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Addiction Treatment

Active addiction has far reaching effects that touch not only the addict, but everyone with whom he interacts. Erratic behavior, anger, and unpaid bills are just a few of the outward signs that loved ones live with. With the right care and treatment program, addicts can recover and have calm, fulfilling lives surrounded by family and friends.

Making changes can be difficult and require commitment to stick with a program that will improve your way of life. The benefits of seeking and completing treatment are far reaching and greatly vary, but a life in recovery is well worth the effort.

Conditions Resulting From Addiction

Substance use may feel good in the moment, but the effect it has on your body in both the long and short term can alter your life forever. Following are some of the problems that can occur due to addictive behavior:

  • Death
  • Anemia
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Cirrhosis
  • Dementia
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Infectious disease – addiction carries 3 times the risk of contracting an STD, Hepatitis, or HIV
  • Nerve damage – muscle weakness, incontinence, ED, neuropathy
  • Pancreatitis
  • Collapsed veins
  • Bacterial infections

Many of these effects are long-lasting while others can be reversed living a life free from addiction.

Benefits of Seeking Treatment

Financial improvements – In addition to the obvious financial impact of extra money in your wallet because you are no longer purchasing whatever substance you were using, financially your life can improve in numerous ways.

Lower healthcare costs – These costs are not only overall insurance and healthcare costs, but emergency room and inpatient treatment. Studies have shown that for every $1 spent on treatment programs, $7 is saved in healthcare costs.

Income improvement – With no more missed days at work, your standing at your employment will improve and can lead to positive changes.

Fewer legal concerns – Making better choices with clear judgment comes along with sobriety and results in a significant reduction in any illegal activity including drunk driving.

Improved relationships – Addiction not only affects the addict, but all of the people who care about them. Abuse is not uncommon and the addict may not even remember the emotional, physical, or sexual pain they inflict on loved ones. Concern for the addict and conditions at home also cause strain on the emotional well-being of those around the individual.

Children absorb the emotion their parents and caregivers feel. Coping mechanisms adopted by kids to endure any complicated situations at home often stretch into adulthood and affect the next generation in the family. Fixing harmful behaviors allows children to develop in a calmer, more secure home and encourage the development of healthy life-coping skills.

Recovery can also lead to:

  • A more positive outlook on life
  • Clearer thinking for better decision making
  • Reduced depression caused by serotonin blocked during substance abuse
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Reduced anger, frustration, and dissatisfaction

Improved self-image as a result of sobriety can lead to healthier relationships than can be imagined while in the midst of addiction.

Dangers Of Attempting Self-Treatment

Treatment for addiction of any kind takes time and patience, as well as the support of those who care about the addict. While it seems to non-addicts that an individual can beat a dependence on their own, an unsupervised, cold turkey approach can result in numerous dangerous side effects including death.

Addiction causes changes to brain chemistry that can be difficult to endure without assistance. Supervised treatment in a licensed treatment center can help both the individual going through the life changes and those who care about him.

When a person stops taking a substance on which they have become physically dependent, the absence of that substance can cause many extreme effects including:

  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions
  • Heart seizure
  • Anxiety
  • Delirium tremens
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia/nightmares
  • Cravings
  • Paranoia
  • Severe depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Irritability
  • Exacerbation of any existing medical conditions

Selecting a Program

Of the more than 23 million Americans currently abusing various substances only 11% receive treatment. Many addicts cite the cost as prohibiting their recovery, but it is important to understand what it is worth in the end.

Any program should include both psychological and physical components in order to treat not only symptoms, but any underlying causes of the addiction. With effort and dedication, the effects of addiction can be stopped and the addict, as well as his or her circle of family and friends, can recover.