Anti-drug campaigns and addiction horror-stories are more prevalent in the media today than ever before. Drug addicts are tagged as being ‘delusional’ and ‘falling into a dark, downward spiral.’ If you are a regular drug user, you may be worried about knowing when you are using too much and when to spot a problem.
And rightly so, there is a thin line between casual drug use and addiction and it can be confusing to know when professional help is needed. Choosing to enter a rehabilitation center can be a daunting prospect and should not be taken lightly. This article will, firstly, help you recognize if you, or someone you know, is suffering from a drug addiction. Secondly, I will explain how rehab can help when you cannot merely quit.
Are you addicted?
When you lose control of your drug use you need to think seriously about getting clean before things get worse. So how do you know when your drug use is no longer just recreational? There are many signs to look out for: if you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the following, you probably have an unhealthy dependency on drugs.
Do you have withdrawal symptoms? Regular drug use causes physical changes to the body. Your brain becomes dependent on the drug and begins to react when it is not being supplied. If you are suffering from addiction, when sober, you may experience shivering, nausea, dizziness and anxiety, amongst other symptoms.
Do you need the drug to feel normal? The more often drugs are used, the higher tolerance the body will develop. Soon enough you will not feel the same ‘high’ unless you take increasing amounts of drugs. If you are addicted, you might feel the need to use drugs just to feel normal, and all the time you will feel more low when sober. You will no longer get enjoyment out of the things you used to without drugs being involved.
Do you value the drug over things you used to care more about? For an addict, using and thinking about when they will use next become more and more important to them. They may neglect responsibilities in work and at home, cause legal and financial problems and spend more time alone in order to use. If you see your health and relationships breaking down yet continue to use, you have a serious dependency on drugs.
How can rehab help?
Another sign of addiction is trying, and failing, to quit drugs. This is nothing to be ashamed of, as the symptoms above suggest, addiction takes all independence and control away from the sufferer. Below are some ways in which professional treatment is often more effective than simply trying to go ‘cold- turkey.’
Withdrawal symptoms: As I have explained, withdrawal symptoms are physical effects of addiction and can be too severe (and often dangerous!) to handle on your own. Rehab provides professional medical care which helps to stabilize any cravings and keep an eye on any health issues you may face.
A new way of thinking: When attempting to quit on your own, the mental dependency on drugs is often merely repressed, rather than defeated directly, causing relapse in many sufferers. Most rehabs provide therapy and group counseling in order for you to understand your addiction and the best ways to overcome the dependence. They encourage you to see your life in a new light, give you new self-esteem and new ways to seek enjoyment and overcome personal issues.
Support: Rehab is a center full of people suffering with the same issues as you and people willing to help you every step of the way. Even after rehab, counseling continues and you have an invaluable support network to turn to in moments of difficulty. It is often the case that addicts feel their families and friends do not understand their situation, resulting in feelings of isolation and increasing the chances of relapse. Treatment centers even offer counseling for the whole family, educating them on how to offer the best support for their loved one’s recovery.
Addiction can ruin lives and have fatal consequences if it is not controlled as soon as it is noticed. Statistically, more people recover with interventions such as rehab than they do on their own. Every treatment center will provide the fundamental benefits above, but they are all different. Carefully researching your options and working with the staff can mean you will get the care suited to your personal needs and treatment that is right for you.
This post was written by Stanley Martinson. Stanley is a writer specializing in health issues, especially those related to drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Check out this page for more information.