Addiction Treatment

Addiction: A Family Disease

Treatment, Addiction, and Recovery

Addiction affects EVERYONE, not just addicts. This means our mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, and coworkers. Addiction can and will affect those around you just as much as it affects the addict, both emotionally and financially . It can be a challenge to figure out how to help a loved one who seems totally lost, but this article is going to focus on the specific steps that you need to take in order to get your loved one into treatment and on the road to recovery!

Article at a Glance:  

  • Addiction can affect the entire family and not just the addict.
  • Detox is an important first step in seeking treatment for addiction and alcoholism. 
  • Many people seek detox when they are at risk of withdrawal symptoms from drugs or alcohol.  
  • Various medications are used during detox to decrease cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  
  • It is never too late to seek treatment for an addiction.
If you are seeking refuge from drug addiction, you can contact More Life Recovery 1 (888) 825-8689 for 24/7 customer support.

Introduction

Overcoming addiction is a difficult and daunting task. For many of us who are fortunate enough to go through life without an addiction, it is nearly impossible to understand what our loved ones are going through. On the outside, we can see the downfall of the addiction, the problems it causes, and the danger it brings.  At the same time, we cannot actually understand personally what our loved ones are going through. Fortunately, there are many resources and helpful programs available to provide guidance and support to both recovering addicts, and their family members as well.
There are many different routes to overcoming addiction, one of the most tried and true methods is simply starting today. So much time is often wasted by “waiting another day” to enter treatment, or “pushing the start date back”. This only allows more time and danger to come into the lives of a person dealing with addiction and their loved ones. The more time you allow your addiction to lead and choose when you will seek recovery, is more time that your personal wants and desires will take a back seat in your life.

The Hardest Step to Start Recovery

If you are familiar with the 12 Step Program, then you know the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. This is often the hardest step for many people to take. Even though their life is seemingly crashing around them, they may deny their problem while it seems so obvious to everyone on the outside.  The next step is developing a plan. For many, the first step in the plan is going to be contacting a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center. Your loved one may need you to take charge during this time, and make that initial phone. You can call to check if beds or spots are available. Do not give up if the first location you call doesn’t have beds available.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse states that “most people need to consult with a medical professional for addiction treatment” (https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids). The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that “alcoholism treatment should be supervised by a physician”. (https://www.niaaa.com)  If you or a loved one are struggling right now, you may want to find a medical detox program or a rehab that offers medical detoxification.
Your loved one may need to go though medical detoxification before they enter a treatment facility. This is not a delay in treatment, but rather the very first essential step in treatment and recovery. This will help them to detox the drugs and alcohol from their system in a more humane and painless way. They will probably experience mild discomfort, but nothing compared to if they were detoxing on their own.

Medical Detox

Your loved one may need to go though medical detoxification before they enter a treatment facility. This is not a delay in treatment, but rather the very first essential step in treatment and recovery. This will help them to detox the drugs and alcohol from their system in a more humane and painless way. They will probably experience mild discomfort, but nothing compared to if they were detoxing on their own.
Many addicts and alcoholics cannot detox themselves. It can be a horrible experience, or even deadly in some instances. Those who are at risk of withdrawal symptoms may not want to stop their addiction and feel the pain and suffering of the detox period, which is why it is imperative to get them into a medical detox program. This will be one less obstacle along the way and another excuse removed from the list.
Getting clean and sober takes a lot of discipline and self-control which can be learned by attending support groups or working with a counselor. The help is out there for those who seek it.
According to this comprehensive article, becoming addicted to any of the substances below will require an evaluation and treatment for potential withdrawal symptoms.

Substances with Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Alcohol: In the body, alcohol inhibits the activity of the central nervous system, which has direct control over automated body functions like regulating temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, stress responses and motor movements. Thus, withdrawal from alcohol can cause an elevation in body temperature, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety and tremors, among other symptoms. In its most severe form, withdrawal from alcohol can be life-threatening, and symptoms can include seizures and hallucinations.

  • Benzodiazepines: Sometimes called “benzos” for short, these medications are sedatives used to treat anxiety or unremitting seizures. Benzodiazepines have a similar chemical effect on the body as alcohol and thus have similar withdrawal symptoms. Examples of benzodiazepines include alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium) and clonazepam (Klonopin).

  • Opioids: Used for centuries, opioids are medications from the poppy plant that are most often utilized to treat pain. Opiates refer to the direct derivatives from the plant, such as morphine, heroin and codeine. Opioids refer to synthetic drugs with a similar action to opiates, such as oxycodone or hydromorphone. Since opioids mimic the body’s own natural opioids (“endorphins”), regular intake of opioids leads to the shutdown of endorphin production, making the body reliant on the effects of the external opioids. Absence of these opioids creates withdrawal symptoms that are often compared to having the flu and may include cold and clammy skin, muscle aches, anxiety, nausea and vomiting. While opioid withdrawal is not a fatal condition on its own, its symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable

  • Prescription Drugs: Many prescription medications can be misused to achieve a high or find relief from stress. In addition to benzodiazepines and opioids, prescription drugs like muscle relaxants, sleeping medications, gabapentin and other medications can be used in a medically unintended way. Each type of prescription drug may have a relatively unique withdrawal syndrome, but gabapentin, muscle relaxants and sleeping medications all work somewhat similarly to alcohol and benzodiazepines as central nervous system depressants.

  • Stimulants: Non-prescription stimulants include cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA. Though stimulants do not create physically life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, many of the symptoms of stimulant withdrawal often mimic severe depression.
  • Synthetic Drugs: The most infamous synthetic drug is the prescription opioid fentanyl, but many other “designer drugs” like bath salts, krokodil or kratom can create significant withdrawal symptoms that medical detox can successfully address.

How to get help

There are a variety of ways to get the help you need. You can call or visit your doctor, therapist, or even a local rehab center. There is no shame in asking for help and there is help out there for those who are ready to accept it. At More Life Recovery, your recovery becomes our recovery. We care about you and we will take the steps necessary to assist you in kicking your old habits once and for all. To get help, all you need to do is ask. You can ask a trusted family member, a co-worker, or a friend to help you take the first step in contacting a facility or doctor.
If you are feeling lost or alone, just know that when you step into the doors of a treatment facility, you are entering into a world where people understand what you are going through in depth. There will be many people that you can connect with and discuss your issues in depth who will not judge you, but understand you and what you have been going through for all of this time.

Is it too late for me?

It’s not too late for you as long as you’re still breathing. Some people may think that life is over when they become addicted to drugs, but this isn’t true. You can have a healthy and productive life even if you struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol. It’s never too late to get help.
The first step is admitting that you have a problem and accepting responsibility for your actions, even if you feel it isn’t entirely your fault. If you’re not sure where to go for help, call or chat with a hotline counselor 24/7 who will be happy to help.

Conclusion

As long as you are breathing, you can recover from this disease. If you are a family member who has reached their final straw, it still is not too late to talk to your loved one more time with a plan of action or use an intervention technique  to shed some light on this disease and get them into treatment. Contact More Life Recovery in Metuchen, New Jersey today to experience treatment on a personal level and team up with experts to take the steps to recover and start enjoying your life again.