For the concept of addiction, coming to terms with the fact that you are addicted is one thing, and seeking help to get better is another. Being fully aware that you are being plagued with addiction, is something which is more difficult than it seems. Addiction can be said to be a chronic disease which has the capacity to adversely affect the memory, motivation, and reward functions of the brain.

An individual who is addicted will either have cravings for a substance, or some behavioural habits. They would be blind to other aspects of their lives, which needs fulfillment or support.

An addicted individual would have no means of control, and they would be unable to break free from using the particular substance which they are addicted to, or the behaviour which they find it hard to stop.

Also, they would discover that their communication and socialization skills would be on a low ebb, as they would be unable to maintain commitments, and whatever forms of relationship which they are currently in, would be strained.

It is very easy for a healthy person to know the difference between a negative and a positive behaviour, and stay away from it. The case is very different with someone who is addicted. Instead of them to admit that the problem is in play, they would seek other means to ensure that they continue their behaviour.

It is essential for an addicted person to seek help in an addiction process, before they get to a stage where the effects become gravely detrimental.

The first basic step to getting help, is the ability to come to awareness of the presence of the emotional, mental and physical signs. Once you are able to deal with this phase, you would discover that it would get easier to cope with an addiction rehab.

With time, you would get to discover that your communication skills would be enhanced, things would go back to the way they are. Also, you need to ensure that whatever addiction rehab you opt for, they need to have plans for aftercare, so that relapse would be prevented.

You Don’t Have to Confront Addiction Alone

help confronting addictionAddiction and an overly exaggerated sense of independence tend to go together. Often, the addiction started in the first place because the person began to soothe themselves with the addiction rather than reach out to others, which would have been far healthier. In the same right, addicts tend to be more resistant to reaching out for help in general, not just with their addiction. They tend to feel that needing support is a sign of weakness, because a needy person cannot be an independent person. Essentially, addicts have skewed perceptions of what role community and support systems are meant to play in people’s lives. Breaking through this mislead perception is essential to recovering from addiction.

A person who is struggling with a severe addiction is highly unlikely to be able to quit on their own. This is because addiction is a serious disease that is capable of claiming lives. Where an addict’s thinking goes wrong is in their belief that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness. Addicts have difficulty with the concept of control, which can be seen in many areas of their life. One particularly pronounced area that an addict struggles with control is in the deluded belief that they are able to control their addiction. That would be like declaring total control over any other type of disease. It is completely illogical.

The major flaw in this reasoning is in the belief that people successfully get through anything difficult alone. This is not how human behavior works. Trying to be more independent than nature intended us to be is counterproductive. We are creatures that require relationship on many levels, not the least of which is in recovering from disease, mental or physical. When you look at models of highly effective people, you do not see them closed off from help. You see them open to help and able to trust others with matters close to their heart. This type of thinking enables a person to be mentally healthy where as secluded coping with significant challenges always results in failure. If you want to have success in defeating your addiction, invite trustworthy people into it. The brief blow to your independent ego is absolutely worth the lifetime of happiness that recovery can offer.

When Intervention is Necessary

addiction interventionAddicts do not tend to appreciate being called out on their addiction. It is typically a source of shame and deeply seeded self-loathing. But, many addicts are still capable of listening to reason over time and finding their way back from addiction or finding their way into a recovery program. There are some addicts, however, who are particularly stubborn in their addiction and reject anything their loved ones have to say to them about quitting. This type of person will continue to pursue their addiction even into failing health and total dysfunction. For this type of addict, there is intervention.

Intervention is highly stereotyped based on old conventions and media portrayals, but intervention is much more complex than simply a weepy get together. Intervention is a coming together for deliberate communication and a breaking of denial. It is warranted when a person is showing obvious signs of not being able to take care of themselves and putting themselves at risk. The traditional format of an intervention is where a mental health professional, typically a professional interventionist, leads group communication between an addict and their loved ones for the purpose of helping the addict understand how out of control their addiction has become. Denial is powerful and it can take a great deal of persuasion to bring it down.

Interventions have been found successful because the strength of multiple family members opinions leave little room for the addict’s denial to survive and tend to inspire a sense of accountability within the addict. The role of the interventionist is to mediate exchanges and facilitate good communication by making sure exchanges stay healthy and productive. They are an important part of the intervention because they keep things from descending into anarchy and out of control emotions. If you have an addict within your support system who is strongly resisting opinions that recommend quitting their addiction, it could be that an intervention is the appropriate next step. Do not attempt to arrange an intervention without the help of professionals. Interventions can become out of control and a mental health professional can mean the difference between success and failure.

