It is never the wrong time to ask for help with your addiction. If you are reaching the point where you are recognizing you have a problem and need help, it is a good time to take the steps necessary to get that help. While recovery feels impossible sometimes, it is absolutely possible, and every person deserves to live the life they want. If finding treatment for your addiction can give you a more satisfying life, there is no better time to start than right now.
Finding the right type of help for your needs can be a tricky situation. If you are ready to commit to getting help, there are a lot of resources for your needs. If you have a supportive family and friend group, it can be helpful to stay close to home. You can check out Sunshine Behavioral Health in Arvada, for rehab facilities and treatment centers close to home. The more support you have behind you, the easier this journey will be.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is the inability to stop a behavior despite it having negative effects. People can be addicted to substances, such as cocaine, heroin, and prescription pills; however, they can also be addicted to activities, such as gambling or eating. Addiction makes it difficult for the individual to resist partaking in the substance, despite it having negative effects on their health or personal lives. Those who struggle with substance use could struggle with relationships, careers, and the law due to their addiction.
Addiction can affect anyone, no matter their age or status in life. Some risk for addiction lies in a person’s genes. Some genetic markers can affect the amount of reward experienced when first using a substance or engaging in some behaviors. This heightened reward response can lead to more use, and in turn, addiction. While genes can make someone more predisposed to addiction, they can’t always be linked back to genes. Other mental illnesses can also make someone more likely to have substance abuse issues.
The way the substance or activity activates the reward system in a person’s brain can chemically alter the brain. Brain-imaging shows that those who suffer from substance use disorder can have significant changes in the structures pertaining to judgment, memory, behavior control, and decision making. These impairments can reduce the ability to regulate addictive impulses. Prolonged use of certain substances can also dull the effects of the substance, requiring more and more of it to get similar feelings of euphoria.
For more information about what addiction is, and how it affects the brain, visit https://www.apa.org/topics/substance-use-abuse-addiction.
Can it be Treated?
Substance Use Disorder can be treated, but it isn’t a simple process. SUD is a chronic disease, which means long-term treatment requires constant, life-long dedication. If you suffer from addiction, you can’t just stop using the drugs and expect to be cured. Because addiction is specific to the individual, treatment plans should also be specific, and often need to be modified as the patient changes and grows.
Treatment is not a one-stop fix. It is a series of choices that create good habits that can last a lifetime. The process of recovering will take work for the rest of your life. It is important that the process begins when you are emotionally, mentally, and physically ready to make the life-long commitment to sobriety.
How is it Treated?
Addiction is treated with a combination of medication, behavioral therapy, treatment for co-occurring diseases, and follow-up care that will help prevent relapses. This follow-up care can include familial support or community programs, or more likely, a combination of both. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you might want to find programs that are immersive. Some programs can last months if needed.
Treatment can be found in rehab facilities that offer both in-patient and out-patient programs. The first step in addiction treatment is detoxification. Detox is required for most substances that are highly addictive. For more information on what types of substances might require detox, check out this website.
Removing the substance from the body can cause intense withdrawals. Depending on the severity of the addiction, medical intervention could be necessary during this stage.
Therapy is the most important part of the recovery process. Depending on the program, you might partake in weekly or daily sessions. These individual sessions will help focus on changing the way you view your addiction, the way you handle life’s stresses and problems, and the way you speak with yourself. The goal of these therapy sessions is to create a pattern of healthy behaviors to replace the negative ones in place during your addiction. Therapy can also help you find good ways to stay motivated and focused on your sobriety.
Therapy sessions will most likely also include group therapy. Group sessions provide a sense of community. It can be helpful to learn how to talk about your addiction in a safe environment. These group sessions will provide that support system as you learn to get vulnerable with other people. It also helps you feel less alone in the process, learning from other people’s experiences and getting support for yours.
Recovery is the last stage of the process, and this is the stage that will take the majority of your time and energy. During the program, the schedule and structure of the program help you make good choices. Maintaining these habits is where most people struggle, especially coming out of the program and entering back into their regular lives.
Relapsing is a part of the process. Ideally, you will go through the treatment program and stay sober for the rest of your life; however, staying sober is a difficult task and mistakes will happen. Understanding the relapsing could be a part of your journey that will give you some grace when it comes to those mistakes and make them less severe.
Recovering from addiction is absolutely possible, but it is a large commitment. Take the time to make sure you are ready for the life changes that are required for staying sober.