When President George W. Bush drank alcohol in public, a few people raised their eyebrows. President Bush often talked about his life as a former alcoholic without mentioning that he was still in the recovery stage. Medical doctors and experts in the field often discuss the idea that addicts are constantly in a stage of recovery. While you can move on with your life and never use substances again, addiction never really ends. You just need to learn how to go on with your life.
Types of Addiction
Addiction is a medical condition that leaves a person feeling like he or she cannot survive without a substance or action. Prescription drug addiction is one of the greatest problems facing America. Those who abuse prescription drugs often do something that experts call doctor shopping. Users visit several doctors to obtain prescriptions after their primary doctor prevents them from obtaining more prescriptions. These users may even visit emergency rooms or urgent care centers to obtain drugs or purchase the drugs off the street.
Alcoholism is another type of addiction. Alcoholics drink a large number of alcoholic drinks every week and feel like they need alcohol to get through the day. Addicts can also suffer from addictions to street drugs and certain types of behavior. Sexual addiction wasn’t noted until modern times, but experts believe that thousands of people suffer from this addiction.
Signs of Addiction
The signs of addiction vary from person to person and from substance to substance. One of the biggest signs of addiction is a change in behavior. Someone with an addiction will do anything it takes to satisfy his or her urges, including lying and stealing from loved ones. Knowing more about the symptoms will help you when you see a loved one struggling with addiction. By knowing what to look for, you can watch for the signs after someone suffers a relapse.
You might notice other signs too, including the addict suddenly finding a new group of friends, keeping drug paraphernalia around the house, using hiding places in the home, or suffering from mood swings. Mood swings typically occur when a person cannot find the necessary substance. You might also notice mood swings when a person deliberately stops taking a substance.
What About Relapses?
Relapsing is a natural part of the addiction process, but not all addicts relapse. Relapse occurs when a person begins using a substance after going through rehab or using another treatment option. The longer that you abstain from your addiction, the more dangerous it is when you relapse. Many addicts die of overdoses because they begin using again and take the same dose they did before. Their bodies no longer need such a large dose, causing the person’s death. When you attend the right type of rehab, you learn how to avoid relapsing.
Inpatient rehab is one of the more common types of drug rehabilitation, and it is best for those who have problems maintaining their urges at home. If you worry about the people you used drugs with or the dealers you bought from coming back to haunt you, inpatient rehab is a good option. You can live at the center, attend therapy sessions, and work with a counselor to get back on your feet. Inpatient rehab can also help when you need to wean yourself off the substance. The counselors can help you battle the symptoms that your body experiences after you stop using.
Outpatient rehab is an alternative to inpatient rehab, and some studies show that it works just as effectively. Unlike inpatient centers, where you live on-site, outpatient treatment centers let you live at home or in another location. You can continue working and spending time with your family, while working on your treatment. Some centers use a combination of treatment methods, and you might find that you get the chance to live at home for part of your treatment. Your counselors will work with you to overcome your addiction and learn how to stay healthy in the future.
Another option that many find helpful is group therapy, and many treatment centers offer some form of group therapy. If you ever wondered how others cope when withdrawing from drugs and dealing with the issues of rehab, now is your chance. Group therapy involves talking about your issues with a small group of people. A counselor or therapist will lead the group, helping people talk about the things on their minds, and those counselors can offer suggestions on what to do when you leave.
If you want to know if you will ever recover from addiction, you should look at the people taking part in support groups. These people understand that recovering from an addiction is a life-long process and that there are no easy answers on how to do it. You need to take life one day at a time and work on things one step at a time until you meet your goals.
Attending support group meetings is an easy way to stay on your path. Many of these groups will assign you a mentor to help you along the way. You can call on your mentor any time of the day or night when you need help or find yourself facing temptations, and your mentor will help you realize that you’ll never fully recover from your addiction. Some members even remain close to their mentors for decades after leaving rehab.
Addiction is a medical condition that involves the right type of treatment. If you see the signs of addiction in yourself or a loved one, you can reach out to experts for help. Battling addiction is a scary prospect, but going through that battle is the only way that you can get back on your feet. While you might never recover fully from your addiction, you do have the chance to lead a healthy life without relying on the use of the substances or behaviors you once used.