These steps will help you find and enroll in a life-saving drug or alcohol rehab program in Pennsylvania:

Drug Addiction

The Nature of Drug Addiction

Addiction is a disorder as old as time. As long as there have been mind-altering substances which give people pleasure, there have been humans developing addiction disorders. However, the ubiquitous nature of addiction hasn’t stopped some people from forming some very extreme misconceptions about drug addiction and the people who are vulnerable to it. Some of these misconceptions include believing that addicts have a low moral character, thinking addicts are selfish and/or lazy, and – perhaps the most erroneous of all – that addiction is a “choice”.

Sadly, many of these misconceptions still linger to this day, even in the face of mounting scientific evidence to the contrary. The official definition of drug addiction is known as “a chronic, often relapsing brain disease which causes compulsive drug use, even in the face of harmful consequences to the suffering addict and their loved ones”. Notice the important part of that definition: the term “brain disease”. Just like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and similar brain diseases, chronic drug addiction changes the structure and function of the brain in ways that make the addiction get progressively worse. Most drug addictions involve one or more of the following mind-altering substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • Crack
  • Ecstasy
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methamphetamines (a.k.a. “Crystal Meth”)
  • Opiate pain killers
  • Percocet
  • OxyContin
  • Vicodin
  • Crystal Meth

But by no means is this a finite list. If you think you may be struggling with a drug addiction, or believe that a loved one in your life is having trouble with substance abuse, there is help available in the form of Residential Rehab, Outpatient Rehab, and more. You shouldn’t hesitate, either; the longer a drug addiction is allowed to progress, the harder it becomes to treat.

What to do if You’re Suffering from a Drug Addiction

If you believe that you may be suffering from a drug addiction, you should get help immediately. Signs of drug addiction include:

  • Continuing to use drugs even in the face of negative consequences
  • Souring or ending relationships with loved ones due to drug use
  • If you find yourself in dire financial straits due to your drug use
  • If you are facing legal consequences as a result of your drug use
  • If you isolate yourself or participate less in fun activities because of your drug use

If any of the above apply to you, then it’s time to talk to a professional addiction specialist. They can provide you with resources for getting help so that you can begin the journey towards recovery.

What to do if Someone You Care About is Suffering from a Drug Addiction

For starters, you need to be patient with them – especially if they aren’t ready to admit that they have a problem yet. Confronting them directly may provoke them to distance themselves from you, push them to use more, or both. The goal is to approach your loved one in an understanding and compassionate manner so that they know your concerns are coming from a place of love, not judgement or anger. Even if you are angry about your loved one’s drug use, try your best to put those feelings aside. Adding stress to their situation by voicing your anger and resentment is only going to make their condition worse, not better.

Try your best to avoid coercing or manipulating your loved one into seeking help with ultimatums, punishments, or “tough love“. Odds are that they’re already suffering unpleasant consequences due to their drug use; additional punishment (or threats of punishment) are only going to add to the stress and anxiety that motivates their addiction. Instead of using the stick, start with the carrot. After all, drug addiction is based on reward-seeking behavior. If the reward you offer is enticing enough, it could effectively motivate them away from their compulsion to use. Like the old saying goes: you attract more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

If you’ve tried the heartfelt, compassionate approach and they still refuse to get help or acknowledge that they have a problem, it may be time to get advice from a professional addiction counselor. They can offer your resources and strategies to get your loved one the help they need. Call today for more information.