Sunday, October 06, 2019

10 Steps To Getting Help for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Realizing you may have a substance abuse problem can be frightening, but there is a way to get help and start feeling like yourself again. Substance abuse problems impact people from all walks of life and a variety of socioeconomic groups. No one starts off attempting to get addicted to drugs or alcohol, but it's important to take action if you suspect you have a problem. If you are struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs, alcohol, or illegal drugs, there is a way to get your life back. Here are 10 steps to getting help for an addiction. 

1. Determine If You Have a Problem

The first step to getting help is identifying that you have a problem with a substance. Some drug and alcohol users can use recreationally and experience no addiction issues. Prescription drug users may also have no substance abuse warning flags going off in their life. You may have a problem if you can't stop thinking about using, you've taken more than your prescribed dose, your drug or alcohol use has interfered with your job or personal life, or if you've stolen money to get more drugs or alcohol.

2. Confide in a Friend or Family Member

Once you've recognized that you have a problem, it's time to seek help. It may be helpful to tell someone about your struggles before you take steps to get help from a medical provider or drug and alcohol counselor. If you have a trusted friend or family member in your life that you feel comfortable confiding in, it may be beneficial to talk to someone. Hopefully, you'll realize, admitting a substance use disorder doesn't make you a failure.

3. Call an Addiction Help Line
Another way to get immediate help and advice about a potential substance use problem is through an addiction hotline. The National Helpline from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is a good place to start. Simply call 1-800-662-HELP to get free 24-hour access to addiction services and advice about what you should do next to get treatment.

4. See Your Family Doctor
You may also be able to get addiction treatment through your primary care physician or family doctor. Don't be embarrassed about admitting your problem to your doctor. Your treatment and concerns will always be confidential. Your doctor may be able to give you a referral for psychiatric treatment services that could potentially be covered by your health insurance and save you some money.

5. Research Different Types of Treatment
Drug abuse typically requires some sort of treatment plan because it is a disease. Once you've accepted that you have a problem, it's important to do some research about potential treatment options for your addiction. For some drug and alcohol addictions, your physician can prescribe medication to help with the cravings, withdrawals, and side effects of dependence. Another form of treatment is outpatient behavioral therapy. Many drug addicts seek in-patient intense therapy in the form of a drug treatment center.

6. Check Out a Treatment Center

If you decide to consider a treatment center for your substance abuse problem, you should explore the options before committing to any plan. Residential treatment centers may start off with a detoxification program to help your body adjust to the withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. Detoxing on your own at home can be dangerous and lead to potential problems, so it's important to seek medical help during this step. Then, the treatment program may focus on counseling and other addiction support therapies for 30 or more days.

7. Connect With Support Groups

Throughout your recovery, it's vital to stay connected and reach out to others possibly going through the same experience. There are many different support groups around to help people on the road to recovery, such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. The people in your group all understand why calling for addiction help can be difficult and can offer support on your journey to healing.

8. Consider Counseling 
Counseling services are also essential to anyone who is serious about recovery and living a sober life. Residential treatment centers usually offer intense counseling during their programs, but it's up to an individual to continue counseling once time at the treatment center is up. In some cases, addiction is simply a symptom of a bigger issue in mental health, such as bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety. You can work with your therapist to deal with certain areas of your life and avoid using drugs and alcohol to numb yourself.

9. Avoid Triggers
Once you're in recovery, it's important to stay out of situations that could possibly trigger your addictive tendencies and get you back into using drugs or alcohol. That may mean you might need to cut out certain people out of your life, such as friends and family members who have their own addiction problems. Addicts may also have to avoid functions that center around alcohol and stay away from bars and nightclubs.

10. Practice Healthy Habits

The last way to help yourself is to begin a new, healthier lifestyle. Start adding regular exercise to your daily routine, such as a cardiovascular program or a weight training schedule. Design a wholesome eating plan that will give you back the vitamins and nutrients into your body and continue the healing process.

If you are experiencing problems with substance abuse, there is a way you can get help and get back to being a healthier you. Once you take on your problem head-on and get the help you need, you can start improving your life and reaching your goals and dreams.

This is a guest blog entry.

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