Addiction: How to Know When You Need Help

By The Valor Team
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 11:08 am in
Flask with alcohol in jeans pocket

The definition of addiction as provided by the American Society of Addiction Medicine: “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry . . . characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.”

 

Addiction is a disease, which means getting clean on your own is very, very hard. The good news is that addictions are treatable.

How do you know when it's time to seek treatment?

If substance abuse is causing negative effects in your life, it’s time to take a closer look. If you are experiencing any of these issues, don’t wait any longer to seek treatment options. The chances are that it will get worse. 

Do have health problems caused by your drug and/or alcohol use?

Drugs and alcohol will harm your body when abused over an extended period of time. Alcohol abuse can cause severe damage to your heart, brain, and liver. Opiate abuse can slow down your breathing to the point of permanent brain damage. If you inject drugs, the needles you use can increase your risk of contracting deadly diseases like HIV or hepatitis C.

If your drug or alcohol use is causing tangible effects on your health, listen to your body and your doctor. Get the medical treatment you need, including treatment for your drug or alcohol addiction.

Have you been lying about your drinking or drug use?

Maybe you think that you’ve got it under control on your own. Many people with addictions think this, but they are lying to themselves as well as others. Denial is a defense mechanism for people suffering from addiction, and it is one factor that can keep them from seeking life-saving treatment.
Once you’ve admitted that you have a problem, you don’t need to lie anymore. 

Have your friends and family asked you to stop drinking or using drugs?

When you are using drugs it’s hard to see how your addiction is affecting those around you. Often, your loved ones are having a hard time dealing with your issues, which causes them to have many issues of their own.

It’s easier for others to see the changes in your life. If those close to you are concerned, you should be too.

Have you stopped using and experienced withdrawal symptoms?

If you get headaches, nausea, cramps, insomnia, paranoia, irritability, or any other ills within several hours after you last used, it’s likely going to get worse. These withdrawal symptoms are how addiction strengthens its hold.

A detox program can help you get through the withdrawal period while offering medication to ease the worst of it, and a treatment program will help you stay sober long-term.

Have you harmed yourself or others while under the influence?

Certain drugs can cause or increase depression and other mental illnesses. If you’ve had suicidal thoughts, harmed yourself while using or as a result of using, or harmed someone else, you need to get help now. No matter how hopeless it feels, depression and other mental illnesses can be treated. You can escape the cycle and learn to live a fulfilling life again.

Have you lost your job or been kicked out of school due to drug or alcohol related issues?

If you’re afraid of losing your job, or if you already have, take a step back and reevaluate your drug or alcohol use. Getting help now may be your best chance of holding onto a job you love or getting the job you want.

Do you want to stop drinking or using drugs, but you don’t know how?

Are you sick and tired of hangovers, withdrawals, constantly thinking about where to get drugs or when you’ll be able to drink? If you can’t figure out how to get out of it, ask the experts. Addictions are treatable, and you can get clean and live a full life free of the ravages of addiction.

 

If you or someone you care about needs treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, reach out. Our qualified team is ready to answer your questions and find a treatment plan that’s right for your situation.

Nothing is more important than health and well-being. If you or someone you care for needs treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, please contact us. We’re here to help!

Call us now at 330-330-8777