How Do I Know if Someone Needs Addiction Treatment
The onset of an addiction can occur for various reasons. When your loved one is using substances to cope with stress or anxiety, this can soon lead to addiction and perpetuate both mental health and substance use issues.
Most individuals deny that they have any problem and claim they can control their substance use. Yet, there are clear indicators that someone is developing an addiction.
Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of addiction, substance use disorders, and dual diagnosis means the difference between being able to help your loved ones and watching them live a life of active addiction and potential overdose.
If your loved one needs addiction treatment, Chateau Recovery can offer a comprehensive, individualized treatment program today.
Understanding Addiction as a Complex Mental Disorder
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines addiction as a “chronic disease characterized by drug seeking use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.” There are many misconceptions and stigmatizations regarding addiction and substance use. Yes, the initial choice to use a substance is voluntary, as addiction is a complex mental disorder that people have no control over. Substances physically alter the brain in a way that makes it next to impossible to abstain. For this reason, the NIDA also describes addiction as a relapsing disease because those in recovery are “at increased risk for returning to drug use,” even after years of abstaining.
Additionally, the NIDA refers to the brain’s “reward circuit.” The reward circuit causes euphoric feelings and floods the brain with dopamine. When the reward circuit experiences these surges of dopamine, it reinforces “pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors” such as repetitive substance use. The brain will adapt to the surges by reducing how brain cells respond to them. That is why excessive substance use eventually leads people to use more because their bodies become used to the substance. Substance use also exacerbates symptoms of other disorders.
Substance Use and Co-occurring Mental Disorders
In addition to research from the NIDA, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) also discusses substance use disorder (SUD) and its relation to co-occurring mental disorders. According to them, “half of individuals who experience SUD during their lives will also experience a co-occurring mental disorder.” Most common co-occurring mental disorders include anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders. People suffering from anxiety and depression may turn to substance use to cope. Alternatively, those suffering from SUD may develop anxiety or depression due to the physiological changes in the brain. That is not always the case. Nevertheless, treatment for both is essential.
Chateau Recovery specializes in dual diagnosis. We offer a range of treatment services to help your loved ones overcome mental health, behavioral, and substance use issues. Our trained staff prioritizes addressing both mental health and SUD when treating clients diagnosed with dual diagnoses. To achieve successful addiction recovery, your loved ones must treat their co-occurring mental disorders, too. If untreated, mental disorders will only increase the risk of relapse early on in recovery.
Recognizing the Signs of Addiction in Your Loved Ones
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is one of the most common addiction struggles. Signs of AUD tend to be physical, psychological, and behavioral. Your loved one may be suffering from AUD if you recognize the following symptoms in them:
Slurred speech or impaired motor function and coordination
Impaired judgment and critical thinking
Lack of personal hygiene
Performance issues at school or work
An increase in risky or reckless behavior
You will notice significant changes in your loved one. The signs of drug use will be similar to those of AUD. You may notice that someone suffering from drug addiction has lost interest in things that were once enjoyable, appear incredibly exhausted, are irritable and moody, have an irregular appetite and sleep schedule, and may also lack personal hygiene. Some will be better at hiding symptoms of AUD or SUD.
If you notice they are drinking more than usual, have become very secretive, are neglecting their family responsibilities, or are showcasing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders, your loved one may need treatment. It is wonderful that you want to help, but at the end of the day, a person has to want to help themselves. If you are struggling with this, consider consulting a mental health professional. They may have fruitful advice on the best way to go about helping your loved ones recognize and accept that they need treatment.
There is no one-sit-fits-all approach to treating addiction. Addiction treatment should be individualized for each client. That means it should address that person’s particular substance use and mental disorders. Clients will typically need to go through detox. This process can be painful and uncomfortable, but medication management can help with the symptoms of withdrawal.
In most cases, people with SUD can recognize the signs of addiction within their lives. Accepting it proves to be more difficult for them. The most receptive way to approach your loved one about seeking treatment is to do so with acceptance, compassion, and love. In order to live a life of recovery, they have to accept the cards they have been dealt. Only then will they be able to truly start treatment and their path to recovery.
If you are struggling to determine whether or not a loved one requires addiction treatment, please do not hesitate to reach out to Chateau Recovery. Together we can determine if our trained staff, evidence-based modalities, and holistic approach to treatment are a good fit for you and your loved one.