. There are a few signs that drugs or alcohol are taking control. Signs that someone is struggling include:
- Changes in personality and behavior.
- Changes in daily routine like personal hygiene or interactions with family and friends.
- An unusual need for money or financial problems that weren’t there before.
You know yourself or you know your loved one. If you are beginning to notice changes there maybe some hard questions that need to be asked. A drug or alcohol addiction may be the end of one road, but admitting there is a problem and seeking help is the beginning of a new one.
With the array of drugs available so readily, addiction has become a bigger and bigger problem. There are 4 major categories of drugs.
- Stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine (meth).
- Depressants like alcohol
- Opium derived painkillers like heroin. Synthetic opiates like fentanyl.
- Hallucinogens like LSD or acid.
Each of these drugs cause different reactions in the body, but the impacts they have on an addict’s life are similar. They all release chemicals, like dopamine, in the brain that make a person feel euphoric. However, repeated use makes the brain begin to function differently. When a person becomes addicted, the brain becomes dependent on the substance to release that dopamine, the ‘feel good’ chemical. The chase to keep using can have lasting- negative consequences. Drug abuse hurts the body as well as the brain. Organs like the liver are damaged with prolonged drug abuse and alcohol consumption. For a meth or crack addict, the lungs are being scarred with every hit. Drug abuse is extremely harmful to the body. When an addict stops taking the drug or an alcoholic stops drinking they experience withdrawal. Avoiding withdrawal can keep an addict or alcoholic from getting clean. This is where treatment becomes the answer.
The first part of treatment is detox. It is usually a week- long program. In detox, medical professionals can provide medications to help with withdrawals. There is around the clock care in detox.
After detox, an inpatient program is highly recommended. Studies have shown people that go into an inpatient program after detox have a higher chance of preventing a relapse after detox. An inpatient program is a residential program where an addict lives in a facility for usually 30 days. There are residential programs that can be longer if the addict doesn’t feel ready to leave. This facility will provide individual therapy, group sessions, the constant care of medical professionals, and peer support. These inpatient programs have proven to help.
After an inpatient program, there are outpatient programs available. These programs help an addict or alcoholic with continued and long- lasting sobriety. There are different types of outpatient programs. There are MATs (medically- assisted treatment) that use medications like Suboxone or Methadone. There are 12 Step programs. These are meetings made by addicts and alcoholics for addicts and alcoholics. There are all types of support groups available. There is much more to addiction than just using the drug. Talking to a therapist can help work through whatever issues lead to an addiction.
All of this treatment and help is available. There are recovery specialists there to help at any time. They can help navigate what facilities your insurance will cover. Recovery specialists are there to help you find the best possible treatment that will work best for you, your family, or your job. The most important part is that you are seeking help.
Help is waiting for you. Call anytime. 800-723-7376.
Author: Kayla Beshada