Addictions not only affect the physical, emotional and mental health of the addict, but also create a burden for the people in their lives. Even after emphatically urging them to seek treatment, those close to an addict or severe substance abuser are often helpless as they watch their friend or loved one sink further into the depths of addiction.
There are many dangers and potentially deadly complications associated with drug, alcohol abuse and addiction. But the greatest danger is the unwillingness of the addict to accept the fact that there is a problem and admit they need help. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a devastating event in their life — such as an automobile accident, an arrest or an overdose — for the addict to finally agree to receive addiction treatment.
Signs of an Addiction
An addictive disorder exists when an individual is unable to control their drug or alcohol use to the point where these substances play a dominant role in their life. Other addictive behaviors and signs include changes in mood and appearance, the eschewing of personal and work responsibilities and experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when the substance is not available.
It is not uncommon for drug or alcohol addicts to minimize the seriousness of their problem or flat out deny its existence. Denial is often deeply ingrained within an individual, convincing themselves there is no real problem or they can “quit anytime they want to.”
Denial is a major reason why addicts many times hit “rock bottom” before they begin to consider taking steps toward recovery. Optimally, the realization that help is needed will emerge within the addict before intervention becomes necessary. From there, addiction recovery can begin through routes such as education, therapy, support groups and specialized treatment centers. But it all begins with the addict admitting their dilemma, and expressing a sincere desire to recover.
This blog is written and published by Lindner Center of HOPE.