Addiction is a severe and progressive illness that leaves nothing but devastation in its wake. Just in 2018, alcohol and other drugs claimed nearly 200,000 lives, leaving behind a string of grief-stricken families trying to make sense of the tragedy that befell them.
According to experts, 4 in 5 people do not want to be associated with people with addiction, yet only 10% of people suffering from addiction will ever receive the help they need. You may feel despair because of this social stigma, but it doesn’t have to be like this forever. Change is always possible, and help is always available.
The first step is determining whether your addiction has become severe enough for you to seek help. Having hit rock bottom starts the journey to becoming a better person, however difficult it may be.
If you want to get back on your feet and fight your addiction, here are the things to look for:
Losing your job
Control is the key to separating occasional indulgences from full-blown addictions. Addicts experience a sense of total powerlessness that makes it impossible to focus on anything else. Losing control often results in career damage.
Among all age groups and social classes, one in five unemployed people suffer from addiction. It proves that the ‘high-functioning addict’ is essentially a myth. So, as you begin to look at how addiction affected your life, examine how you did at your job. It may be time to seek a change if you have lost your job as a result of your habits, such as not showing up to work or not meeting deadlines.
Treatment facilities, such as Serenity at Summit, can be of great assistance. An in-patient facility can help you create distance between you and your triggers, suppliers, and drug-using friends. Combining a healthy distance with counseling and therapy can be just what you need to bounce back from a dark chapter in your life.
For a long time, legal experts have stressed the role of addiction in destroying relationships. Around one in three divorce claims in the US are related to substance abuse. Alcoholism is the third most common reason for women ending their marriages. Sadly, some have even suffered domestic abuse at the hands of their troubled spouse.
You may need to examine your relationship conduct, romantic or otherwise if you feel your addiction has gotten out of hand. Do you spend more time satisfying your urges than with people who love and care for you? Do you treat them with compassion and patience and extend honesty to them? Have you willingly fed them half-truths or outright lies to keep chasing your addictions? If so, it may be time to seek help.
When all your money goes towards satiating your urges, you may end up fast-tracking yourself into homelessness. Over 200,000 homeless people surveyed in 2016 had substance abuse issues.
It will be hard to battle your addiction while on the street, so make sure you take it one step at a time. Start by finding resources to resolve your housing crisis. Once you have room to breathe, you can narrow your focus on identifying the underlying causes of your troubles and addressing them.
The trouble with the law
Shame and desperation are the hallmarks of addiction and the main reasons why so many addicts turn to crime. The total loss of perspective that an addict undergoes often leaves them without any money to fuel their habit and no outlet to earn. They feel backed into a corner and resort to crimes as a form of escapism which lands them behind bars.
If you’re in this position, consider exploring free legal aid options available to you and reach out. Your future self will thank you for your courage.
Harming your wel-being
Addiction destroys your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being if left untreated. According to US hospitalization records, 1 in 3 patients hospitalized in 2013 had overdosed on drugs. Over a tenth of them were back in the hospital bed in less than a month after their release.
Tracking your habits can help you to avoid this fate.
See how many days you can brush your teeth, get 30 minutes of exercise, sleep for 8 hours and drink 8 to 10 glasses of water. If you cannot put your personal needs ahead of your addiction, it may be time to seek help.
Addiction can cause seemingly irreparable damage to every area of your help, making it harder for you to see just how bad things have gotten. Despite this loss of perspective and dignity, all you have to do is bravely take stock of your life.
How are you doing at work? How are your relationships? Are you paying attention to your needs and staying away from jails, institutions, and illness? Examining your life without fear might be what you need to save yourself.
If you feel you are unable to walk away from your urges, reach out to qualified professionals today. Anyone is entitled to all the peace life has to offer, so why not make the most of it.
Robert Haynes did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.
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