22 Mar The Steps to Take When Seeking Help With Addiction
If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, it is hard to know where to turn. Most often, this is simply because we are scared to admit the problem and ask for help. But doing nothing is far more harmful to your emotional and mental health than getting the issue out in the open. So if you need help with alcohol addiction, drug addiction or any other kind of addiction, follow these four initial steps to put yourself on the road to recovery.
1. Recognize the Problem
We know it’s cliche, but it’s also true. The first step to take if you need help with substance abuse is to identify the problem. It may seem like a simple act on the surface, but it can often be difficult to admit you have a problem or even be aware that you or someone you know has an addiction.
So before you can even do that, you need to be able to identify the signs of addiction. These may include overwhelming cravings for drugs or alcohol, a decreased tolerance that results in increased usage, unsuccessful attempts at reduction or abstinence, relationship, career or financial problems caused by addiction, and withdrawal symptoms if consumption is ceased, even temporarily. Any or a combination of these signs may point to an addiction.
2. Choose to Make a Change
After you are able to identify and admit you need help with addiction, the next step is to make the decision to do something about it. Addicts who don’t seek help fall into what is known as the “treatment gap.” These people don’t end up seeking the right treatment program for their recovery. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 88.8 percent of people who struggle with addiction fall into this treatment gap every year.
Deciding to make a change is often the most difficult step toward recovery but perhaps the most important. You might be unsure if you have what it takes to quit and get better or even be conflicted on whether or not you want to give up the drug. Committing to sobriety is a big life change that requires patience, time, motivation and support. You may have to eliminate certain people and situations from your life and modify how you deal with stress. Sometimes, wholesale change is necessary, which can be unnerving, but worth it.
3. Establish your Support Network
Seeking help with addiction is not something you should do alone. Having positive influence in your corner can greatly improve your chances of recovery and keep your mental health in the right place. You friends, family members, and loved ones play a pivotal role in helping addicts overcome their issues with substance abuse. And the more positive support you have, the better. You’ll want this support system for encouragement, guidance and often simply for someone to talk to.
It is understandable to worry about letting your friends and family down, but getting help has to be your top priority. Relationship counseling and family therapy are available to help coach you through the process. And you can lean on more than just your close friends and family.
You will need a new social network if your previous circle revolved around drugs or alcohol. Sober friends are a great asset toward your recovery. These can be found at meetings, community events, church groups and more. Attending regular support meetings can also be a great help to your recovery, as these people understand exactly what you are going through. You can learn a lot from the group members and what they do to stay sober. You could even consider moving into a sober living community. This option will provide a safe and supportive place to recover from your addiction.
4. Seek Professional Help
After you have committed to addiction recovery and put your support network in place, the next step is to seek the help of a professional treatment center. No treatment program works for everyone, but whether you seek help with alcohol abuse or drug addiction, a professional treatment facility often puts people in the best position for recovery. They will offer a comprehensive approach to the recovery process, involving medical detox for withdrawal symptoms, cognitive-behavioral therapy, group sessions, self-help program, medication as needed, and many additional physical, nutritional and spiritual therapy options. Often, you will be able to customize your program as you go to create the best possible treatment plan for you.
There is a wide range of addiction recovery treatment centers available, so do your homework and find the one that will be the best fit for you and your needs.
Taking these initial steps will be hard, and it may take repeated efforts to achieve and maintain your sobriety, but to get there, you’ll have to start at step one and take things from there. Overcoming drug and alcohol abuse is one of the most liberating things a struggling individual can overcome.
Georgia Drug Detox consists of an experienced team of addiction professionals whose main goal is to help you or a family member achieve long-term sobriety. Contact us today for help.
Watkins, Meredith. “How to Get Clean and Sober.” Project Know. 14 Mar. 2019. https://www.projectknow.com/rehab/getting-help/
Hartney, Elizabeth. “How to Help an Addicted Friend or Relative.” Verywell Mind. 13 Dec. 2018. 14 Mar. 2018. https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-help-addicts-22238
“What to Do If Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem with Drugs.” NIDA Jan. 2016. Mar. 2019. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/treatment/what-to-do-if-your-adult-friend-or-loved-one-has-problem-drugs