According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 22.7 million Americans needed treatment for a substance abuse problem in 2013, but of those, a mere 2.5 million people received treatment at a specialty facility. Not only is there a treatment gap for those struggling with substance abuse, but illicit drug use continues to increase.
It can be very difficult to admit there is a substance abuse problem in our own lives or the lives of others close to us, but recognizing the problem is the first step to recovery. If you are concerned that you or someone you love may need professional addiction treatment, here are some important signs to look for, as well as more information on treatment options and how to get started.
Recognizing the Need for Addiction Treatment
If you are addicted to a substance like alcohol or drugs, you may need help overcoming it. The American Psychological Association defines addiction as “a chronic disorder with biological, psychological, social and environmental factors influencing its development and maintenance.” Drug addiction is a disease of the brain and results in changes to its structure and functions. Repeated drug abuse severely reduces a person’s self-control and creates intense, uncontrollable urges to continue using the substance. For this reason, many people cannot overcome drug and alcohol addiction on their own.
Who Develops Addiction?
There are many factors that influence who can become addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Biological factors such as ethnicity, gender and mental health issues play a large role. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, genes play a large role in the likliness of someone developing an addiction, as they affect the way the body processes addictive substances and the extent of reward and pleasure that is experienced.
A person’s living environment can also lead to a lifestyle of addiction. Things like socioeconomic status, parental roles, early drug use, sexual abuse and severe stress all influence the development of a substance abuse problem.
Signs You Need Drug or Alcohol Rehab
People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol display signs of addiction in all aspects of life. Objectively evaluating your own behaviors is difficult, but a trusted friend or family member may be able to provide honest feedback to help you identify some of the following addictive behaviors in your own life.
- Neglecting important obligations: You consistently prioritize your substance use instead of focusing on work, school or family obligations.
- Intense cravings: Your thoughts are consumed by your urge to drink alcohol or use drugs and you always feel the need for more.
- Need to continue use: You feel like you can’t get through the day without using. The substance allows you to maintain a sense of normalcy.
- Lack of control: You are physically unable to stop using the substance.
- Withdrawal: You start experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms like nausea, sweating, shakiness or insomnia when you stop using the substance.
- Riffs in relationships: Your substance use has caused serious problems with your spouse, other family members, coworkers and friends.
- Financial problems: You consistently overspend just to make sure you always have a supply of the substance, even if that means foregoing food, rent and other necessary bills.
- Risky behaviors: You’ve operated a vehicle, had unprotected sex, or risked the wellbeing of others while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
If you think a loved one may have a substance abuse problem, the following signs should be significant cause for concern:
- Extreme changes in behavior: Your loved one has suddenly started hanging out with a new group of friends, they have lost interest in hobbies and activities they used to love, their performance at school or work has suddenly deteriorated and their physical appearance/personal grooming has declined.
- Health problems: He or she is consistently developing infections, has bruises, suddenly lost or gained a significant amount of weight or lacks motivation and energy.
- Unusual secrecy: Your loved one is suddenly very secretive about their whereabouts or living space.
- Financial issues: He or she is always asking for money, selling personal items or has drained their bank accounts. You may also notice missing personal items of your own that could have been sold to support drug usage.
What Is Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
If you are addicted, you may need to complete a detox program before entering a rehabilitation program. While detox is meant to rid your body of the addictive substance, drug and alcohol rehab programs are designed to help people re-enter society and live a healthy, productive and substance-free life.
During rehab, you’ll work with a team of doctors, addiction specialists and therapists to complete your recovery program. The components of drug and alcohol rehab include individual and group counseling based on the 12-step program, educational lectures, a blend of behavioral therapies, nutrition and fitness. These components work together to help you shed your old unhealthy lifestyle and learn how to live a new fulfilling and sober life.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration, addiction treatment for an individual in recovery should consist of the following:
- Health – Effective treatment and management for all physical and psychological issues should be provided.
- Home – The individual should have a safe, comfortable place to live.
- Purpose – Self-efficacy and worth should be promoted with meaningful daily activities.
- Community – The individual should have supportive, caring friendships and mentorships both throughout and after rehab.
These treatment components will be provided at a high-quality drug and alcohol rehab facility.
Benefits of Long-Term Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Short-term rehab may be attractive due to its promise of fast recovery, but long-term drug and alcohol rehab promotes lasting and even lifelong recovery with the following benefits.
- You identity destructive behaviors and uncover the root causes of your addiction.
- You learn how to integrate healthy behaviors into everyday life with strategies for avoiding relapse and harmful environments.
- You receive valuable addiction education to better understand how drugs and alcohol affect your body.
- You practice staying sober in a distraction and substance-free environment.
- You establish a support community and develop valuable relationships with others in recovery.
Making the decision to get help for an addiction problem is a brave and admirable thing to do. If you think you need drug and alcohol rehab to overcome your addiction, please contact Nova Recovery Center today. We can help you determine a treatment plan that most effectively addresses your needs. Call us to get started today.
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