Addiction is a disease that impacts upon 21 million Americans. Only a small percentage of those impacted are treated for the condition, however. The explanations for this are varied and complicated, but oftentimes learning about the help that’s out there is the first step to recovery.
This guide will discuss the resources available to anybody experiencing difficulty with drug and/or alcohol dependence. By seeking help from qualified professionals, the impact of addiction can be lessened. While we are still a long way from a utopia in which these problems are resolved entirely, an increasing number of resources are seeking to help vulnerable individuals.
Concerns Over Drug and Alcohol Use
Nobody wakes up one morning and decides to complicate their life with addiction. Typically, somebody that develops a dependence on drugs or alcohol will do so over time.
If you are concerned by your own consumption of alcohol or use of narcotics, or you are watching a loved appear to spiral down a dark path, early intervention can save lives. It always pays to notice the warning signs as they arise, and seek help before addiction can truly take hold.
- The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism discusses how much alcohol is deemed harmful, and provides a self-assessment tool to measure your own intake.
- org also helps you answer the question, “am I drinking too much?”
- Harvard Health suggests eleven ways in which we can reduce our alcohol intake.
- Drug Abuse shines a light on the warning signs that your loved one is teetering on the brink of alcoholism. The same site also advises of the warning signs of the misuse of drugs.
- The American Addictions Center also discusses the warning signs that somebody close to you is abusing drugs. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids pays particular attention to the symptoms of drug use in teens.
- HelpGuide is another resource that helps people understand the signs of drug abuse – and aids recreational drug users in learning whether they may have a problem.
- Drug Rehab offers advice on what you can do when confronting a loved one with a suspected addiction issue.
Remember, not everybody that drinks alcohol is an alcoholic, and not everybody that takes recreational drugs is an addict. You don’t need to like or agree with these lifestyle choices if they jar with your own values. Equally though, do not be surprised if a friend or family member reacts angrily to suggestions that they have a problem.
This is a delicate subject, and it must be handled with the appropriate care. Above all, an addict needs to acknowledge their own issues before help can be provided. These resources will help anybody assess their own use of alcohol and drugs, and decide whether seeking support is advisable.
Causes of Drug and Alcohol Addiction
There are a number of reasons why people find themselves addicted to drugs and alcohol. In some cases, it’s simply a case of partying going a little too far. In others, however, there are medical or psychological explanations. Understanding why addiction occurs can go a long way toward finding the appropriate treatment.
- Health in Ageing explains how seniors can be just as much as risk of addiction as the younger generation.
- Dual Diagnosis elaborates upon the frequent connection between drug addiction in adults and childhood trauma.
- Quit Alcohol explains why intoxicating drinks can become addictive to some people and not others. Alcohol Rehab Guide elaborates upon the societal and hereditary causes of alcoholism.
- If you’re worried that you have a naturally addictive personality, take a free test from Foundations Wellness Center.
Judgment and assumptions are never helpful when dealing with addiction issues. People from all walks of life can suffer with addiction, for all kinds of reasons. What matters is that they receive the help they need.
Seeking Support for Alcohol or Drug Addiction
According to studies, up to a third of Americans drink enough alcohol in a typical week to attract the attention of an addiction specialist. In addition, roughly 10% of Americans use recreational drugs.
Of course, this does not mean that a third of Americans are alcoholics, or that a tenth of the population are drug addicts. It does suggest that some measure of support and awareness would benefit more of us than we realize, though.
- Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous need no introduction as the world’s premier support networks for individuals that find themselves reliant upon alcohol or drugs. The Secular Organization for Sobriety offers an alternative but similar service.
- The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offers advice on where and how to seek help for alcoholism. The National Institute on Drug Abuse offers the same advice for drug users.
- The Recovery Village discusses techniques for self-help when dealing with addiction.
- Centerstone is a charity that specializes in helping individuals in crisis, including but not limited to those struggling with addiction.
- The National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors work within local communities to aid people struggling with addiction.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can put you in touch with a local body that can help guide you through your addiction. Addiction Center can provide similar advice.
Alcohol dependence can creep up on anybody, so always be mindful of your consumption. If you’re at all concerned about your drinking, seek help as early as possible. The same applies to drug use. Recreational partying can become a habit.
Support for the Loved Ones of Addicts
Addiction does not only impact upon the individual. Most often, the family and friends of an addict feel helpless and begin to despair. They wish they could help, but have no idea how.
Thankfully, there are resources dedicated to supporting the loved ones of addicts. There is no shame in seeking help and advice during this extremely difficult time.
- Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous have separate twelve-step programs, designed to help the friends and family of drug and alcohol addicts. Families Anonymous is an independent service that provides a similar offering. Recovering Couples specializes in aiding the spouse of an alcoholic.
- SMART Recovery is an alternative that provides a range of options. You can find local meetings to attend in person, or join online meetings from support from afar.
- Learn to Cope is a support network designed exclusively for the loved ones of addicts.
- Narcanon has a helpful list of dos and don’ts when dealing with an addict.
- Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, as the name suggests, dedicates its offering to parents that are watching a child struggle with addiction issues.
- If you’re on the other side of this, the National Association for the Children of Alcoholics and Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families offer the help that you may need.
- The American Addiction Center offers advice on how to support your loved one during their addiction.
Never attempt to go through this journey alone. Your loved one needs support from professionals, but so do you. Addiction can destroy multiple lives if it’s allowed to do so. With the right help, you can prevent this from happening to you and your family.
Recovery from Addiction
Once a rehabilitation program is complete, an addiction is not necessarily ‘cured.’ Addicts must remain vigilant and careful for the remainder of their life, lest they slip into relapse.
- CRC Health outlines the five key stages of recovery from addiction.
- Addictions and Recovery discusses techniques that will make recovering from addiction as comfortable as possible.
- Behavioral Health Evolution offers a nine-stop program for assisting a loved one in recovery from addiction.
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains the reality of relapse, and how to manage this.
If you help yourself or your loved ones through recovery, this is great. Always remember that professional support is available, though. Recovering from addiction is not an overnight process, and there will bumps in the road. Patience, understanding and compassion will be required on all sides.
Summary of Useful Links
Below you will find a summary of the all resources we have linked to throughout this guide, for ease of bookmarking.
- Addiction Center – addictioncenter.com
- Addictions and Recovery – addictionsandrecovery.org
- Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families – adultchildren.org
- org – www.alcohol.org
- Alcohol Rehab Guide – alcoholrehabguide.org
- Alcoholics Anonymous – al-anon.org
- American Addictions Center – americanaddictioncenters.org
- Behavioral Health Evolution – bhevolution.org
- Centerstone – centerstone.org
- CRC Health – crchealth.com
- Drug Abuse – drugabuse.com
- Drug Rehab – drugrehab.com
- Dual Diagnosis – dualdiagnosis.org
- Families Anonymous – familiesanonymous.org
- Harvard Health – health.harvard.edu
- Health in Ageing – healthinaging.org
- HelpGuide – helpguide.org
- Learn to Cope – learn2cope.org
- Narcanon – narconon.org
- Narcotics Anonymous – nar-anon.org
- National Association for the Children of Alcoholics – nacoa.org
- National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors – www.naadac.org
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism – www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov
- National Institute on Drug Abuse – drugabuse.gov
- Parents of Addicted Loved Ones – palgroup.org
- Partnership for Drug-Free Kids – drugfree.org
- Quit Alcohol – quitalcohol.com
- Recovering Couples – recovering-couples.org
- The Recovery Village – therecoveryvillage.com
- Secular Organization for Sobriety – sossobriety.org
- SMART Recovery – smartrecovery.org
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – samhsa.gov