People with an addiction, also known as a severe substance use disorder, have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as drugs or alcohol, to the stage that it takes over his or her life. Drug addiction comes in different forms, and impacts people in different ways. One person who struggles with addiction may have a completely different set of symptoms—and a different path to recovery—than the next person, even if they happen to be addicted to the very same substance. What unites all cases of addiction is that they are treatable. Though addiction is serious and can even be life-threatening, recovery is always attainable.
Above It All Treatment provides individualized care to those struggling with all kinds of substance abuse issues, as well as co-occurring disorders. We work with those struggling with meth addiction, opiate addiction, alcoholism, and beyond. The best way to begin the recovery journey is to contact us and schedule an evaluation. In addition, we invite you to learn more about how addiction works—and how recovery is possible with the help of treatment programs.
Above It All is a featured facility on A&E intervention and the video features an alumni, Samantha D who struggled with substance abuse.
Understanding Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is commonly misunderstood. Whether you deal with it yourself or you witness it in your family member or friend, it is tempting to view substance use as a bad choice, as a character lapse or as a failure of moral will. None of these are true. Actually, addiction is a disease, far too complex to be remedied through good decision-making or moral resolve.
What makes drug abuse so sneaky—and difficult to address, outside the context of clinical care—is that it actually changes the physicality of the brain. It stimulates biological changes that make the individual physically and mentally dependent, and that makes quitting difficult, even painful.
Addiction is regarded as a chronic brain disease, one marked by compulsive drug-seeking and drug-taking. So while the initial decision to take drugs may be a matter of choice, it triggers changes to brain chemistry that make subsequent drug use much less voluntary.
Signs of Substance Abuse and Addiction
Different kinds of drugs come with different symptoms, including physical, psychological and behavioral ones. As you seek to determine whether a friend or loved one is dealing with addiction, be alert to some of the following telltale signs:
- Problems with school or work, including frequent absences, a sudden drop in performance, or disinterest
- Physical health changes, such as an abrupt decline in energy
- Neglect to personal grooming or appearance
- Behavioral issues, including extreme secrecy or lying/ making excuses to cover drug use
- Financial problems/ asking for money to pay for drugs
- Mounting legal problems
- Withdrawal from relationships/ social isolation
Any of these signs may point toward the existence of a drug abuse problem—and toward the need to seek immediate clinical care from Above It All.
How to Help a Loved One with Drug Addiction
When a friend or loved one exhibits some of these warning signs, it means they need help—but how can you help someone who is struggling with a disease so dangerous and so complex?
The first step is to express your concern. You cannot “fix” anyone, nor can you coerce anyone into treatment, but you can let your loved one know that you are worried. Offer to be there to listen whenever your loved one is ready to talk. Also urge your loved one to seek compassionate care, in a safe place like Above It All. Let your loved one know that you will offer your ongoing support throughout the recovery process.
Get Treatment for Substance Abuse
Ultimately, recovery is an ongoing process. It is not something that happens overnight, and even those who have been in long-term recovery still have hard days and occasional setbacks. With that said, relapse prevention is possible for those who seek the right kind of care, ideally in a supportive and nurturing environment.
Above It All offers help with addiction and substance use disorders through our dual diagnosis partner facility. We are ready to help you or your loved one start down the path toward hope, healing and freedom with our substance abuse treatment services. Start your drug treatment journey today by reaching out to our team at Above It All Treatment.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Treatments For Substance Use Disorders. June 2018, Accessed Feb. 17, 2016.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. Jan. 2017, Accessed Feb. 15, 2016.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Jan. 2017, Accessed Feb 20, 2016.