If you’re struggling with an addiction, chances are you’ve already tried to quit by yourself. Unfortunately, the vast majority of addicts who do so relapse within just a few weeks. Thankfully, modern addiction treatment has changed dramatically in recent years and it can now provide you with the help you need to overcome your struggle in a way that can last. Here’s what you need to know about addiction treatment, how it works and how you can get help today!
What is addiction?
It is possible that addiction has already taken hold of your life. You may not even be aware of how your day-to-day existence has been gradually taken over by one or more vices, like alcohol, drugs, gambling, compulsive eating, and so on. The potential symptoms are usually psychological rather than physical in nature.
Signs of addiction
The signs of addiction are varied, as they depend on the type of substance that a person is abusing. One sign is that many people who are addicted have a difficult time stopping when they want to. People may also experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using the substance. For example, someone who takes opioids like heroin may experience symptoms such as sleep problems, shivering, diarrhea, and vomiting if they stop taking it suddenly.
What happens when you leave an addiction untreated?
It’s easy to think you can quit whenever you want, but addiction can be so compulsive that people often end up trying again and again. Drug-related death rates in the United States quadrupled from 1999-2017, reaching a peak of nearly 70,000 in 2017. If untreated, addiction can lead to job loss, health problems such as liver failure or overdose which is one of the leading causes of death for Americans under age 50.
Steps to recovery
There are many factors that can contribute to addiction. Often, a traumatic event leads people to act out their pain or when people have untreated mental health disorders, it can lead them down the path of addiction. For example, let’s take a close look at PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD can include hyperarousal symptoms such as nightmares or difficulty concentrating. These symptoms might result in turning towards drugs or alcohol for relief from the underlying anxiety.
Family support for addiction treatment
If your family member is suffering from addiction, you may be struggling with how best to support them. The first thing you can do is stay calm, think clearly, and resist the urge to lecture or offer unsolicited advice. Instead, offer them love and support unconditionally while trying not be an enabler. Encourage them to join a self-help group like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or even try seeing a therapist.