We live in a world where words such as "addiction", "substance abuse" and "overdose" are quite familiar, even if they don't directly impact our lives. But how many people truly understand what they mean? It's almost impossible to fully understand relapse or recovery unless you've walked a mile in those shoes. In an age of myths and misunderstandings chemical dependency remains a mystery to many.
Addiction does a lot of damage to a person's physical health, mental health and overall wellbeing. It's important to not fall for myths and to become as knowledgeable as possible so as to at least not cause any further psychological damage to struggling individuals and their loved ones. Addiction is a chronic progressive disease and as such it requires specialized treatment. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction can result in disability or premature death. Learning a few facts about addiction will give you a better understanding of the problem and help you or your loved one work toward a plan to overcome addiction.
** Addiction rewires brain circuits
Substance abuse changes our body in numerous ways. The brain is particularly affected as it struggles to balance the reactions to all the harmful chemicals entering the body. It starts as a euphoric experience but through time and excessive use the brain just struggles to feel "normal".
** Rock bottom isn't necessary
A person who suffers from addiction can decide to get treatment without having to hit rock bottom. Allowing addictive behaviors to continue does more damage to the body and makes it harder for the user to quit. Early interventions help not just the user but their family and friends and can prevent loss of life.
** Relapse is not the end
Many people think that if someone has quit a particular substance then using it again means they have failed and the proverbial "falling off the wagon" is a sign of failure. The truth is that relapse is actually quite common and part of the recovery process. It shows the user which recovery method is working and what is not. Through relapse triggers can be identified and recognizing triggers can help prevent further relapses.
Recovering from an addiction can be a long and difficult process. It's important to take time and ease into it, getting as much help as possible. Some people decide enough is enough and try to quit without going through specialized treatment, but detoxing alone is unsafe and life-threatening. There are many ways to get treatment, including detoxing at a medical facility and pursuing outpatient therapeutic services. The most common type of treatment is inpatient detox with all-inclusive therapeutic services. Finding an addiction treatment for you or a loved one is the best chance one has in recovery, but one must be willing to recover in order to fully engage in treatment and take advantage of therapeutic treatment offered at rehab centers. That been said, please research the treatment facility you are considering. Find here a few questions you should be asking before committing to an addiction treatment program.