Addiction is relative. What qualifies as an addiction to one person may just be over indulgence for another. For some a single drink can mean addiction. While others can drink every weekend without concern. Someone may be able to smoke pot at a party once and never touch it again. While others keep going on to try harder drugs. It is truly no respecter of person, age, race, gender, or social status. It can be difficult to identify an addict. Especially one who does not admit a problem and is not showing health related symptoms yet. This article will help you to determine if you or a loved one has an addiction that needs addressed with professional help and possibly in-patient treatment.
What is Addiction?
Before you can determine if you or a loved one has an addiction, you must understand what an addiction actually is according to the clinicians. An addiction is a complex condition. It’s a brain disease that is manifested through compulsive substance use in spite of the harmful consequences. People who suffer from it tend to have an intense focus on getting and using a specific substance. This can be drugs, alcohol, food, and much more. This extends to the point that it can take over someone’s life. For those that do develop or have an addiction there are several forms of effective treatment that will be discussed below.
Do I Have an Addiction?
There are several ways to know whether or not you have an addiction. Or if someone you love has an addiction. The diagnostic process for most developed countries is relatively predictable. To begin with a clinician will perform an evaluation in which symptoms are identified. The clinician will use the gathered information to make a diagnosis or several diagnoses as many people with it face issues. Also have comorbid mental health disorders. Once a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan is developed. The purpose of the treatment plan is to eliminate symptoms that may be problematic. Some models use the assumption that the reduction of symptoms leads to improved health. While others do not and instead focus on improving the quality of life. Using this second perspective, improving the quality of life results in symptom reduction. This is known as psychiatric rehabilitation.
Diagnostic labels serve a useful purpose, but mostly for billing and to earn funding for specific needs. If you think you may have an addiction then a good starting point may be to review the following areas that will be clearly explained. Begin by examining the emotional costs of addiction in your life. Are you living with daily feelings of guilt, paranoia that you will be found out, feelings of fear, anger, sadness, boredom, and self-loathing? The frequency of the negative feelings could lead to additional mental health disorders if they are not addressed. Then consider the social costs of it. Have you had important relationships damaged or disrupted due to using? If you are unable to form meaningful connections with others because you limit your social sphere to other with addictions then a problem might exist.
Physical and Health Costs of Addiction
Next look to the physical and health costs of addiction. If you are in generally poor health, have limited personal hygiene, lowered energy, and a diminished enjoyment of sex or even a sexual dysfunction then addiction may be the culprit. It may also affect sleep quality and damage an unborn child if pregnant. Move forward to the intellectual costs of it that are related to the loss of creative pursuits and a decreased ability to problem solve, often related to poor memory.
Continue into the work and productivity costs of addiction in your life. If you have decreased productivity in all or several life areas, start missing important deadlines and fail to meet obligations, then a problem probably exists. An impaired ability to safely operate tools and equipment, including a car, and lost time due to accidents is also a red flag. Also related to lifestyle is the financial or legal costs associated with it. Money spent on the substance of choice or dealing with the health consequences, including legal issues can add up and point to it.
Lost Time Caused by Addiction
Another area of concern is lost time that is sacrificed to the addiction. You may be sacrificing meaningful time with those people and things you love to take part in your addiction. You may also lose personal integrity as your morality may be warped or forgotten to take part in the addiction that has taken over.
The last two may be the most telling. If addiction has taken over you may have a life that is void of purpose and meaning, separating you from loved ones. Finally, addiction also comes at a cost to society as there is a financial cost to those in your area to support such a habit. If these sound like areas in which you have had consistent issues then addiction is likely and you need to seek professional help.
Getting the Help You Need
While there are many options to treat addiction, such as in-patient, out-patient, and group therapy, severe addiction is best treated by a team in an in-patient facility. The River offers a structured, team approach at a top-level facility in Thailand. Rated as one of the best in Southeast Asia, The River can help you overcome your addiction in their 12-week program. They are so certain of the process that if a patient completes the program and relapses within the first year, they are offered a month for free. With this kind of commitment, you can be assured that the program is often successful. The River works with each individual with a three-pronged approach that uses behavioral therapies, life skills, and the teaching of the mind-body connection to create a successful environment and offer the skills necessary to return to a normal life.
When you are ready to take control back in your life instead of turning over everything to feed the addiction, then give The River a call. You can be helped and you are worth the effort it takes to get started on the path to recovery.