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Chemical and alcohol abuse/dependence brings about numerous consequences affecting an individual and his or her family. Often the physical consequences are what bring a person to the decision to actively seek help. Individuals may experience a variety of symptoms and the severity may vary from less serious gastrointestinal distress and weakness to seizures and active bleeding. While excess usage alone brings on health consequences, other more serious complications may result from accidents involving drugs or alcohol such as emergency room visits resulting from falls or car accidents. Whatever health consequences many exist, it is most important is to be honest about usage with our health-care team.
Now that you have started looking for treatment, what’s the first step?
Finding the right treatment center for yourself or your loved one may be over whelming at first due to the many options available. The best way to get started is to make the initial call and speak with an intake counselor. Our intake counselor specializes in answering all your questions and in determining the right level of care for someone. During the initial call we’ll look at why someone is seeking treatment and what they hope to get out of the experience . From there, all the necessary measures will be taken to ensure a safe and comfortable transition into treatment. Our goal is to make sure the client feels safe and comfortable from the initial phone call up until their discharge.
It is not uncommon for clients to have legal consequences and pending court dates when they enter into treatment. New Hope Recovery Center is dedicated to working with lawyers, probation/parole officers and the justice system to ensure they are kept up to date with the client’s stay and progress in treatment. We are also available to accommodate anyone who is seeking court mandated substance abuse treatment. Court involved treatment can be effective if done correctly.
Financial repercussions of addiction
There are multiple consequences people may face as a result of their addiction and one of those consequences is financial. The financial repercussions are not just the amount you spend on the substance whether it be alcohol or drugs but the loss of revenue due to lack of productivity at your job, the increase in medical insurance, the increase in auto insurance, legal fees, late fees on bills, interest rates on credit cards, and bad credit scores. For example: an individual with 1 DUI pays close to 300% more for their car insurance. Treatment is the best investment anyone struggling with addiction can make.
How do medications help/damage recovery?
What to take and what not to take are common questions in early recovery. Some medications may ease the acute withdrawal period promoting healing and recovery while others may trigger the disease process or delay healing. Regardless of substance, the body goes through a process of chemical detox which affects general well being and can be dangerous. Working closely with Our Medical Director and Nurse is crucial in achieving optimum early recovery health!
Is there a cure? How does this work if it’s a disease?
Addiction is not a curable disease but like other diseases is manageable with appropriate care. Addiction does not have to mean inevitable death. Staying engaged in treatment and working to holistically transform yourself one step at a time will help to bring balance and normalcy back into an addicted person’s life.
What is the Disease Concept?
Addiction is often referred to as brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences. Addiction takes many shapes and forms and is not defined by what you use, how much you use, or when you use but rather by what happens when you use. In 1956, the American Medical Association (AMA) recognized alcoholism and drug addiction as a disease as it is:
- Chronic: It lasts a long time.
- Progressive: It gets worse if not treated and can be reactivated by a single use of drugs or alcohol.
- Predictable: There are common symptoms in each stage of using or drinking including relief drinking, blackouts, etc.
- Identifiable: The illness can be described
- Primary: Addiction isn’t caused by primary mental health diagnoses such as depression or anxiety but is worsened by symptoms that go untreated
- Fatal: It is terminal
Just like diabetes, heart disease, or asthma, addiction is a chronic disease. Unfortunately it cannot be cured but is entirely manageable. Left untreated, an addict will continuously need more drugs and alcohol to prevent sickness, feel normal, and live life often leading to insanity, jail, or death. We know that if an addict stops using for a period of time and resumes usage, it is only a matter of time before they are right back to where they started before they quit with the consequences rapidly progressing. Relapse is often a part of the recovery process but is absolutely not required. People can and do get better with the proper care.
While addicts and alcoholics come from different cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic status’ and education, the underlying story and the progression of the disease is the same. We know that there are varied factors which contribute to why someone drinks or tries drugs but once the addiction is triggered it does not matter why you started in the first place; the obsession takes over and nothing else matters.
Often those struggling with addiction also suffer from other mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Addiction is an entity unto itself. There is a difference between drinking to forget life’s problems or drinking to forget life’s problems and continuing to drink when life’s problems become even worse because of the drinking. Addicts need to learn the tools to manage their addiction just as they need to learn tools to manage their anxiety and depression. If anxiety and depression are the only things that are treated, the addiction will come out in other ways. Mental health issues treated concurrently with the addiction are where the strongest recovery becomes possible.
Spirituality in Recovery
Spirituality is a relationship with self, others and the world around us. It is a connectedness we experience to the core of our being; mind, body and soul. Spirituality is not a religion; however it can be experienced through religious practices as well.
In active addiction we become wrapped up in our needs, wants, and desires with little or no consideration for others. A 12-step recovery program allows us to experience a sense of belonging which many of us have lost through our isolation, alienation, resentments, and inability to connect. Recovery introduces us to the spiritual principles as described in the 12-step program which will lead to a sense of belonging, harmony, and balance in our life.
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News / Addiction Journal
- New Gay and Bisexual Men’s Cross Addiction Therapy Group
- The Who, What, Why, Where and How of Starting a Private Practice Therapy Business
- Two Weekly Refuge Recovery Meetings in Chicago
- 2016 Chicago Roundup – Proudly Sponsored by New Hope Recovery Center
- Jeff Zacharias Speaks at NCAD: Intersection of Sex, Drug and Technology