Addiction has a way of sneaking up on people. While you may start using drugs or alcohol in a purely social capacity, you could find yourself seeking out substances on a regular basis, when you’re alone, or simply to avoid the unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms of going without.
Although starting an addiction is easy, stopping it is infinitely harder. This is because breaking an addiction isn’t a matter of willpower. Addiction is currently recognized as a chronic, lifelong disease.
Moreover, learning how to manage it often requires targeted and needs-specific help. With professional treatment, many people are able to safely and successfully abstain over the long-term. They also learn to avoid many of the temptations, triggers, and other challenges that increase the likelihood of relapse.
Addiction typically occurs in phases
- Initial or experimental substance use
- Social use
- Regular or daily use
- Using despite experiencing negative consequences
- Compulsive use and an inability to stop using
When people are no longer able to limit their drug or alcohol use, or to outright abstain, it’s usually because their bodies start sending out widespread distress signals whenever they stop. These are known as withdrawal symptoms and they mean that the brain and body have become chemically reliant upon a person’s substance of choice.
If quitting or limiting your substance use doesn’t make you feel physically ill or emotionally off-balance, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t need help. Chemical changes that are constantly occurring in your brain and body each time you use drugs or alcohol are ultimately bringing you closer to the loss of personal choice. If you’ve been using drugs or alcohol on a daily or regular basis, full-blown addiction can happen at any time.
There are actually a number of signs that indicate that a person is on the precipice of addiction. While you might be in denial about your substance use, many of the people in your life are likely already aware of your growing problem. Taking steps to address addictive behaviors and heavy substance use before your body becomes chemically dependent can make your recovery a lot easier.
Is Your Addiction Bad Enough?
There are varying levels of addiction. Addiction can be mild, moderate, or severe. It’s important to consider how your substance use is affecting your personal and professional life. When substance use:
- Causes legal problems
- Creates financial problems
- Causes personal relationships to flounder or fail
- Becomes your first priority
addiction is an issue, and one that requires professional help. Continuing to use despite the challenges that drugs or alcohol are causing in your life is an indication that you’re no longer in control.
Although addiction is the point at which a person has become physically unable to stop using without experiencing painful and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, there are other criteria that can be used to identify this disease. These signs of addiction include:
- Excessive substance use
- Increased tolerance
- Loss of interest in other activities
- Decreasing responsibility
- Overwhelming cravings
- Investing substantial amounts of effort and time into acquiring a substance
- and a general loss of control
You don’t have to hit rock bottom to admit that you have an addiction. You simply need to admit that you don’t like the direction your life is moving in. Addiction is a progressive illness. Even if you perceive your addiction as being relatively mild today, it will invariably become a moderate addiction and eventually a severe one if you continue to use.
Signs You Need Treatment
At some point in time, nearly every addict has convinced themselves that they can stop using or limit their substance use anytime they want to. Addiction and denial go hand-in-hand. Failing to admit that you have a problem, and failing to admit that you need help is actually part of the journey.
One of the easiest ways to recognize the damaging effects that substance abuse is having on your life is to make a full assessment of your physical and mental health. Drug and alcohol addiction can:
- Lead to significant weight loss or weight gain
- Add years to your face
- Darken the whites of your eyes
- Increase the likelihood of gum disease
- Cause problems with progressive tooth loss
and more. Many substances take a tremendous toll on the liver and other filter organs. Prolonged, heavy substance use can make you look and feel bloated, chronically fatigued, and unable to apply your full focus to anything. This is why many addicts and addiction treatment centers use the phrase “sick and tired of being sick and tired”.
Drug abuse also affects your mental health and your decision-making abilities. Many substances lower inhibitions so that users wind up making increasingly high-risk sexual decisions. From having unprotected sex with multiple, unknown partners to sharing needles; there are countless ways in which substance abuse can leave addicts vulnerable to life-threatening, life-altering, and potentially fatal diseases.
Whether you started using drugs or alcohol as a way to lift your spirits or a way to increase your confidence, continued substance use can also lead to increased problems with anxiety, depression, and feelings of low self-worth. Assessing the ways in which substance use has diminished your physical and emotional well-being can make getting help for addiction seem like a very worthwhile decision.
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Effects on Your Family
If you’ve been asking yourself, “Do I need drug rehab?”, you may want to consider the effects that your drug or alcohol use is having on your family. This is especially true if you’re married, are caring for minor children, or have other people in your home that you’re personally responsible for.
No matter what the dynamics of your household may be, the consequences of your substance use are never felt solely by you. Everyone in the home suffers when someone is addicted.
As using substances increasingly becomes your first or even your sole priority, the people around you will feel increasingly less valuable. Family members often suffer from mental health issues like high levels of anxiety, prolonged periods of depression, and many other forms of emotional angst.
Studies show that even the young children of addicts can have depression and anxiety. Small children living with addicts also have a statistically higher risk of using drugs and alcohol themselves as they grow older. When people are unable to choose treatment for themselves, recognizing the suffering of their loved ones often leads them to seek help for addiction.
Choosing the Right Treatment Option
At Mississippi Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, we recognize that addiction can look very different from one person to the next. We also know that there’s no single treatment model or type that’s capable of meeting all needs. That’s why we offer a diverse range of drug and alcohol rehab options to help you in your recovery process.
We offer inpatient programs for people who need the comfort, security, and oversight that can only be provided in a closed-campus environment. During inpatient treatment, patients remain on campus 24/7 with continuous medical and clinical support.
We also offer outpatient programs. With this program, people can commit to spending just 9-10 hours on our campus each week, and can return home nightly to their families, and continue working their jobs. Patients also have access to individual therapy sessions with their therapist.
We even have a partial hospitalization program that represents a balanced blend of both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment. With PHP, patients check in each morning, remain in our facility throughout the day, and return home every evening.
Outpatient Treatment for Addiction
If your addiction is mild and relatively recent, our outpatient treatment program may be right for you. Much like inpatient addiction treatment, outpatient services will give you access to a diverse range of services and both private and group therapy among other forms of support. It’s lenient and adaptable enough so that patients can continue going to work and school, and meeting other personal obligations. Outpatient care works well for anyone who’s ready and willing to take a thoughtful and self-managed approach to recovery.
If drug or alcohol use have been taking an increasing toll on your life, your career, and your relationships, we can help. Call us today to learn more about our programs, and to find out which treatment option is right for you.