Drug addiction is a rampant issue in American society, and it’s no easy thing to remedy. Even a cursory look at the politics surrounding the drug war makes that clear.
Unfortunately, all too often, this issue and it’s solution begin at home. Many families find themselves doing interventions and hoping their loved ones agree to seek help.
What if you’re the one who’s struggling? How do you approach your family and friends about your addiction and ask for their support?
In the next few paragraphs, we’ll offer what advice we can.
1. Face to Face
Talking about drug addiction will be hard, and while saying it in person is the best, it’s not the only way. Some of the most challenging conversations of your life can take place over the phone, because sometimes that the easiest way to have them.
The important thing is just to get the information out there, to tell someone, particularly someone you can trust.
One thing to always remember about drug addiction is that several factors can, and often do, play into it. For instance, you’re more likely to use drugs or alcohol if somebody else in your family was also an addict.
It’s also likely if you started young, or if you hung out with people who were also drug users or who enabled you to use.
The last factor is having a history of mental illness. People often become aware of these problems and try to self-medicate, because they are afraid to seek help or aren’t sure how.
If there is any upside to this, it’s that since so many of these factors influence us on a family level, it’s very likely that some of those closest to you will have some idea of what you’re going through.
Over one million people per year visit emergency rooms due to drugs. Since hospitals treat so many drug-related cases per year, it makes sense that many of them would be willing to help those struggling with addiction.
Granted, most hospitals don’t have rehab clinics in them, but if you need help, they’ll often be willing to point you in the right direction and may even connect you with someone who specializes in addiction.
Drug addiction can affect anyone, and for the most part, doesn’t care about gender. However, it must be said that there do appear to be certain exceptions.
For instance, in the period between 2008 and 2011, women in their mid-30’s to late 40’s had more drug-related emergency room visits than males. During this same period, females were also more likely to be admitted to hospitals for intentional drug poisoning, about the same as their rate of accidental drug poisoning.
Not only that, but a female drug addict may face societal and personal safety issues that their male counterparts likely would not. For instance, many female addicts turn to prostitution to feed their habit. Drug addiction also puts them at a higher risk of sexual violence, another tragedy that affects far too many people.
The good news is that there are programs that offer addiction treatment for women specifically.
If you can’t talk to someone close to you, there are other places to seek help. One place to turn is to a hotline. The advent of phones, and cell phones especially, have allowed us to contact any kind of emergency or helpline service whenever the need arises.
One of the more famous examples is the government-run Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA. Their number is 1-800-662-4357, and they can be contacted at any time.
That being said, this isn’t the only hotline, just the most well-known one, and one that is guaranteed to be reliable.
6. The Realities of Rehab
It’s been said that US Army boot camp is made up of three phases. The first phase is known as red, which is when the most vigorous part of the training takes place.
The second phase is called white, which implies when things cool down a little, but still aren’t that easy.
Then comes the third phase, known as the blue phase. This is the phase where training is winding down, and most of the particularly difficult exercises are behind you.
In a way, rehab is somewhat similar. The most challenging part is going to be the first few weeks. This is because of the process of detoxification.
Your body is so used to having the drug to sustain it, so it’s going to react quite harshly to its sudden disappearance, a reaction commonly known as withdrawal.
The good news is that withdrawal is the hardest part. After that, your brain starts to rewire itself, so it’s easier to function without the drug. Unfortunately, breaking a habit takes about as much time as picking up a new one, so it’ll take time to recover fully.
The last few weeks are the blue phase, where you’ve mostly gotten used to life without the drug, your health has improved quite a bit, and you’re almost ready to face the world again.
7. Someone to Talk to
Therapy is a huge part of rehab. To truly combat drug addiction, you need to treat the psychological and personal roots of the problem as well as the physical and chemical ones.
This will be another difficult part, but learning how to deal with these harsher realities healthily will give you less reason to relapse.
Drug Addiction and How to Get Help
Getting help for drug addiction is not fun. Nobody wants to admit that they’re dealing with a problem they’re not strong enough to get rid of by themselves.
However, that’s nothing to be ashamed of, because most people can’t do it themselves. This isn’t a simple problem. You’re fighting your own body, which has been hijacked and rigged to work against you.
Can anybody be expected to handle that alone? Not likely, and at the end of the day, the most important thing is just telling someone what you’re going through, and that you want help.
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