How to get help for a drug addiction
The first step in getting help is deciding that you actually need help. Often times addicts will rationalize their behavior until they hit rock bottom. Don’t wait until you get there to ask for help, start now. Once you have made that step, the process can begin. No one can make you choose to be drug free, you have to want that for yourself. Are you ready?
How do I know if I have an addiction?
Do you think about the substance on a regular basis? Do you spend a lot of time using, obtaining or worrying about if you have enough of your substance to consume? Are you hiding your use of substances from your friends and family? If any of these apply to you then you may need to seek help for an addiction. The good news is you’re not alone in your journey. There are numerous Drug and alcohol rehab centers, both inpatient and outpatient, along with groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
Where do I start?
Before any substantial change can be made, the circumstances that led to the drug use must be identified. Many start out using drugs as a way to escape reality or to reduce stress. Some start due to peer pressure or just to have a good time. Others begin their drug use due to situations in their life that need to be addressed before real healing can begin. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHA) offers a free helpline, 1-800-662-HELP, that can answer any questions that you might have about addictions.
What are my options?
The type of care you will need to seek will depend on the frequency and duration of use of the substance. For mild cases with individuals who have a good support system, an outpatient program may be the best fit for you. 12 step programs, therapy and regular check ups with a physician will help you on your way to recovery. Don’t try to quit a problem on your own. A loving family can make all the difference in the world when it comes to overcoming an addiction. If you don’t have any friends or family due to your drug use, try connecting with people in your 12 step program, join a community group or even a religious institution.
For more severe or life threatening cases inpatient centers are most commonly recommended. An inpatient rehab facility can provide the structure and safety that an addict needs to recover. With constant monitoring and supervision, the patient has little to no room to return to the destructive behaviors. Inpatient facilities can also provide constant medical attention. Some symptoms of withdrawal can be so severe that depending on the health of the patient, withdrawal could be fatal. Heart attacks, strokes and other dire complications can be a result from suddenly stopping an addictive drug. After the detoxification process is complete, most centers begin to focus on healing the mind as well as the body. Therapy and counseling will give you the tools necessary to deal with stress without drugs in the real world.
If you need a more specialized group than NA, another option would be dual recovery support groups. Often times addicts have other mental issues present that can complicate the recovery process if not addressed immediately. Dual Recovery Anonymous promises the same 12 step program along with support for the mental health issues you are dealing with as well. Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is an international organization that takes a science-based, self-empowerment approach to abstinence and recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. They focus more on creating your own destiny and looking at the addiction through a scientific lens rather than relying on a higher power to make the change for them. SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training), is a program that aims for abstinence from alcohol or drugs through self-empowerment and self-directed change much like the SOS recovery group. Whatever method you choose, make sure that it is the right fit for you. There are so many options and resources to help you take back your life for good. Take time to research the facility that will give you the help you need and you will be on your way to recovery.