Drug addiction is a mental disorder and a physical, medical problem that affects the user and everyone around them. People who suffer from this mental disorder face stigma in society that causes deep shame and feelings of guilt that trigger the cycle of drug abuse and addiction. If you or a loved one is fighting addiction, it’s important to understand that you’re worthy of love, support and acceptance no matter your addiction status.
Information About Substance Use Disorder
Substance Use Disorder symptoms are categorized into four groups:
- Impaired control: People mired in addiction feel deep cravings. They experience obsessive thoughts about finding, paying for, using and getting more drugs. This is not a choice. This is a symptom of a mental disorder. They try to stop using drugs but can’t, and their thought distortions and obsessive thought cycles won’t stop on their own.
- Social problems: Substance Use Disorder sufferers often get brain damage that can be short-term or long-lasting. When this happens, they can’t remember what they need to be doing, when they need to do it or where they need to go to do it. If they do remember, they either dread going so much because they fear someone will know they’re high or they feel so tired, sick or unmotivated that they don’t show up to take care of their responsibilities. As a result, they face social consequences at school, home or work. Addicts often can’t hold a job, lose their homes and families and anger friends by borrowing and not returning money.
- Risky Use: Illicit drugs are usually ingested in settings that aren’t safe. Whether an SUD sufferer is using at an unknown person’s house, in a car, in a back alley or somewhere else, they’re putting themselves in danger by using illegal drugs. The danger could be with a stranger, a dealer or the law, but they need to use the drug so badly that they can’t wait to get to a safe place to do it. Sometimes, they put children in the same danger while they do it.
- Drug effects: Withdrawal symptoms hit drug addicts hard. Some of these symptoms include: paranoia, confusion, disorientation, chills, fever, hallucinations, nausea, diarrhea, depression, anxiety, deep aches and pains, extreme mood swings, irritability, insomnia, severe cravings, symptoms of a cold, cravings, fatigue, seizures and sometimes even death. Though symptoms can last for weeks, they will eventually subside.
Detoxing is the most physically arduous part of getting sober. After that, patients can improve their health by getting mental health care, regular exercise, nutrition care and medical care to take care of long-term mental and physical problems that can linger long after getting sober.
Many SUD survivors report that they started using drugs to treat a mental or physical health problem at home. It’s very important to get medical care for these issues because they aren’t going to go away on their own. If you’re suffering from a medical problem and trying to get sober, it might not be possible until you have medications. Have your support network help you get Medicaid or other health insurance and get into a doctor’s office to establish care. Your doctor might even be able to give you medicines that prevent seizures make getting sober less painful.
How to Support A Person With SUD and What to Avoid
When an addict loses their income, their friends abandon them, and nearly everyone who loves them has given up on them, it’s easy to feel so sorry for them that you give them money to fix their problems. That’s a destructive behavior called enabling. When an addict’s priority is getting high, the money you give them will go to paying for drugs before anything else.
At the same time, don’t disregard their suffering. SUD is a real medical problem. Addicts can’t recover on their own, and they need a team of therapists, doctors and a sober peer support people to get them through to the other side. If you were taught that addiction is a choice, please do your homework. Individuals choose to try drugs for the first few times. After that, walking away can be impossible without help.
Nobody tries drugs thinking they’ll become an addict, and being close-minded and refusing to learn about addiction is just as destructive and harmful to a person with a valid medical problem as them doing drugs. Speak with addiction specialists and go to group therapy sessions where family members and loved ones can learn the facts about drugs and alcohol addiction. Then, if you want to help them, accept them as human beings worthy of love, support and connection, and get them into rehab.
Topsail Addiction Treatment
Getting into recovery mode is never easy, especially when you’re laying at rock bottom without the support you need. If you’re suffering from Substance Abuse Disorder, it’s important to tell someone you love so you can get help. When you reach out for help, the addiction specialists at Topsail Addiction Treatment are ready to pull you into the fold so you can rest, forgive yourself, get the support you need to feel better, and begin your journey to addiction recovery.
If you live in Andover, Massachusetts, call Topsail Addiction Recovery today to discuss rehab treatment options and get answers to all your important questions.