National Recovery Month: Getting Help with Alcohol and Drug Addiction
National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives. Now in its 31st year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those living in recovery.
What Is Substance Addiction?
What is Substance Addiction?
Substance addiction, also called substance use disorder (SUD), is a disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine also are considered drugs. When you’re addicted, you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes.
Can Addiction Be Treated Successfully?
Yes, addiction is a treatable disorder. Research on the science of addiction and the treatment of substance use disorders has led to the development of research-based methods that help people to stop using drugs and resume productive lives, also known as being in recovery.
Can Addiction Be Cured?
Like other chronic diseases such as heart disease or asthma, treatment programs for drug addiction usually isn’t a cure. But addiction can be managed successfully. Treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s disruptive effects on their brain and behavior and regain control of their lives.
Treating Substance Abuse
Different types of medications may be useful at different stages of treatment to help a patient stop abusing drugs, stay in treatment, and avoid relapse. This is called Medication-Assistance Treatment (MAT).
When patients first stop using a substance, they can experience various physical and emotional symptoms, including restlessness or sleeplessness, as well as depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Certain treatment medications and devices reduce these symptoms, which makes it easier to stop drug use.
Staying in Treatment
Some treatment medications and mobile applications are used to help the brain adapt gradually to the absence of the drug. These treatments act slowly to help prevent drug cravings and have a calming effect on body systems. They can help patients focus on counseling and other psychotherapies related to their drug treatment.
Science has taught us that stress cues linked to drug use (such as people, places, things, and moods), and contact with drugs are the most common triggers for relapse. Scientists have been developing therapies to interfere with these triggers to help patients stay in recovery.
Help With Substance Abuse
How to Help Someone with Addiction
Does someone you love have a drug problem? Whether it’s illegal substances or prescription medication, you can’t force anyone to stop abusing drugs. But there are ways to support their recovery.
Witnessing someone you care about battle a substance use disorder can be extremely distressing and take a heavy toll on your own mental and emotional well-being. Whether the drug abuser is a close friend, spouse, parent, child, or other family member, it’s easy for their addiction to take over your life. It can pile stress upon stress, test your patience, strain your bank balance, and leave you racked by feelings of guilt, shame, anger, fear, frustration, and sadness.
Signs of Substance Abuse
The following are some of the more common signs and symptoms of drug use. It is important to keep in mind that if a person has any of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is using drugs. They could be due to a mental or physical health problem. They might also be due to adolescent development (in the case of teens). Whatever the cause, they may warrant attention, especially if they persist or occur in a cluster.
- Inability to sleep, awake at unusual times, unusual laziness.
- Loss of or increased in appetite, changes in eating habits
- Cold, sweaty palms; shaking hands.
- Red, watery eyes; pupils larger or smaller than usual
- Unusual smells on breath, body or clothes.
- Extreme hyperactivity; excessive talkativeness.
- Slowed or staggering walk; poor physical coordination.
- Needle marks on lower arm, leg or bottom of feet.
- Nausea, vomiting or excessive sweating.
- Tremors or shakes of hands, feet or head.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Runny nose; hacking cough
- Puffy face, blushing, or paleness
- Frequent rubbing of the nose
- Frequent twisting of the jaw, back and forth
- Deterioration of hygiene or physical health
- Change in overall attitude/personality with no other identifiable cause.
- Drop in grades at school or performance at work.
- Skips school or is late for school.
- Change in activities or hobbies.
- Chronic dishonesty.
- Sudden oversensitivity, temper tantrums, or resentful behavior.
- Difficulty in paying attention; forgetfulness.
- General lack of motivation, energy, self-esteem, “I don’t care” attitude.
- Change in habits at home; loss of interest in family and family activities.
- Silliness or giddiness.
- Moodiness, irritability, or nervousness.
- Excessive need for privacy; unreachable.
- Secretive or suspicious behavior.
- Car accidents.
- Change in personal grooming habits.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Changes in friends; friends are known drug users.
- Unexplained need for money, stealing money or items
- Possession of a false ID card
- Missing prescription pills
- Complaints of a sore jaw (from teeth grinding during an ecstasy high)
- Presence of unusual number of spray cans in the trash
Talking to Someone with an Addiction About Getting Help
Starting a conversation with someone about their drug addiction is never easy, but it’s important you come from a place of compassion and understanding. Remember, no one sets out to become an addict. Drug abuse is often a misguided attempt to cope with painful issues or mental health problems. Stress tends to fuel addictive behavior, so criticizing, demeaning, or shaming them will only push your loved one away and may even encourage them to seek further comfort in substance abuse.
