A person dependent on a mood-altering chemical substance is a person battling addition. Depending on the drug of choice, addiction can take control quickly or gradually over time. CNN reports that more than 22 million Americans age 12 and older, nearly 9 percent of the U.S. population, use illegal drugs. Addiction certainly does not discriminate, and touches the lives of men and women, young and old, rich and poor. It also wreaks havoc on not just the life of the user, but his or her family, friends and loved ones.
When substance abuse becomes to excessive that satisfying cravings is more important than other aspects of life regardless of the consequences, it’s time to seek help and begin working toward sustained recovery.
Warning Signs of Addiction
Many who face addiction are able to hide their problem for some time, but eventually those around them start noticing changes. If you have reason to suspect a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction issues, talk honestly and openly with him or her, without blaming or shaming, and encourage professional help.
Family members often know something is wrong, but they may not know exactly the source. Below are four signs that a loved one may be addicted.
Separation from close family and friends. Someone with an addiction will often become more reserved and avoid family and close friends. He or she may be embarrassed of the addiction, and they are afraid a loved one will be disappointed if they find out.
Dependence on a substance or activity. Someone who is always talking about drinking but can go for days without a drink is not chemically dependent on alcohol. Alcohol abuse may be present, but not addiction. Someone who cannot control his or her impulses to drink or use drugs and whose life revolves around obtaining and using substances is experiencing addiction. However, anyone who is abusing substances or experimenting with harmful behavior needs help before addiction takes hold.
Loss of interest and focus. Addicts lose interest in things they used to care about. As addiction takes over, nothing else seems as important, including the basic necessities of life. In the same way, they may become irresponsible with family, social or work commitments, as they devote their time and energy to the substance.
Changes in daily patterns. Addicts may show a change in eating and sleeping patterns. They may know their actions are destructive to themselves and those closest, but once addiction takes hold it’s nearly impossible to stop using without professional help. Sleepless nights, lack of desire to eat, mood swings and depression are all common signs of addiction.
Common Stages of Recovery
Pre-treatment: The period before seeking treatment during which the addiction is denied.
Realization: Addiction is identified, but the individual may be unsure about seeking treatment.
Acceptance: Change is sought, even through independent research on various treatment programs.
Actively seeking change: The individual may begin to participate in support groups, speak with professionals or enter into treatment.
Maintaining new behavior: An effective treatment program anticipates challenges and missteps along the way. Relapse prevention, coping strategies and changes to lifestyle patterns are crucial lessons in recovery maintenance.
Relapse: Returning to unhealthy behavior is very common. If and when relapse occurs, it’s important to remain headstrong. This means patient needs must be reassessed and the treatment program should be adjusted accordingly.
Addiction Treatment at American Addiction Centers
Millions of Americans battle addiction every day, but it doesn’t have to be this way. While a major step toward recovery is admitting a chemical dependency problem, the next is seeking professional help.
Our staff is comprised of the best addiction experts available, and many of our team members have been touched by substance abuse in their personal lives. We are licensed therapists, board-certified psychologists, medical doctors, nurses, registered dietitians, licensed personal trainers and many other types of experienced professionals.
Select facilities within the American Addiction Centers family feature a comprehensive curriculum that includes daily educational classes, evidence-based group and individual therapies, recovery-oriented challenge therapy, EMDR and individualized family therapy.
Motivational interviewing (MI) recognizes and accepts the fact that clients who need to make changes in their lives approach counseling at different levels of readiness to change their behavior. Patients become internally motivated to make positive and lifelong changes in their life. We also offer several psycho-educational classes focused on topics that teach patients coping skills and other beneficial skills needed to help facilitate long lasting recovery.
Call us now at 1-888-300-3332 to learn more about our program and be on your way to recovery.