Written By: Adam Cook
Drug and alcohol addictions can cause a great deal of stress not only for the individual experiencing the addiction, but for that person's loved ones as well. Conquering these addictions can be difficult, but success is possible with determination, support, and the appropriate resources.
Addiction impacts all types of families around the world
Addiction, whether it be related to alcohol or drugs, affects millions of people in the U.S. People of any age, socioeconomic status, gender, or race can be impacted, and it can be challenging to find a lasting path to sobriety. There is often a stigma associated with addiction, and by the time someone can acknowledge that they need help, key relationships may well have been substantially damaged, making the process of working toward recovery all the more difficult.
How does one know when it is time to reach out for help in addressing a drug or alcohol addiction? The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. notes that some signs of addiction include a change in appearance, a loss of interest in regular activities, taking serious risks that are out of character, a loss of control, secrecy, and the development of relationship issues. If there is a history of addiction in the family, that should be taken into consideration as well.
In addition to the signs of addiction like secrecy and lifestyle changes, there can be numerous physical signs as well. Those facing alcohol addictions may commonly experience blackouts or withdrawal symptoms, mood swings, and escalating usage to try to feel “normal”.
Accepting that it is time to confront addiction issues can be a major challenge, as denial is common. However, there are a large number of resources available that can help those struggling with an addiction, and their loved ones, cope and face what comes next.
There is help available for those dealing with addiction issues
The site Drug Free shares that there is help available for those facing a drug or alcohol problem, or those whose family members or loved ones are in the midst of an addiction crisis. They have a helpline available at 1-855-DRUGFREE, and they have numerous resources and suggestions listed on their website. Sometimes connecting with someone via a helpline or online resource provides the support needed, but oftentimes people turn to various types of treatment options to tackle their issues.
Choosing a rehabilitation program can be daunting, as the options may feel overwhelming, and deciding that this type of treatment is necessary forces one to consider many difficult questions. Overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction is complex and having an expert involved is key in safely navigating the withdrawal, cravings, and challenges that could lead to relapse. People often find that inpatient treatment is what works best for them, but there are numerous types of rehabilitation options available.
Families and loved ones can find support as well
Families and friends often find that they need support during this time as well, and there are support groups and resources specifically designed to help those who are dealing with an alcohol or drug addiction of a loved one. Al-Alon and Nar-Anon are well-known resources, and the Recovery site lists a number of books that may be helpful as well.
Facing and handling a drug or alcohol addiction is not an easy process and getting started may be the most difficult step for many people. However, numerous resources are available both in local communities and online that can provide support and guidance to those coping with an addiction as well as to their loved ones.
** This article was written by contributor Adam Cook. Please check out his comprehensive website, which offers a variety of helpful resources and information on addiction and mental health: Addictionhub.org **
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