You should know that asking for help is the first step in finding a solution that could eliminate your dependence on drugs and get you on the path to living life drug free! Recent research shows at approximately 23 million people in the U.
are addicted to drugs and alcohol.
This life threatening disease affects all who come in content with the addicted person: friends, family and co-workers.
Research also reports that 2 in 10 persons addicted will die from a drug overdose, or other drug related incidents.
The first stages of addiction The vicious cycle of drug addiction starts with casual recreational use and continues on as craving takes over.
This craving for drugs strengthens as usage and the amount used increases, and with this increased usage an artificial feeling of wellbeing reinforces the need to continue using and interrupts the users daily life replacing normal activities with the need to get and use more drugs.
At some point in the addictive cycle, the individual crosses an invisible line where the need for more and more drugs takes over and the user abandons all other parts of his or her life.
Often times brief bouts of depression will set in as the drug induced feelings of wellbeing disappears, but this depressive state rapidly goes away as the user resumes using drugs.
New addictive events begin to take shape that alter and control the drug users behavior such as lying, stealing, missing work or school, and bouts of violence and continued depression.
As these events begin occurring more often and with increased duration the user will withdraw away from his family and friends and further into his addiction.
At some point the addicted individual will experience one of more serious life threatening events as a result of their drug usage, such as an overdose, arrest for possession or sale of drugs, sexual abuse, or another traumatic event.
The addictive nature of substance abuse alters the individual's perceptions and even with these traumatic events the individual in most cases may stop using drugs briefly only to resume using more frequently in larger quantities.
The addict at this point abandons all other life activities, and the getting and using of drugs consumes the individual becoming almost an occupation.
This vicious cycle will continue on until the addict hits bottom and seeks help, the family performs an intervention or some other catastrophic event causes the addict to stop for a time.
Until the addict has fully hit bottom, or has exhausted every means of getting more drugs little can be done to reach them, and most attempts will fail.
The best thing that the family can at this point is to no longer enable them and if an attempt at intervention fails, then the only course of action is to release them with love and let them hit bottom.
Hitting Bottom Once the addict has hit bottom, he or she will then be ready to seek help, and the family should waste no time in getting them into a drug treatment program.
While undertaking this process, the family should clearly reinforce their desire to help their loved one while they undergo treatment for their substance abuse problem.
It is most common for the addict to have morbid feelings of guilt and remorse about their drug usage and any problems they may have caused the family while they were practicing their addiction.
The best option in dealing with this situation if it arises is to tell them that they have a drug problem and getting help in a drug treatment facility is the only answer.
Treatment Options The typical course of treatment for a substance abuser is a 7 to 10 day chemical detox followed by in patient drug treatment.
Treatment will offer counseling, and a variety of treatment sessions or classes that are aimed at discovering and addressing the underlying causes of the addicts use of drugs and a recovery plan that provides solutions for a successful recovery.
The recovery process isn't an overnight thing, and the addict may find it to painful or difficult and either leave treatment and resume using drugs, or come up with excuses to leave the program.
The Family must reinforce the need to continue treatment with loving support.
If the addict is simply not ready to continue treatment, this only means he has not hot bottom yet, and may relapse one or more times until he or she is 100% ready to re-enter treatment.
Do not be discouraged if the addict should continue the cycle of relapse, as this is a common in the process of recovery.
The best position to take is to never enable them while they continue to use, but be willing to help in any matter that is part of their recovery while participating in treatment for their drug addiction.