Family support

Are you wondering whether someone you care about needs addiction treatment? The road to a substance abuse problem isnt a straight line. For most people, its more like a slippery slope. When the person in need and their families look back at past events, they can see how the addiction developed, but its difficult to point to a single moment where they knew they were in trouble.

When questioning whether your loved one needs help, it’s easy to dismiss these thoughts at first. No one wants to immediately conclude that a family member, friend or colleague needs rehab. It makes sense to compare what you think may be occurring against a list of symptoms of drug and alcohol addiction. If the behaviors you are seeing line up with the symptoms, your suspicions may be accurate.

Signs and Symptoms of Drug and Alcohol Addiction

The following list provides some of the most common signs of an addiction problem.

Isolation
If your loved one is hiding their alcohol or drug use from others or says that they dont want anyone to be in their business,its a sign that they are justifying their behavior. They may be feeling embarrassed about either what they are taking or how much they are drinking or using, and dont want anyone to know.

Lying
Your loved one may tell you very elaborate stories about where they have been and what they have been doing. If this is not their usual way of speaking, be aware that they may be lying to you.

Addicts often believe that as long as they have a good story, they are able to convince other people of anything. This is their notion of being in control of a situation. The longer they are addicted, the more elaborate the stories will become.

Anger
If you confront an addict about their lies, they are likely to respond with anger. Some people may become violent as they try to tell another lie to get themselves out of the situation. Becoming angry and defensive when you try to discuss the issue can be a sign of addiction.

Mood Swings
Your loved one may display mood swings if they are addicted to alcohol or drugs. During a short time, they could appear happy but then their mood could turn angry, sad, or withdrawn. Youll want to make note of the rapid shift in moods, not necessarily the exact mood states. Someone who is shifting moods often likely needs to seek professional help.

Blackouts
If your loved one reports not being able to remember certain periods of time or events, its a sign that their drinking or drug use is heavy enough to cause blackouts. This situation is cause for alarm. It should prompt you to talk to your loved one about seeing a doctor about their health and to seek advice about addiction treatment.

Inability to Slow Down or Stop on their Own
One sign of addiction is when a person makes promises to themselves and others to either slow down their consumption or stop completely and is unable to do so. Someone who is addicted no longer has a choice about whether they will drink or do drugs–the disease is in control of their actions. At that point, the person needs to seek substance abuse treatment.

Next Steps if You Know Your Loved One Needs Addiction Treatment

If you read through the list of signs and symptoms and realize that your loved one needs addiction treatment, your next steps will depend on whether they have asked for help.

If Your Loved One Has Asked for Help
This is an important first step in getting your loved one the help they need. Talk to them to see if they would be willing to see a doctor for an evaluation. Depending on the type of health insurance plan your loved one has, they may need a referral to a doctor specializing in addiction medicine. If they dont need one, use the Find a Physicianfeature on the American Society of Addiction Medicine website to find a specialist near you.

If Your Loved One Hasn’t Asked for Help
In a situation where your loved one hasnt approached you and asked for help, you can still look for addiction treatment centers in their area. If you do some research and provide the information, it may encourage them to seek help.

Look online for treatment centers near your city, in your county and state. The addiction treatment centers website should provide you with information about the type of services it provides (detox, inpatient, outpatient) and the types of insurance it accepts. Most treatment facilities have a toll-free number where you can speak to an intake counselor. These centers are also very familiar with different insurance companiesofferings and whether a doctors referral is required before starting treatment.

You can also ask whether the treatment center has other types of payment plans available (payment arrangements, sliding scale, scholarships), as well as specific questions about the program itself. Your loved one may be more likely to enter treatment when presented with information about a specific program.

 
To learn more about our programs or for a campus tour  of St. Joseph Institute, please visit our website. You can also call us directly at 877-727-4465. 


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addictionOne of the ways that addiction is described by Alcoholics Anonymous is with the phrase cunning, baffling and powerful.To those living with it, this expression certainly rings true. Someone who is clean and sober may seem to be doing well on their journey, but then they have a slip or even a full-blown relapse.

This type of behavior is very confusing to an addicted persons family members and friends: they likely think that once their loved one goes for treatment, that the problem will be fixed.Unfortunately, addiction doesnt work that way. Its a chronic illness that has all of the qualities listed above, along with infinite patience.

Addiction Treatment Teaches Coping Skills
At the root of many addictions is a desire to avoid emotional pain. If someone is looking for a way to numb themselves or to avoid dealing with something that makes them feel uncomfortable, they can drink, take a pill, snort or smoke something that will help them do that. They dont have to learn how to deal with things going on in their life.

Its not realistic to think that someone who has developed that pattern of living can simply stop using their drug of choice without having something to replace it. For this reason, addiction treatment programs teach coping strategies to their clients that they can use in their chemical-free lifestyle.

Addiction is Cunning
Keep in mind that the addiction is not cured; it is still lying in the background. An addict has to learn that they cant drink again, ever: they cant pick up a drink when they are feeling down or stressed. They learn strategies to avoid these types of situations while in treatment.

