Imagine growing up in a filthy house littered with drug paraphernalia, needles and burnt drugs. You mom or dad is frequently in a state of frenzy when the drugs wear off and is truly insane when they kick in.
They are frequently in trouble with the law and can’t hold down a job. Money and food are always unpredictable. Some days you’re swimming in goodies, then you have to go with lunch and dinner for days on end.
You often come home to find your apartment occupied by strangers carrying drugs and weapons. You tip-toe through your early years because you’ve seen what happens when these people get upset.
As you get older you realize that living in a house frequented by drug dealers and littered with the ruin of your parents, is not normal or healthy – but you cannot escape. No matter how hard you try you cannot figure out how to get away.
This is what addiction looks like for many people who grow up surrounded by the disease. Millions of Americans struggle with substance abuse problems. According to the CDC, about 48.5 million people, or 18 percent of the population in the U.S. used an illicit drug or misused prescription drugs in 2016.
Those for whom drugs or alcohol have taken control, this means that you are not alone. Drug and alcohol addiction both prevalent and deadly.
Options Moving Forward
Common perception of substance abuse is that there are only three real options for those who have continue to use – jails, institutions and death.
Drugs and alcohol destroy the mind and rob the soul; long-term use is known to cause brain damage, no matter what substances you are using. Institutions typically means some form of psychiatric ward where you remain until death.
Jails often become the destination for those who act out during addiction and abuse others and break laws to obtain more of their drug of choice.
Death comes for everyone; however, it comes more quickly and tends to be uglier for those who are addicted. For many drug and alcohol abusers, fear of death is not a deterrent as depression and hopelessness dominate their view of the world.
However, there is a fourth option – treatment – which may involve an institution, however, only temporarily. The CDC estimates that 2.2 million Americans sought treatment for drug abuse in 2016.
Addiction treatment is voluntary and you can leave whenever you like. Staying is advised as the longer you are in treatment the better your odds at staying drug and alcohol free long-term.
Addiction a mental illness that affects the mind body and soul. Quitting drugs and alcohol is unbelievably hard, but not impossible. With support and guidance, you can overcome this disease and find the better life you deserve.
Treatment programs have evolved to accommodate individuals with every variation of addiction and mental illness. The staff and professionals at addiction treatment centers have often dealt with addiction themselves. They don’t judge and are only there to help. The programs are designed to help everyone who goes through the program recover from addiction and other mental disorders, when applicable.
Most staffs are well trained and knowledgeable about all things related to substance abuse disorders, including trauma therapy to treat PTSD, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT, to treat the underlying causes of substance abuse, and other forms of treatment that address conditions such as Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Depression and Schizophrenia.
Clients often begin at the highest level of care, medical supervision of withdrawals, where they are stabilized and provided the most acute support. When a person first stops using, the withdrawal symptoms prevent some from completing the process due to immense pain, which is too much to handle. Medical assistance is provided to help you get through this period with as little discomfort as possible.
A few great examples of treatment centers include A Better Today Recovery Services in Arizona, Father Martin’s Ashley in Maryland, and Caron Treatment Centers in several locations.
Not everyone chooses to pursue their recovery in a 12-step program, which is why many treatment centers support whatever program you prefer. Many programs are 12-step based, however, as these programs have been found to lend the best results.
You Can Recover
If you think that recovery is for other people, that you are too bad off, remind yourself that millions of people worldwide have recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body.
Remember your dreams from before you started using. You most likely wanted a life full of the things and people that bring you happiness and meaning. Compare your life now to what you would like it to be and decide if you are ready to change.
The 12-step programs like AA, NA, CA and others have helped many millions of people across the planet stop abusing substances for good. Smart Recovery also has helped many find a better way of living. You too can find a better life free from alcohol and drugs, however the road may be long and there is work to be done.
The first step is admitting you have a problem and need help. Many people are ready to help you stop living a hellish existence and find the path to a new sober life.