Reaching Out for Addiction Help

addiction helpAddiction is considered a legitimate disease by medical and mental health professionals. This should make it clear how serious addiction is, and how difficult it is to overcome. When you are addicted to something, your brain chemistry is literally working against you to crave the object of your addiction and motivate you to seek it out. Quitting without any outside help is nearly impossible. You need to be prepared to think and act differently, which is not something people are typically able to pull off without the help and accountability of others. There is no shame in reaching out for help. It is only natural that undertaking a task of this magnitude would require support from other people.

When you reach out for help with addiction, you should be able to expect certain things. First of all, your immediate support system should meet your requests for help by lifting you up and sacrificing of themselves to get you the treatment you need. Not everyone’s situation is ideal, however, and sometimes the addict needs to take it upon themselves to find treatment on their own. The most important thing for an addict to do is connect with top quality addiction treatment in their area or in another location. This often consists of support groups, organized recovery events and sponsors, but also occasionally free counseling services. If there is money available to spend on addiction treatment, this is highly recommended. Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation is statistically the most successful form of addiction treatment there is.

Addiction can strip a person of everything they love when it is allowed to thrive, but it cannot take a person’s free will and agency in choosing recovery. An addict always has the option of reaching out for help. An addict should always feel supported by their family, but regardless of if they do or not, they need to find their way to see mental health professionals or at least addicts who have long been taking their recovery seriously to have proper guidance through their own recovery. Addiction is not meant to be defeated alone. There are loving, supportive communities everywhere who have come together over addiction recovery, and they are waiting to care for you in your time of need.

What to Look For

addiction signsIdentifying an addict in your life can be easy or it can be difficult, even if the addict is yourself. Addicts can be masters of hiding their problem, from themselves and from others. It is the nature of an addict to not want to be caught. This is why assessing addiction can come with a number of challenges. However, addiction is dangerous to a person’s life and their livelihood. Whether they know it or not, their health, relationships and responsibilities will all improve if they get rid of their addiction. An addict may resist intervention, but do not ignore the signs and do nothing. Confront the addict or hire a professional interventionist to confront them if you observe the following behaviors:

  • Secretive behavior. Addicts do not want to be caught, and they will put careful thought into hiding their addiction from the people in their lives. Typically, an addict cannot be spotted in a passing glance. One has to know them fairly well or know what to look for in order to identify their addictive behavior.
  • Deteriorating physical health. One obvious tell of an addict is changes in their health, particularly when they are abusing a substance. Addiction to a substance will inevitably take down anyone’s health if it is allowed to persist. Even addictions with less immediate threats to the addict’s health will damage a person’s health over time.
  • Mood swings. Addicts often become emotional, aggressive or defensive about their addiction when it is attacked, threatened or inhibited. If someone is acting out inappropriately over something they are drawn to, it is likely a case of addiction.
  • Changes in appearance. Addiction tends to make people look different, particularly an addiction to a substance. As the person’s health becomes worse, they will often have bags under their eyes, unhealthy looking skin, bloodshot eyes and weight fluctuation.
  • Lack of interest in former passions. Addicts tend to give up on what they love and replace it with their addiction. Jobs, schooling, vocations, hobbies, exercise, eating right and time with the people they love are all sacrificed to their addiction.
  • Evidence of addiction artifacts. If you live with someone you suspect of being an addict and you begin finding evidence to support your theory, such as empty alcohol bottles, needles or pornographic material, your suspicion of an addiction problem is warranted.

The First Step is the Hardest

addiction first stepNo one wants to admit that they are an addict. Confronting that truth is scary and difficult, and it acknowledges the necessity of change in one’s life. It can also be wounding to the ego, because admitting that you are an addict means admitting that you are not in control of yourself. But rest assured, taking the first step of admitting to your addiction and reaching out for help is the hardest part. Changing the tides and direction of your life is jarring, and everything from there on in offers you increasing positivity and optimism.

Denial is the hallmark of addiction. A vast majority of addicts experience denial before they look to recover from their addiction. Denial sets in for a number of reasons. It may be part of a defense mode that the addict excerpts if they feel like their addictive tendencies are under attack. Or it may be a way for the addict to run and hide from the truth: that the addiction is consuming their life. Usually it is a combination of both. Denial can have a strong hold on a person, but when they are personally ready to change, denial will crumble like a house of cards.

There is nothing to fear in admitting to being an addict. Chances are your loved ones have been hoping you will admit to being an addict and seek treatment. A person’s addiction is very hard on the people who care about them, and it is highly likely that the addict’s support system will be happy to give of themselves to encourage the addict toward treatment and recovery.

Once the initial “coming out” has taken place, the addict can seek whatever kind of addiction treatment they need. This may be as simple as a support group or private counselor in cases of mild addiction, or it may be as big a commitment as inpatient rehabilitation for cases of severe addiction. Rehab is statistically the most successful type of addiction treatment, but the addict should discuss which treatment option is right for them with their physician and their family before committing to any treatment plan.