Reaching out for help with addiction is enormously courageous and is the first step toward recovery and rebuilding your life.
Drug addiction. Those words call to mind frightening images and upsetting emotions.
But a recent report released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) finds that approximately one in every 10 Americans has a substance abuse problem.
That means that most people have a friend, family member, or coworker that is affected by drug addiction.
Drug addiction consumes the mind and the body, and people who are addicted struggle to function when denied their drug of choice.
This struggle may be hidden at first but eventually overtakes relationships, professional life, and health.
It is a chronic condition that progresses and, if untreated, can be fatal.
So, how do you know when you — or someone you love — is struggling with addiction?
Drug abuse can affect anyone. People from all walks of life can slip into dependency — sometimes before they even realize it’s happening.
If you’re taking recreational or prescription drugs and are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, you may have a drug addiction.
As you can see, drug addiction seeps into all aspects of your life, sometimes so slowly that it’s difficult to tell when your use of drugs — particularly prescription drugs — has crossed the line.
If you believe you have a friend, coworker, or family member who is struggling with an addiction, look for these symptoms:
If you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to see a medical professional right away to get assistance in dealing with your addiction.
Yes — drug addiction is a disease.
Drugs change the chemistry of your brain, and addiction is considered a complex, neurobiological disorder that requires crucial intervention in both mental and physical spheres for successful treatment.
At first, taking drugs is a choice.
After the drug alters brain chemistry, however, the ability to make that choice is eroded until it is virtually impossible to stop using without assistance.
Thankfully, there are many drug treatment programs available to help curb addiction.
Drug addiction treatment is always performed on an individual basis — taking the patient’s mental and physical health, life circumstances, and abuse history into account.
There are several modalities of treatment that can occur simultaneously to help addicts recover more quickly.
The best treatment plan encourages family and/or community support for the patient.
A range of programs and follow-up options that allow the patient a choice of therapies can be important to preventing relapse.
Whether you or someone you know has an addiction — there’s help available.
The first thing to do is find a doctor to refer you to a rehabilitation center specific to your addiction.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine is a good place to find board-certified physicians for drug recovery referrals.
The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry can also lead you to a patient referral program to begin your journey to recovery.
There are also numerous confidential helplines you can call for specific drug dependencies.
Reaching out for help with drug addiction is enormously courageous. And it is the first step toward recovery and rebuilding your life.
Addiction is a chronic disease like any other, and with the help of a good treatment program, it can be managed for a lifetime.
The important thing is to not wait to seek help. The earlier you get treatment, the more successful your recovery will be.
Be courageous — reach out for treatment now.