Nobody sets out to get addicted to drugs or alcohol. Usually it starts off casually, as an offer from a friend, a desire to belong or just the desire to examine and see what it’s like. This can lead to more recreational use until before you know it, you’re reaching for the alcohol or drug to relax, to relieve stress, to reward yourself or to handle difficult situations. Once drug use reaches this stage, it can quickly become abuse. It’s no longer “just for fun” but to handle life.
Some people abuse drugs for a short period of time but can recognize their behavior isn’t healthy, and stop. Others don’t have the desire or the ability to stop. Their drug abuse spirals into drug dependency and from there, it’s an invisible line into drug addiction.
Drug abuse can also happen later in life in response to traumatic life situations. The loss of a loved one, experiencing physical or emotional abuse or a life-threatening situation can result in an individual turning to drugs to cope. In this instance, drug abuse is a form of self-medicating. Friends or family members who witness a change in behavior that lends toward depression or isolation can recognize some of these symptoms of drug abuse. It generally takes professional help to overcome.
Drug addiction is both physical and psychological. The physical addiction results in withdrawal symptoms when the drug is removed. This can also happen with drug abuse and drug dependency, although the symptoms may not be as severe because usage may not be as heavy or prolonged. Physical addiction is generally severed within a few weeks. However, drug addiction carries the psychological reliance which is far more difficult to sever. Breaking the psychological reliance of drug addiction requires professional help in order for the individual to experience long-term sobriety.
People underestimate the power of drug addiction. Drug addiction and even drug abuse go far beyond will power. Once an individual becomes reliant on a drug, it can be nearly impossible to quit. This is why getting professional help at a drug rehab center is so important. Professional care can help interrupt the cycle. If you or a loved one is abusing drugs, call a drug rehab center immediately for professional help, before it’s too late.
Helping family members into drug rehab is not always easy. Generally by the time someone in the family needs drug rehab they are well into their alcoholism or drug addiction and it has become such a part of their life that they can’t imagine living without it. At this level, they are likely to resist giving up something that has become more important to them than anything, even family.
Professional intervention can be very successful in helping family into drug rehab. Interventionists act as mediators between the addicted person and family members. The scenario is rehearsed beforehand and family members are advocated to share their feelings as well as set consequences in place should he or she refuses drug rehab. An interventionist can help take the pressure off the family and coax a reluctant loved one to get help.