There are countless diseases and afflictions in the world, some of which are physical and some are mental or emotional. Although each disease comes with its own set of effects that can have an extensive impact on one’s life, arguably the worst disease is that of addiction. When it comes to struggling with drug addiction, the effects are encompassing and all-consuming. Individuals in addiction are no longer in control of their own actions. They become slaves to the persistent, obsessive impulses at the center of a substance use disorder.
Fortunately, recovery is not only possible, it’s attainable. The problem is that those who become addicted are usually hesitant about recovery. In many cases, they must hit “rock bottom” — the lowest point in one’s life that directly results from habitual substance abuse — or realize the deterioration they’ve experienced with the encouragement of loved ones before becoming ready and willing to receive treatment. For the spouses, family members, friends, and other loved ones of those with a substance abuse problem, it’s difficult to have such an intimate view of what is an incredibly destructive journey.
Loved ones, however, are often in the best position for finding help for addicts or encouraging them to seek and receive treatment. With the support and encouragement of family and friends, those who have struggled with addiction for years or even decades can reclaim their health and independence. As such, the following serves as an outline for finding help for those struggling with addiction.
Why Help Someone Struggling with Addiction?
Although there are many different addictions — alcoholism, tobacco addiction, prescription drug addiction, cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, gambling addiction, sex addiction, and so on — they are each, at their core, very much the same. When a person becomes addicted to a powerful substance or behavior, he or she is no longer a cognizant, rational thinker capable of making informed decisions or acting in his or her best interest. In fact, addiction is a unique disease in that it forces individuals to act against their best interests, causing them to mentally and physically deteriorate as a direct result of their substance abuse.
At the onset of a substance abuse problem when abusing alcohol or drugs willingly, individuals believe that they will be the exception to the rule, able to remain in complete control of their substance abuse behavior. This false comfort provides justification as these individuals escalate the frequency and amount of alcohol or drugs they imbibe, growing a tolerance to the effects of their substances of choice. As a substance abuser’s tolerance continues to grow, the body becomes increasingly dependent on continuous substance abuse. Particularly in the brain, substance abuse becomes the primary source for a number of functions that occur naturally; since alcohol and drug intoxication causes a spike in neurochemicals like dopamine and serotonin, the brain stops producing those neurochemicals on its own, relying on an individual’s substance abuse as the sole source of those vital neurochemicals. This is one of the underlying mechanisms of physical addiction.
To keep withdrawal symptoms at bay, an individual must sustain a substance abuse habit, which typically entails imbibing alcohol or drugs multiple times through each day. With the threat of withdrawal always imminent, addicts are under constant pressure to sustain their alcohol or drug habits, even when these habits become more expensive than they can financially support. At this point, a number of addicts become increasingly willing to resort to criminal behavior in order to obtain the money they need to sustain their substance abuse; in many cases, this may even entail stealing from or robbing their own loved ones if necessary.
Between the physical and behavioral effects, individuals becomes shells of their former selves. They lose career opportunities, relationships, financial stability, physical and mental health, and their overall independence over the course of active addiction. Moreover, long-term addiction has been implicated in a number of severe health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, bloodborne illnesses like AIDS and HIV, lung disease, cancer, stroke, and a wide variety of mental disorders. Perhaps worst of all, most addicts are able to recognize their decline, but are unable to coerce themselves into fighting their addictions on their own.
Helping Those Who Struggle with Addiction Get Treatment
Individuals who know someone battling an addiction and wish to help have a number of options. First, the most important resource for the friends and family of an addict is knowledge. Becoming thoroughly knowledgeable on the disease of addiction, including the signs and effects, will make it possible to approximate or gauge the severity of an individual’s addiction. Drug Treatment Center Finder offers many valuable resources for learning about and treatment the disease of addiction, from intervention to aftercare.
With millions and millions of individuals presently suffering from addiction and only about ten percent of them receiving any sort of treatment, it’s our goal to help as many of these individuals as possible by matching them to the information, services, treatments, and programming that best address their needs. In effect, we are a resource for both addicts and their loved ones.
After becoming knowledgeable on addiction and looking into treatment options, it may become necessary to stage an intervention. We can help families with the emotional process by providing contact information for experienced, professional interventionists. Once the addict has begun the recovery process, the most important and helpful thing the family members and friends of an addict can do is remain encouraging and supportive. Recovery is an intense process that is incredibly difficult in the early stages; however, with the support of a network of loved ones, an individual in recovery can more readily find the strength and determination to persevere.
We Are Here to Help — Call Us Today
If you or someone you love would benefit from learning more about the recovery process or discussing treatment options, Drug Treatment Center Finder is here to help. We have an experienced team of recovery specialists and intake coordinators who want only to help those in need find the treatments that will allow them to regain their health and independence. For a free consultation and assessment, call us today at 1-855-619-8070. Don’t let the disease of addiction claim another life.