Do I Need Treatment?
Substance abuse and addiction typically begins when a person is hurting physically, emotionally or both and does not have the resources necessary to deal with their pain. Self-medication with prescription, over-the-counter or illegally purchased drugs is the quickest and most effective way for a person to escape pain, despair, anger and loneliness. It also doesn't help that those suffering violent, unhappy, meaningless lives are the most vulnerable to becoming addicted to alcohol and/or drugs.
I can do all things through him who gives me strength.
Am I Addicted?
Substance addictions change the way the brain functions by increasing or decreasing neurotransmitters responsible for making us feel "good" or "bad". As an addiction continues, the brain starts preferring the massive surges of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine caused by using drugs. If you are addicted to something--whether it is heroin, alcohol, gambling or food--and you suddenly stop taking your drug of choice or cease engaging in an addictive behavior, you will suffer withdrawal symptoms.
Feeling ill with flu-like symptoms after abstaining from taking drugs or drinking alcohol for about 12 hours means you are probably addicted and need professional treatment. Other general signs that indicate you may be an addict include:
- Feeling agitated, irritable and hostile for no apparent reason unless you are high or drunk
- Stealing from family members and friends to fund your addiction
- Making poor and impulsive decisions that result in negative consequences
- Bouncing from job to another because of spending most of your time high or searching for drugs
- Having friends who are also drug addicts or dealers that you know can supply you with drugs
- Losing weight, neglecting your health and personal hygiene, going days without brushing your teeth or taking a shower
- Thinking obsessively about getting drunk or high
- Tolerance: You need to consume more and more of a drug each time to achieve the desired effect.
- Continued Use despite Negative Consequences: You continue to use drugs or alcohol despite negative emotional, physical, financial or social consequences.
- Withdrawal: As the effects of drug or alcohol wear off, you may experience symptoms of withdrawal, including: anxiety, shakiness or trembling, sweating, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, irritability, fatigue, headaches, etc.
- Denial: You become defensive when asked about your substance use.
- Secrecy: You begin to hide your substance use from your family and friends.
- Mood Swings: You begin to experience rapid or uncharacteristic mood swings.
- Cravings: You start to obsessively think about acquiring and using your drug(s) of choice.
- Changes in Sleep Patterns: You experience a drastic increase or decrease in time spent sleeping.
- Risk Taking: You are more likely to take serious risks in order to obtain your drug(s) of choice.
- Loss of Control: You have lost control over the amount and frequency of your substance use.
How Do You Know You Have a Drinking Problem?
- Alcoholics drink until they are intoxicated. Social drinkers can stop at one or two drinks
- Alcoholics go to work intoxicated or drink while at work
- Alcoholics drive while drunk because they don't think they are drunk
- Alcoholics repeatedly get arrested for DUI or other alcohol-related incidents
- Alcoholics think about alcohol more than anything else
- Alcoholics lie bout how much and how frequently they drink
- Alcoholics experience relationship, employment and financial difficulties due to drinking and alcohol-related behavioral issues
- If you can relate to just one of these statements, you are probably an alcoholic.
Take an Addiction Test
Across the internet there are addictions tests you can take to give you an idea of how bad your addiction is. When you take these tests, however, you must be as objective as possible. Step outside yourself and consider your actions, your words and your lifestyle from the perspective of your spouse, mother, brother or best friend:
Addiction test #1 (National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence)
Addiction test #2 (Cage Test, Audit Test)
Addiction test #3 (NA Literature)
Addiction test #4 (Cage Questionnaire)
Denial is Often a Sign of Addiction
By blaming others, minimizing their level of addiction and justifying their reasons for drinking or taking drugs, addicts deny their addiction by attempting to direct attention away from their own problems. Addicts will refuse to take personal responsibility for their actions, blame someone or something else for why they drink, take pills or shoot heroin. Denying responsibility is also a form of manipulation, a psychological tool that most addicts are expert at using to get the kind of enabling attention they want from others.
Addicts also refuse to think about how their addiction is affecting others who care about them. Failure to acknowledge the consequences of their addiction is a way for addicts to avoid the powerful sense of guilt, sorrow and despair they feel due to wasting their life on drugs. Although addicts may seem callous and apathetic to the problems they are causing loved ones, they are simply engaging in a strong, psychological defense mechanism meant to preserve what little is left of their self-identity.
Even after suffering homelessness, incarceration or physical harm, many addicts still refuse to acknowledge their addiction. The only method successful for breaking through denial of addiction is for the addict to enter an intensive rehabilitation program that includes implementing cognitive behavioral techniques, group therapy and coping skills training.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Do I Need Treatment?
By now, you should know whether you need addiction treatment.
Outpatient programs can help defeat your addiction while allowing you to continue working or taking care of family needs. Consisting of daily counseling sessions with a therapist, weekly sessions or several sessions each week, outpatient services at our addiction center may also involve group therapy as well as family therapy sessions. Providing you with access to support groups outside therapy sessions is another important component of a successful outpatient program. Support groups represent excellent support systems for recovering addicts who are not living in a structured environment and may be susceptible to "triggers" promoting relapse.
Christian-based addiction recovery programs promote concepts such as perseverance, optimism in the face of negativity, dedication to goals and ideals and humility. These things are also vital to forming individualized recovery programs that can help you achieve sobriety and find meaning in your life. By relying on faith to help you through the recovery process, you will discover a deep sense of purpose necessary for preventing relapse.
Road to Freedom believe every individual addicted to drugs or alcohol deserves the chance to find Christ and use the power of Christ to strengthen their resolve and their faith in a higher power. We have caring, experienced staff members, board certified doctors, therapists, nurses and pastors who provide you with kind of compassionate, principled support you need to overcome addiction and re-discover the power of God. Road to Freedom is also proud to offer an exciting variety of faith-based programs, sober activities and evidence-based techniques that will instill an exhilerating sense of hope, optimism and eagerness to pursue the life you've always wanted for yourself and your loved ones.
Call us today to start on your path to recovery, (844) 402-3605.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:10