What is Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic disease that affects people physically, impairs judgement and impacts people's behavior.
Recognizing the signs of addiction is the first step to getting help for yourself or guiding someone you care about to services for recovery. There are behavioral, physical, and psychological aspects of addiction.
Behavioral signs involve a person’s outward relations with the world whereas physical signs relate to the body’s manifestation of side effects due to the presence of drugs in the system. Behavioral signs include but are not limited to:
Obsessive Thoughts and Actions
Acquiring and using the drug become the main priorities of life while all or most other obligations including work, family, or school are sidelined.
Disregard of Harm Caused
Although the drug abuse is causing physical and mental distress to the individual and their loved ones, the person struggling with addiction continues using drugs or alcohol. Drug addiction can cause immense harm to families.
Loss of Control
Even in the face of wanting to stop or reduce their drug use, the person cannot do so.
Denial of Addiction
When confronted, the person battling addiction will deny or downplay their drug use. To avoid having to explain themselves to others, the person may do drugs in secret.
Steps to Recovery
Climbing up from the depths of addiction can be a daunting experience. But by focusing on one step at a time, you can build on previous successes, learn from past mistakes, and ultimately achieve the happier and healthier future that you deserve.
Addiction can take hold quickly, in some cases, after first use of certain drugs. Though there are similarities among addicted individuals, each case is unique, and is influenced by myriad biological, psychological, and social factors such as age, gender, prior drug use, the substance being abused, and family history.
Because of the intensely personal qualities of addiction, no two people will follow the identical path to recovery. For example, some people will require residential care, outpatient treatment and years of therapy, while others will be able to bring their disease under control with medication and counseling. Drug addiction has an impact on families and often the whole family needs support.
Even with so many influences and factors, most recovering addicts will pass through similar phases and stages.
The following are five common stages of addiction recovery:
1. Awareness and Early Acknowledgement
2. Considering Action
3. Exploring Recovery
4. Early Recovery
5. Active Recovery and Maintenance
You and those you care about aren't alone. Help is available. We have a searchable resource directory available for you - just click here. If you prefer to search independently, our online resource directory can help you find treatment centers, recovery support groups, sober living communities and more.
Sort through this directory to look for facilities that are specific to what you are looking for by pulling down on the box that reads All Amenities and scrolling through the options.
If you need help determining what treatments and services would be best, CARE 7 engages people at the point of crisis in their lives and continues to support them with assistance and referral through the continuum of healing and recovery. Representatives of CARE 7 can help you determine which resources will help you or those you care about. You can call them at 480-350-8004 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Tempe Coalition has a mission of reducing underage drinking and drug abuse. Reach out to them at 480-858-2316. If you think your child may be using drugs, contact Not My Kid to obtain free drug testing kits.
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