Its more challenging to get used to the idea that they cant drink as part of a celebration. If someone has been sober for a time, they might get a little cocky and start thinking that they can have one drink and will be all right. This is the cunning part of their addiction talking to them. It lies in wait, trying to trip them up.

Addiction is Baffling
Unless an addict continues to be diligent about working their program, they will likely relapse. The first part of a 12-step program is to admit that one is powerless over the addiction. The minute someone thinks that they have their addiction beatand that they dont need to keep going to meetings and doing things to stay on track, they are opening the door to letting it take control of their life.

Addiction is Powerful
This disease has the power to change the way a person thinks and how they perceive the world around them. People who are in the throes of an addictive lifestyle will do whatever they need to in order to feed their addiction. The need to use becomes so powerful it takes precedent over anything else.

Addiction is Patient
Someone who is an addict is in recovery, but they are not recovered. The addiction will patiently wait for a chance to step back into their life, if given a chance. The best way to prevent this from occurring is to be constantly vigilant about ones recovery on a day-to-day basis.

In some instances, taking things in smaller chunks of time makes more sense. It may mean looking at life one hour at a time if that is what is needed to stay sober. The 12-step programs offer support and fellowship for people who are experiencing challenges in their journey to stay sober. Many of their members will likely understand exactly what the phrase cunning, baffling powerfulmeans from personal experience, too.

 
To learn more about our programs or for a campus tour  of St. Joseph Institute, please visit our website. You can also call us directly at 877-727-4465. 


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Addiction is not just a physical affliction nor is it only emotional or mental. When it comes to recovering from drug or alcohol abuse, a successful comprehensive plan should include ways of understanding and treating your body, mind, and spirit.

That’s why gaining the ability to stop using drugs and alcohol is just one part of the whole-person care recovery process. By the time you enter a treatment facility, your addiction has taken over your life and has consumed your every waking moment. Your personal, professional, and social lives have all been but damaged.

Whole-Person Care Approach

Because addiction disrupts every part of an addict’s being, treatment must address the needs of the entire person for it to be successful. The goal of treatment is to provide you with an environment where you can heal, restore, and renew your life.

Similar to a holistic recovery, the whole-person approach builds on the realization that addiction is only a symptom of a much larger problem. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), one of the principles of effective addiction treatment is placing the emphasis on the multiple needs of a person, not just on his or her drug use. This includes a person’s medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal issues. It is also important to make sure the treatment is suitable to a person’s age, gender, ethnicity, and culture.

While no single addiction treatment is suitable for all addicts, this program works with the client’s preferences and ideas. Some courses of treatment include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapies
  • Medication management
  • Detoxification
  • Individual, family, and group therapy
  • Personal training and cardiovascular exercise
  • 12-step programs
  • Alternative therapies such as animal assistance, art, or sports
  • Meditation

Treating the Whole Body

This type of treatment combines traditional and alternative-based therapies with a slant toward natural treatments and remedies instead of relying solely on pharmaceutical ones. The whole person care approach focuses on treating:
Mind: Specialists work with you to determine what led you to seek out substances in the first place. You can learn a new skill set for handling problems and challenges in your life.
Spirit: Besides counseling for your recovery, you may also receive treatments to help with stress, depression, anxiety, or similar conditions. Treatment options may include meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and spiritual instruction.
Body: Treatments such as nutritional education, exercise, massage, and a healthy diet help promote your well-being. Your body will probably be in need of repair and recuperation after being ravaged by alcohol or drugs. A strong body can help defend all types of illnesses and conditions.

How This Approach Works

The whole person care approach to recovery is a long-term treatment that focuses on self-improvement. It helps you identify the causes of your addiction, understand its triggers, and create a recovery plan. This program can help patients by:

  • Stopping the addiction earlier rather than later
  • Understanding the events that led to your substance abuse
  • Coping with triggers through relaxation, thought disruption, and visualization
  • Finding alternatives to drug and alcohol abuse

By working to bring the natural balance back to your life, empowering change, and building self-esteem, this approach has been shown to provide long-term recovery solutions instead of a short-term reprieve.

Addressing Other Health Issues

Those with addictions have the same medical issues as non-addicts, but their symptoms may be elevated because regular health care isn’t sought. About 45 percent of Americans seeking substance abuse treatment have been diagnosed with a co-occurring mental and substance use disorder.

Dental care is another health problem often plaguing addicts. For instance, if you are addicted to opioids, you may wind up with a dry mouth since this is one of the side effects. If your body does not produce enough saliva, bacteria will grow and cause tooth decay. Oftentimes, you won’t be thinking about brushing your teeth when you are addicted to drugs or alcohol. A whole-person approach to recovery will help address all related health issues, often by putting you in touch with other health specialists who can treat other concerns.

 
To learn more about our programs or for a campus tour  of St. Joseph Institute, please visit our website. You can also call us directly at 877-727-4465. 


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