If you think you might have an alcohol or drug addiction, take the first step by acknowledging you need help. Whether you’re a teen or an adult, there are several ways to find help when you need it. Learn more about how you can determine if you have an addiction, how to seek help, how to talk about it, and how to get the financial assistance you need.
How to tell if you have an addiction
Here are some signs that might point to addiction:
- Behavioural changes.
- Mood swings or irritability.
- Anxiety, anger, or depression.
- Weight loss or gain.
- Lack of motivation.
- Poor physical appearance.
- Loss of interest in activities you used to find important.
- Poor hygiene.
- Selling belongings to afford drugs or alcohol.
- Use of drugs or alcohol to forget about problems or relax.
- Only spending time with friends who use drugs.
- Feeling sick or shaky when trying to stop using.
- Changes in sleeping habits.
- Secretive behaviour.
- Unusual breath, body, or clothing smells.
- Avoiding eye contact.
- Bloodshot eyes.
- Bad grades.
How to find help
Keep in mind that the care you need varies on a number of factors, such as your age and drug-use history. Here are some ways to seek help:
- Get professional help. While many people think they can handle addiction on their own, outside assistance from a medical professional is usually necessary.
- Confide in someone you trust. Leaning on a family member or a friend can provide you with the support you need as you recover from addiction. You can also speak with a drug counsellor or a therapist.
- Enter a treatment programme. Consider getting help through a drug treatment program, such as residential treatment, day or partial hospitalization, outpatient treatment, or a sober-living community.
- Join a recovery support group. Joining a group provides you with an outlet to speak to others walking the same path. Not only can it be healing, but you can also benefit from hearing about what they’ve gone through and how they’ve worked to stay sober.
How to talk about your addiction
Oftentimes, talking about your addiction can be therapeutic. Here are some tips on how to talk about it with others:
- Find a quiet place where you can talk freely with someone you trust.
- Even if it may feel hard to accept help, allow them to be there for you.
- While it’s important to be open, make sure to only share what you’re comfortable with at first.
How to get financial aid for treatment
There are many ways to fund your treatment and get the help you need outside of insurance. Some treatment centres offer scholarships or financial aid for rehab. Financial aid allows you to make payments after you’ve been discharged. Speak to the treatment centre of your choosing to discuss the financing options available to you.
Remember that having an addiction doesn’t mean you’re weak. Once you’ve identified the problem, you can be on your way to a healthier lifestyle in no time.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.
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