Discovering someone you love has a drug problem can generate feelings of shock, fear, and anger, especially if it’s your child or teen who’s using. These strong emotions can make communicating with a drug user even more challenging. So, it’s important to choose a time when you’re both calm, sober, and free of distractions to talk. Offer your help and support without being judgmental.
You don’t have to wait for your loved one to hit rock bottom—to get arrested, lose their job, suffer a medical emergency, or publicly humiliate themselves—to speak out. The earlier an addiction is treated, the better.
Express Concerns Honestly
Emphasize that you care for the person and are worried about their well-being. Offer specific examples of your loved one’s drug-related behavior that has made you concerned—and be honest about your own feelings.
Even when you don’t agree with the person, take the time to listen to what they have to say, without trying to argue or contradict them. The more your loved one feels heard, the more they’ll see you as supportive, someone they can confide in.
Offer them information about how they can address their drug problem—whether that’s calling a helpline, talking to a doctor or counselor, entering a treatment program, or going to a group meeting such as SMART Recovery, or a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
Be Prepared For Denial
Your loved one may become defensive or angry and refuse to discuss their drug use. Many people feel a sense of shame when confronted by their behavior and will try to deny they have a problem. Don’t argue with them, just revisit the issue another time.
Avoid trying to lecture, threaten, bribe, or punish the person. Getting angry or making emotional appeals will likely only add to the user’s feelings of guilt and reinforce their compulsion to use.
Don’t expect a single conversation to fix the problem. This will likely be the first of many conversations you’ll need to have regarding your loved one’s drug use. There’s no quick fix to overcoming addiction. It may take several conversations for them to even acknowledge they have a problem, the first step on the road to recovery.
Addiction Treatment & Addiction Recovery
Getting Professional Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Trying to locate appropriate treatment for a loved one, especially finding a program tailored to an individual’s particular needs, can be a difficult process. The first step is to contact HealthCore Clinic to schedule an appointment with a substance abuse counselor and/or mental and behavioral health professional.
- Substance Abuse & Dependency Treatment
- Medication-Assisted Treatment
- Drug & Alcohol Consultations
- After Treatment Care
- Open AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) Group Meetings
- Drug & Alcohol Evaluations
- Outpatient Group & Individual Sessions
- Free After Treatment Care
- Alcohol & Drug Education Program (ADEP) • Free and Open AA group
At HealthCore Clinic, our culturally appropriate mental health and substance abuse services are designed to reduce stigma and provide a comfortable and safe environment for the management and treatment of substance abuse. HealthCore Clinic is here for getting help with alcohol addiction, getting help with drug addiction, and help with substance abuse.
FAQs About National Recovery Month & Substance Abuse
- How do you help a person who has an addiction?It is important to offer help without being judgemental and to seek professional help with substance abuse.
- What qualifies you as an alcoholic?A person typically qualifies as an alcoholic if they are mentally and physically dependent on alcohol. Alcoholism is a serious psychological illness due to which a person cannot stop drinking despite potential or actual, negative consequences.
- What are symptoms of alcoholism?Some of the most common physical, psychological, and behavioral signs and symptoms of alcoholics or alcohol abuse are poor coordination, slurred speech, impaired thinking, memory impairment, wanting to stop drinking but not managing to do so, diverting energy from work, family, and social life in order to drink, being secretive about the extent of the alcohol abuse in order to protect it, engaging in risky behavior, such as drunk driving, being in denial about the extent of the alcohol abuse problem, and becoming distressed at the prospect of not having access to alcohol.
- Where to get help for drug addiction.If you are searching for where to get help for drug addiction, drug addiction help near me, or addiction support near me; HealthCore Clinic in Wichita, KS offers substance abuse services and treatment such as medication-assisted treatment, addiction support groups, and substance abuse and dependency treatment.
- What about an addiction recovery center?If you are searching for an addiction recovery center near me or addiction recovery programs near me; HealthCore Clinic in Wichita, KS can help. Start by scheduling a drug and alcohol evaluation or inquiring about substance abuse treatment. There are many options for treatment.
- What is National Recovery Month?National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.