Drug Addiction Helpline & Treatment
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For quite some time, the United States has struggled with a significant addiction problem. Misuse of drugs or alcohol and related substance abuse disorders touch the lives of millions of Americans each year. It is estimated that approximately twenty-one million individuals over the age of twelve struggle with a substance abuse disorder at any given time. The causes of addiction vary widely, as do each individual’s substance of choice. Today, addiction is considered a highly treatable disease of the body and mind. Despite its treatability, millions of American’s struggle annually without seeking or receiving much-needed for solutions addiction.
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What is the Disease of Addiction?
Despite years of research and education to the contrary, many still believe addiction is a choice. There remains an unfortunate misconception that those who use or become addicted to drugs and alcohol do so out of a lack of morality or willpower. Some continue to believe that an individual struggling to defeat addiction can do so merely through conscious choice and willpower. The reality of addiction is much different. Addiction is a complex disease that changes the brain in ways that make quitting voluntarily immensely challenging. By definition, addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive substance use or substance seeking that becomes difficult to control, despite obvious adverse consequences. While the initial decision to use may be voluntary, ongoing, and repeated substance use can lead to changes in the brain’s chemistry that challenge the addict’s self-control around resisting substances. The changes are persistent, which is why addiction and substance use disorders are considered “relapsing diseases.”
Most drugs have an adverse effect on the brain’s reward centers. When drugs enter the body, the brain floods the body with dopamine, a neurotransmitter known to cause feelings of euphoria and happiness. Surges of dopamine resulting from addiction cause reinforcement of the pleasurable yet unhealthy behaviors related to taking drugs. This leads someone struggling with addiction to repeat this behavior consistently and an effort to replicate these feelings.
How to Know If Someone is Abusing Drugs & Alcohol?
Addiction often begins as experimentation in social situations. To know when a friend or loved one is struggling with addiction, it is necessary to understand the common signs of ongoing substance use that present regardless of the substance used and those that are unique to specific substances. If someone is abusing drugs or alcohol, there are various signs to look for, including:
- Altered behaviors such as an increased desire for privacy, spending more than usual or borrowing money, and poor work or academic performance.
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Significant, unexpected changes in relationships
- Changes in physical appearances such as bloodshot eyes, poor skin tone, and disheveled appearance
Some drugs have specific warning signs in addition to the general ones listed above. For example, marijuana abuse might be indicated by heightened euphoria or visual and auditory perceptions, increased appetite, and paranoia. Stimulant abuse may result in aggression, rapid or rambling speech, increased energy, increased respiratory rate, and hostility or paranoia. Barbiturates and benzodiazepines (benzos) can cause dizziness, depression, balance issues, and confusion. Hallucinogens may cause someone to act impulsively or, as the name indicates, experience sometimes terrifying hallucinations. Similar to barbiturates, opioid painkillers slow the system down. You may notice sedation, difficulty concentrating, lethargy, and problems with memory.
What to Do If My Loved One Needs Help?
Suppose you suspect a friend or loved one needs addiction treatment. In that case, early intervention is essential to ensure the ability to attain sobriety and maintain long-term recovery long after treatment ends. While you cannot force a friend or loved one to seek addiction treatment, friends and family members may choose to stage an intervention once signs of drug use arise. A properly conducted intervention (like our drug intervention program) might help your friend or loved one realize that addiction treatment is the next best step for not only their health and safety but for the stability of long-term relationships.
If you know (or suspect) that a friend or loved one needs treatment, provide patience and understanding. Making the decision to or accepting that you need to go to treatment can be one of the most challenging decisions a person needs to make. There is often a significant amount of soul searching that comes with the realization that you need help to defeat your addictions. Offer to help research treatment facilities or offer to go on tours of treatment centers with them. The knowledge that a strong support structure is behind them can be immensely helpful as they begin the journey towards sobriety.
Let Our Drug Addiction Helpline Help You Find the Best Solutions
There are thousands of addiction treatment centers across the United States. In the state of New York, you can find nearly 800 addiction treatment centers recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. There are many different programs and treatment options for you or a loved one to consider when considering addiction treatment, regardless of location.
It is essential to consider elements of the treatment process, including treatment center location and the type of treatment, such as residential inpatient programs or outpatient programs. Also, you may want to consider the kind of treatment available at the addiction treatment center. While all licensed treatment centers are required to maintain specific treatment protocols, some treatment centers offer alternative or holistic treatment options in conjunction with or in addition to traditional treatment models. For example, you may be interested in rehabs that offer specialized or alternative therapies such as yoga or art therapy or programs that are tailored to dual-diagnosis treatment. Finally, treatment program length should be addressed. Most addiction treatment programs last at least 30 days. Some may last up to six months. It is essential to select a program that can meet all of your essential treatment needs.
If you or a loved one are considering addiction treatment in New York and still have questions about how Revive Interventions can help you achieve and maintain sobriety, call our drug addiction helpline. Let us help you find recovery for good.