Addiction plagued some 22.7 million people in America during 2013, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports. How do people know if they are struggling with substance abuse or addiction?
Typically, there are obvious signs of dependency present. A few of those red flags include:
- Tolerance has developed and now more of a substance is needed to reach the same high
- Withdrawal from social activities that were once enjoyed
- Preoccupation with maintaining a supply and using the drug or drinking
- Attempts to scale back use have failed
- Perpetual substance abuse despite being aware of the negative impact it has on life
- Continually using so withdrawal doesn’t ensue
When to Get Treatment
When an individual is showing at least some of these symptoms, it’s a sign that it’s time to seek treatment. Many people who are stuck in the trenches of substance abuse may start to slack off on their responsibilities at home and work. Some even lose their jobs due to being late to work too often. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids states 17 percent of the unemployed population is affected by substance abuse and addiction.
Child neglect is also a particularly big problem among people who are addicted to illicit drugs or drinking. Around 70 percent of child maltreatment cases involve substance abuse, the American Humane Association reports.
Other warning signs that a problem is on the horizon include legal ramifications, interpersonal relationship trouble, and financial issues. Substance abuse and incarceration often go hand in hand. On a given day in late 2014, half of all federal prisoners were incarcerated due to drug crimes, DrugWarFacts notes. In 2011, 1,215,077 people were arrested for driving under the influence, per the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Many people who spend time behind bars for their drug- and alcohol-related crimes are repeat offenders. Around a third of drunk drivers who are arrested or convicted have been before, the National Department of Transportation reports. How many trips to jail are required before it’s time to acknowledge the real problem and treat it? Fortunately, the legal system often intervenes and mandates treatment. A lot of people who seek treatment each year are ordered to by a judicial authority during sentencing. SAMHSA notes there are 4,140 facilities nationwide that accept this type of clientele.
Many marriages and intimate relationships have met their demise due to substance abuse. Parents have lost their children to addiction. People routinely have to cut ties with loved ones who won’t stop using drugs and drinking to excess. Addiction destroys families. It can bring forth financial ruin, as well. Rehab can prevent a lot of this damage from ever occurring.
What Is Rehab?
Rehab is a place for those suffering from addiction to start over. Treatment allows individuals to explore the reasons they have ended up where they are and the chance to get back on track in their lives. It isn’t just detox with a side of therapy. Rehabilitation is the process of restructuring life so individuals can move forward without falling prey to relapse.
How Does It Help?
As soon as the detox process starts, tolerance levels begin to lower. This is a good thing, but it makes it even more vital that individuals complete treatment. After just a few days, tolerance is so much lower that relapse could be life-threatening if a person tries to use a typical prior dose of the drug.
Addiction doesn’t just stem from habitual substance abuse. It’s not merely a physical problem. There are psychological components at work that need just as much unraveling and remediation as the physical factors do.
As a result, detox does not constitute addiction treatment; it must be used in conjunction with comprehensive therapy.
One of the biggest additions to substance abuse rehabilitation in recent years has been the treatment of mental illness. Severe mental health disorders affected around 10 million adult Americans in 2013, the National Institute on Mental Health states, and around half of these people are affected by drug or alcohol abuse, per HelpGuide. These illnesses, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, can make for some of the most complex comorbid treatment cases. As with all co-occurring disorders, treatment that addresses both issues is recommended. If only one issue is addressed – the substance abuse issue or the mental illness – it is likely that relapse of both conditions will occur post treatment. In 2012, just 7.9 percent of people who battled addiction and mental illness sought treatment for both issues, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
If a person realizes that it’s time for rehab, there are plenty of options available nationwide. With medical detox, comprehensive therapy, and a thorough plan for aftercare, individuals affected by substance abuse, mental health, or both can reach and maintain recovery.