Addicts and alcoholics are categorized in the DSM-5 (diagnostic statistical manual of mental health disorders) as people suffering from substance use disorder. According to the research, drug abusers and alcoholics have completely different brain chemistry than say, a ‘normal’ drinker. Normal drinkers can have a couple of drinks, socially with friends, and never develop the intense craving for drugs and alcohol that a substance abuser will. People suffering with drug and alcohol addiction have lost the ability to control their illicit substance use, and eventually may find themselves in a treatment center or mental health clinic. Although the DSM-5 has replaced the term addiction with substance use disorder, there is still correlating criteria for what makes the addict’s behavioral patterns different, than say, a person with normalized mental health patterns. The following is a list of criteria:
- Recurrent use of alcohol and drugs
- Inability to stop despite physical health and mental health consequences
- Failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home
- Social impairment
- Craving, strong desire to use and abuse substances despite warnings of doctors
- Tolerance for drugs and alcohol
- Physical and mental withdrawal symptoms that make it seem virtually impossible to stop using and drinking
Treatment Programs For Drug And Alcohol Addiction
If you or someone you love is suffering from the deadly nature of substance use disorder, it’s time to stop and seek help before it’s too late. Many alcoholics and drug addicts find the help they need by going to alcohol detox centers or treatment centers. This allows the sufferer to put some distance between themselves and their drug of choice, and enables them to be surrounded by caring and compassionate staff that will do anything to help them. Successful recovery programs are heavily implemented in certified treatment centers, and drug addiction is therefore much easier to combat.
Before seeking professional help, though, the alcoholic and drug addict has to want to get help for themselves. There is a phrase in alcoholics anonymous–a 12 step program–that substance abusers will need to hit rock bottom before surrendering to their addiction. Whether or not this is true depends on the individual and how much pain they can endure before finally surrendering to their mental and physical health disease.
Hitting Rock Bottom
There are many age-old sayings that illustrate how a person must endure intense suffering before they are willing to change. For the alcoholic and drug addict, they can endure the most intense physical, mental, and emotional suffering for years before they finally want to stop using and get help for their addiction. This is because the need to medicate themselves is stronger than any other desire in their life. The obsession over drugs and alcohol is so strong, so intense, that in most cases, a nationally accredited treatment center or recovery program will be necessary to help them get their lives back on track. But what about the drug addict who simply can’t stop using? They will undoubtedly need to go through so much pain and suffering they simply can’t take it anymore. This is called, ‘hitting rock bottom.’ When loss of job, family, relationships, health and sanity are endured, and it seems like the sufferer can’t get any lower, they have reached their bottom. Hitting rock bottom is different for everyone, but the common theme is that the addict and alcoholic has had enough. They’ve reached a point where they cannot go on using and drinking any longer, and they want to change their ways. This is called ‘the surrender.’
And while alcohol and drug rehabs and treatment centers can offer an amazing oasis to their addiction, it will be that much more helpful if the drug addict/alcoholic is ready to get help. If you or someone you love is ready to surrender to the fatal nature of your disease, hope is readily available and we can assure you, you’re well on your way.
How Do I Know If I Hit Rock Bottom?
Drug addiction is currently an epidemic and claiming the lives of many people who can’t seem to stop. In 2016 alone, over 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. The rates of alcohol abuse and physically addicted people have skyrocketed in the past decade alone.
Unfortunately, the threat of death and destruction is not always powerful enough to convince the drug user to stop. This is because of the brain chemistry and behavioral patterns of alcoholics and drug addicts. While caught up in the vicious cycle of drug abuse, addicts and alcoholics become powerless to their substances. Every individual will have to reach their own point of saying, ‘enough is enough.’ It’s been said in Alcoholics Anonymous that ‘you hit bottom when you stop digging.’ This means that anyone can get help, anytime, even if you haven’t lost everything worthwhile in life. If you simply can’t take it anymore and you want to try a new way of life, you have hit rock bottom and are ready to get help for yourself. If that’s the case, it’s time to find the best possible recovery program that can help you find meaningful sobriety.
Treatment Programs And The Hope They Offer
It’s amazing to know that hundreds of thousands of people have recovered from drug and alcohol addiction. They’ve been right where you are, right now, and felt completely hopeless. Knowing that you don’t necessarily have to hit rock bottom to get well is a huge relief, because it means you can start your life over, right now. The treatment programs available today employ master-level clinicians, therapists, and all-around caring staff who are in recovery and know what it takes to get sober.
Depending on what type of treatment you need, individual programs can help meet whatever addictions you are facing. Optimal mental health and emotional healing are brought about by seeking professional help for your addiction. If you are ready to begin a new way of life, we are ready to welcome you with open arms.
Find the treatment program that works for you, and remember, you hit bottom when you stop digging. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world for you, in order to make a change and start over.
Say yes to your life today!