Get The Straight Dope On Drug Addiction: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

Drug addiction has come to the foreground of public attention recently. Celebrities are more comfortable revealing their struggles with substance abuse, and the recent death of actor Cory Monteith from a combination of heroin and alcohol has underlined the importance of understanding that this issue is not something to be taken lightly. To shed some light on substance abuse, here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Can Someone Get Addicted to Drugs Even if they Only Use Occasionally?

Addiction is not a one-time event. It’s a process that takes time to develop. No one starts using drugs intending to become an addict. Everyone thinks they will be the exception to the rule and somehow be smarter or luckier than the people who end up addicted to a drug. It doesn’t work that way.

Are Some People More Likely to Become Addicted to Drugs than Others?

There are certain risk factors that make it more likely that someone will become addicted to drugs. They do not guarantee that a person will become an addict, though.

  1. Family history of drug use
  2. Age of first-time use
  3. History of abuse, neglect or trauma in childhood
  4. Type of drug used

Why Do Addicts Continue to Use Drugs?

Many people who become addicted to drugs think that they can stop using any time they want, at least at first. Some people try to stop using on their own, but in most cases are not successful at achieving long-term sobriety. Over time, the drug use causes changes in a person’s brain that causes the person to have a lack of control over his or her impulse to use, despite the consequences. This is one of the telltale signs of addiction.

Can Someone Only Become Addicted to Street Drugs?

Prescription drug addiction is a growing problem. Even though a medication has been prescribed by a doctor, it doesn’t mean that the person taking it is protected from developing an addiction. If someone is taking more than the prescribed amount or taking the medication longer than would normally be expected, these are signs that the person may have developed a substance abuse issue.

Find a Drug Addiction Treatment Center

Are you concerned about yourself or a loved one’s drug use? Caring, effective treatment for addiction is available at our Lake Arrowhead rehab and detox center. We offer a holistic approach to treatment that addresses the needs of the whole person (mind, body, and spirit). Call us at 888-997-3006 to start the journey to healing today.

Sober Living – Activities For Recovery And Independence

For clients who have spent time at a drug and alcohol inpatient treatment facility, going directly home may not be the best choice. To go directly from having a high level of support to being completely independent could put a newly-sober person at risk for a relapse. A much better choice for sober recovery is to take the process slowly and continue to get support from trained counselors on an outpatient basis for a time after leaving the facility.

At first, it may appear as though the person in recovery is spending time just having fun, since the sober social activity list includes a number of enjoyable outings. People in recovery need to keep their days full so that they don’t have any “down” time. If they get bored or have a lot of time to themselves, they may be tempted to start drinking or using drugs or alcohol.

Moving on After Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

A client who decides to move into a sober living house who is also unemployed may need assistance to find work. This is part of moving on after treatment and starting to live a normal life once again. A client can stay at a house and get ongoing support indefinitely, but the ultimate goal is to have the person move into his or her own living space eventually.

Recreation Part of Recovery Process

When clients are in treatment at residential recovery programs, they participate in recreational programs. Part of getting well includes learning how to be healthy, which means looking after all aspects of one’s health. Some clients may not be used to exercising regularly, and some of the activities on the sober activities list can include physical activity.

Other examples of sober living activities include the following:

  • Going to the movies
  • Visiting a museum
  • Going to dinner
  • Shopping
  • Going for a drive
  • Having a game night
  • Going to a concert

An addict actively involved in the cycle of using drugs and/or alcohol may well have forgotten how to have fun. Sharing enjoyable activities with other people can help to form connections with others, heal broken relationships, and create new friendships. Clients who have recently left a drug and alcohol treatment facility may be feeling a little unsure of themselves and participating in sober activities with others is a way for them to begin learning how to interact with others in a healthy way.

It may look as though these clients are just having fun, but getting out and socializing is an integral part in their recovery and staying sober. The alternative is for them to sit alone, get bored, and be tempted to start using again, which results in the familiar spiral downward.