No two people experience addiction in the same way, which means it can be difficult to know when to seek treatment. Many people might think that they don’t need treatment because they haven’t “hit rock bottom.” Others might think their drug or alcohol problem isn’t “bad enough.” While the severity of addiction ranges from person to person, it is a progressive illness. Without treatment, negative side effects and consequences can worsen over time.
This means there is no bad day to begin treatment. It’s better to get help at the first sign of the problem and before a substance addiction becomes overwhelming. Here are the top reasons to seek addiction treatment today and take the first step in the recovery journey.
1. REPAIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS
The disease of addiction not only affects the individual but also the individual’s relationships with their family, friends, and partners. Loved ones need to cope with the problems addiction causes, such as:
Feelings of guilt, shame, anger, fear, or hopelessness
Lack of communication
Financial hardships and strain
If your relationships have been affected by addiction, recovery can be a healing process for both you and your loved ones. Some treatment programs may involve loved ones in therapy or provide support groups for those impacted by addiction. Together, you can learn how to communicate and build trust again.
2. REBUILD YOUR CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL COMMITMENTS
Issues at work may start small, like an occasional missed deadline or arriving late once or twice. As the addiction progresses though, these minor issues become a pattern of problems that lead to poor performance and other consequences such as:
Physical injuries or accidents at work
Conflicts with coworkers or boss
Withdrawal symptoms that affect attendance or performance
Risk-taking that impacts the company
If you’re afraid of losing your job, or if you already have, it’s time to evaluate your drug or alcohol use. Treatment programs can connect you with career coaching services to help you keep your current job or put you on the path to getting the job you want. Programs may also offer flexible appointment scheduling or virtual services that allow you to meet your treatment needs and professional obligations in parallel.
3. PREVENT AND TREAT PHYSICAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
Substance use disorders are associated with a number of short- and long-term health effects. These effects differ depending on the drug type, how much is consumed, how often it’s used, and the person’s overall health and well-being.
As prolonged substance use progresses into addiction, complicated health problems and chronic disorders can develop, including:
Heart conditions such as abnormal heart rates, collapsed veins, and heart attacks
Lung conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, and tuberculosis
Stomach conditions such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and severe constipation
Kidney and liver damage
Seizures, stroke, memory loss, and brain damage
Weakened immune system and increased risk of HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis, and other infectious diseases
If you’re experiencing any of these complications, take that as a sign from your body that you need help. Many treatment programs include or help you to navigate medical services that help manage your overall health conditions as you recover and heal.
4. TAKE CARE OF MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH NEEDS
Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows that about half of people who experience a substance use disorder experience will also have a mental illness at some point in their lives. These include:
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Other psychiatric symptoms
For some people, they develop mental health problems as a result of drug or alcohol use. For others, they use substances as a way to ease mental illness symptoms. No matter the cause, it is important to treat both addiction and mental health at the same time.
Many programs use a treatment approach that combines psychiatric medication management with individual and group therapy. If you feel overwhelmed by your addiction and mental health issues, treatment can help you manage your symptoms.
5. AVOID INJURY TO YOURSELF AND OTHERS
The parts of the brain responsible for judgment, vision, and coordination are among the first to be negatively impacted by alcohol and drug use. As a result, people who use substances are more likely to get hurt than people who don’t. These injuries can happen due to accidents like car crashes, fires, or falls. They may also be a result of violence, either as the aggressor or the victim.
Injuries can affect you and others for life. If you’ve injured yourself or others as a result of substance use, it’s important to get help before another one happens.
6. UNDERGO WITHDRAWAL AND DETOX SAFELY
When stopping alcohol or drug use, you will often feel worse before you start to feel better. Withdrawal is the process of the body adjusting to a lack of substances and can cause physical and emotional distress. The seriousness of these symptoms differs from person to person and depends on age, health, length of substance use, and amount of substances used.
If you’ve tried to stop substance use and experienced unpleasant symptoms, doctor supervision and medication can help – call 1-833-4-ELEANOR or email [email protected] so we can walk you through withdrawal safely.
7. REPLACE UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS WITH A NETWORK OF SUPPORTIVE PEERS
Recovery can be hindered by unhealthy relationships with others who use drugs or alcohol. Separating the people from the substances themselves is challenging, which is why it’s recommended to step back from friendships centered around substance use. If you’re looking to build healthy relationships that support healthy living, addiction treatment can help.
Many programs bring together people in recovery through group therapy and peer support networks. Together, you’ll help each other during difficult moments and celebrate your achievements throughout recovery.
8. YOU’RE WORTH IT
Addiction can make you feel lost, hopeless, and insecure. Those feelings might make recovery seem like an obstacle but joining a treatment program is a great opportunity to build your confidence and momentum towards the future you want.