How To Get Help For A Drug Addiction
By Midwest Detox Staff
Addiction is a scary word. Unfortunately, it often comes with its own stigmas and judgements. People mistakenly think that someone becomes an addict simply because they have no self control and a lack of willpower. In fact, addiction is a disease and is defined as a chronic relapsing brain disorder according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As research has continually proven this fact, the stigma has lessened to some extent.
Acknowledging The Addiction
The first step in getting help for a drug addiction is recognizing that a problem exists. Only once you have acknowledged that you need help can you begin to make a change. This initial step can be extremely difficult. It is usually easier to convince yourself that there isn’t really a problem. It’s rather effortless to find a million excuses rather than own up to the fact that you are battling an addiction.
Once the addict can come to terms with the fact that they have an addiction, they need to be willing to make a change. This can be daunting. They may be worried about whether they are ready to start the long journey that is addiction recovery. They may worry that they don’t have what it takes to quit using drugs. Even more worrying may be their fear of change in general.
To tackle that fear, the addict should first start keeping track of their daily drug use. Doing so will allow them to more easily acknowledge how big of a problem it has become. They can then begin to consider their loved ones, their work life, and their social activities. How much is their daily drug use impacting the people and things that are important to them? It sometimes requires a truly hard look at one’s life for the addict to come to terms with the state of their addiction.
Asking For Help
Another key component for the addict to remember at this stage of the realization of their addiction problem is that they are not alone. There are millions of people currently suffering with addiction. It’s normal to feel scared or helpless, but there are people out there who are ready to help. You merely need to reach out to them.
Asking for help is never easy. Even when it’s for a simple and mundane task, it can be difficult to ask for assistance. When it’s for a disease that has long been stigmatized, it can feel nearly impossible to reach out and admit that you need help. However, as human beings, we often need the guiding hand of a loved one to give us the push we need. The addict is no different. While the idea of drug detox may seem entirely too daunting, speaking to someone can be the initial stepping stone in their recovery journey.
Talking To Loved Ones
A close friend or family member, such as a parent, spouse, or sibling, can be the ideal person to reach out to. As someone who loves you and always has your best interests at heart, they can be your biggest supporters throughout the process. However, it is important to be prepared for the fact that they may have an intense and emotional reaction when you first share the news. This does not mean that they are judging you or that they do not want to help. This simply means that they have just received shocking news and are attempting to process it. In fact, the heart of their emotional outburst usually stems from their love and concern for you and their desire to see you living a healthy lifestyle.
At this point, you can remind them that you are speaking to them because you are wanting to make a change. Allow them to understand that you have acknowledged the problem and wish to do something about it. Let them know how much their support will mean to your recovery journey.
Alternatively, they may not have an intense reaction. They may not be shocked at all, because they may have had their own suspicions for a while and simply feared bringing them up. As an addict wrapped up in your own world of either being high or worrying about when you will get your next hit, it is often easy to forget that you tend to leave telltale signs. As the addiction grows, certain symptoms can become impossible to ignore. These include changes in mood, spending less quality time with loved ones, a decline in work life or school life, and a disinterest in activities you used to enjoy.
Talking To Professionals
Some people may not be blessed with family members they can talk to. In such cases, it can help to speak to your primary doctor or psychologist about your addiction problems. As medical professionals, they will pass no judgment and will offer to help guide you down the right path. A doctor can help answer questions about the risks pertaining to ongoing drug use, as well as treatment options.
Prepare For Change
Once you have taken the step to confide in someone else, it makes the addiction more real. It becomes harder to hide behind excuses and helps you begin to accept that you must tackle your addiction head-on. To do so, you must actively prepare yourself for change.
First and foremost, remind yourself why you want to change. List all of the problems that the addiction has created in your life and then list all of the things you would like to see improved once you have a handle on your addiction. Consider any past attempts at recovery and force yourself to acknowledge what went wrong. Then, set goals for yourself in your recovery journey. They can be small attainable ones. Baby steps are important and goals that are too lofty can simply discourage you before you have even begun. Perhaps most importantly, speak to loved ones and let them know what you are attempting to do. Allow them to support you and also hold you accountable.
Begin To Detox
You have done the initial groundwork. You have acknowledged that you have a drug addiction, you have asked for help, and you are committed to change. Now, the real work can begin. In order to overcome a drug addiction, you will need to visit a detox center. A detox center will purge your body of whichever substances you have been abusing and will safely manage your withdrawal symptoms. Attempting to detox at home can not only be futile, but also dangerous.
Only once you have cleansed your system from drugs can your brain begin to rewire itself and function like it did prior to the drug use. However, it is imperative to understand that detox alone will not cure the addiction. Addiction recovery is a lifelong commitment that is attainable and achievable as long as you are willing to put in the work.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Reach out to Midwest Detox at 414-409-5200 or send us a message today.