For any individual to enter recovery from alcohol or substance abuse, they must want to change, including their lifestyle. Changing one’s lifestyle is not easy. It will be one of their life’s biggest challenge. However commitment, discipline and courage to make the change and stick with it will result in a rewarding, rich and enjoyable life in the years to come.
Understanding Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is a physical condition that requires professional medical treatment to overcome it. For individuals afflicted with this condition, it is not just happening inside their heads, as some might assume. Drugs, even prescription ones for genuine medical conditions, have side effects that make the body dependent on them. This dependency tends to build as the body starts demanding more of the substance, and the withdrawal symptoms become increasingly harder to bear when the drug starts to wear off. This invariably leads to a vicious cycle of ingesting greater quantities of the drug to achieve the same “high.” This is important to understand because it is not advisable to deal with substance abuse by going cold turkey. Instead, a medical practitioner should be involved so they can help wean the individual off the medication by gradually tapering off the dosage. Such treatment is often coupled with other therapeutic measures based on the kind of withdrawal symptoms experienced by the individual and other factors.
Importance of a Support System During Recovery from Substance Abuse
When a family member is addicted to a substance, one has to become more educated about the disease as it has the ability to impact the lives of those around them. To say the least, it is tumultuous! The best way to deal with it is to enlist the support of seasoned professionals at a New Jersey drug treatment center, who can take their loved one through the recovery process. Once the individual addicted to a substance has chosen to seek help, the first step is to address the withdrawal they will likely go through such as tremors, chills, abdominal pain, body aches, irritability, nausea and vomiting to name a few. This is one of the reasons why individuals who want to genuinely quit abusing drugs or alcohol go back to using.
When this happens, time and again, friends and family will watch as their loved one’s life falls apart right in front of their eyes. This happens because the individual afflicted by the disease of addiction does not get the right kind of help that can lead them to sobriety. Family or friends of the individual addicted to drugs or alcohol are unable to understand what the person is going through physically or psychologically. This is the reason it is important for the family to get educated about the disease of addiction by reaching out to addiction treatment professionals. This will help them understand that addiction is a chronic disease, much like diabetes, and it affects the mental and physical health of the individual afflicted by this disease.
The learning process will also enable the family and friends of the individual suffering from addiction to elevate the level of support they can provide to that individual. Many drug treatment centers are known to have a very high success rate in enabling the family to become a strong support system for the individual affected by addiction.
A loved one’s research will reveal that some treatment centers have a very high success rate These facilities are successful because they work hard in helping the affected individual in coping with the problems he/she faces in their home environment, as opposed to isolating the client from it. These programs also customize treatment to the individual needs of the client, instead of forcing a standard treatment protocol down the client’s throat. The goal is to reduce the chances of relapse. This is why it is important that friends and family guide the individual to a treatment program that is designed with the client’s needs in mind.
Breaking the Stigma of Addiction
Drug and alcohol addiction afflicts people of every color, race and creed – it has no favorites. It destroys the lives of people afflicted by the disease and their families. So, it is important to get the best possible treatment at the earliest. A life free from substance abuse is rich and fulfilling.
Addiction has a significant genetic component and it should not be viewed as a behavioral issue. So, if you or someone you know has fallen victim to the diease of addiction, please take the time to locate an effective drug treatment facility within the state of New Jersey.
If it is not possible to offer assistance in any manner, the least any person can do is to be kind and not judgmental. Substance abuse is traumatic for any individual going through it. They do know the consequences that come with addiction, and their dependency only pushes them to feel intense shame and guilt. Using drugs and alcohol isn’t always a choice for those battling addiction. Keep in mind that those who seek help are often at a stage where they battle with severe issues, both mentally and physically. Rather than criminalize or stigmatize people with an addiction problem, tilt the perspective and see it as a health problem.
Life after Breaking Free of Substance Abuse
To be free of substance abuse is just the beginning of a renewed chance at life. Even after recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, there is always a potential risk of relapsing. Staying sober is also difficult when there are a lot of stimulants around that are likely to act as triggers. Furthermore, the environment that may have pushed the individual towards drugs or alcohol may not have changed. Financial circumstances, unstable family dynamics and workplace conditions are some other factors that matter tremendously.
Sobriety should always be followed up with a post-treatment plan. Getting over the addiction doesn’t necessarily end the relationship with the healthcare provider. One should never hesitate to get help, though it is human nature to not always do so when circumstances are trying. It is important to build a support system that ensures the individual has at least a few reliable people to reach out to when the need arises. One should also adopt a lifestyle with a healthy diet and physical activities. Mental well-being can be nurtured by focusing on activities that reduce stress and anxiety.
It is possible to overcome substance abuse, and every individual who is battling addiction should have access to professional help. Treatment centers, like the ones in New Jersey, are also available in other states as it is not just an individual problem but a collective need to ensure that the illness of addiction is treated with the best possible care