Addiction II: Treatment & Recovery works if you do the work

Bassey BY
Opinion: Addiction treatment can work, and recovery requires effort and active participation from the individual seeking help. But remember, the rules of recovery must be followed and practiced.
Photo byDim HouonUnsplash

Addiction Part II.

Are you struggling with addiction? You are not alone.

According to The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), "Addiction is a chronic brain disease. Forty million Americans ages 12 or older – or more than 1 in 7 people - have addiction involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs.1 This is more than the number of Americans with heart conditions (27 million), diabetes (26 million) or cancer (19 million)."

A Pew Research Center Survey states that addiction touches the lives of many individuals, families, and communities. Long-term addiction without treatment can impact brain functioning and the loss of jobs, health, finances, family, professional license, and lives.

Long-term drug use impairs brain functioning.
Brain and DrugsPhoto byNational Institute of Health

Then what?

Seek treatment today. Addiction is a treatable disease, and recovery can work if you do the work without stopping. And follow and practice three rules of recovery: An individual removes themselves from people, places, and things that show or remind them of their former drug life.

Who can suffer from addiction?

Anyone can be addicted to a negative behavior or illegal substance. These people can be parents, friends, coaches, doctors, religious leaders, airplane pilots, celebrities, teachers, therapists, or law enforcement personnel.

For example.

Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a former Boston Family doctor, was busted for drug abuse, so he got his medical license suspended. He has been in recovery for fifteen years and now advocates for people struggling with addiction. Also, an instructor at Harvard Medical School speaks from experience and the danger of drug addiction to future nurses and doctors.

Seek help now before it is too late. It gets worse if you delay treatment for a day.

How do you know you are struggling with addiction?

First, talk to your family doctor.

Second, are any of your habits or behavior out of control? For example, this habit or behavior negatively affects your health, finances, career, and relationships. For example, drug use, gambling, or shopping habits negatively affect a person's job or career. Also, a person will get into trouble with the law for possessing illegal drugs or a person uses their children's college funds for their vices.

If any of the above descriptions apply to you or anyone you know, it is time to seek help.

Can addiction kill people?

Sometimes, drug overdose can kill people. Recently, a drug overdose killed three people in New Rochelle and two people in Elmsford, New York.

Can addiction be treated successfully?

"Yes, addiction is a treatable disorder. Research on the science of addiction and the treatment of substance use disorders has led to the development of research-based methods that help people to stop using drugs and resume productive lives, also known as being in recovery."

Can addiction be cured?

"Like other chronic diseases such as heart disease or asthma, treatment for drug addiction usually isn't a cure. But addiction can be managed successfully. Treatment enables people to counteract addiction's disruptive effects on their brain and behavior and regain control of their lives."

What can I do?

Seek help today if you struggle with drugs or any form of addiction. The two important things in treatment and recovery are effort and commitment. Nothing works until we take responsibility and do the work for a long time.

Practical tips to help in treatment and recovery. My professional experience shows these practical tips can work if you do the work during and after treatment.

  1. Take 100% responsibility for your treatment and recovery. Never blame anyone or anything. If you relapsed, start over again and learn from your mistake.
  2. Hire a short-term addiction therapist and long-term recovery sponsor or coach.
  3. Stay away from people, places, and things that entice you to buy or use drugs, gamble, eat, or shop more.
  4. Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health.
  5. Look for a new and form a healthy relationship. Do you remember when or how you started using drugs? We are one of our five friends. We are our friends.
  6. Look at some of your past treatment mistakes and never repeat them. Help yourself grow-drop all negative things, people, and places to be free from addictive habits or behavior.
  7. The ideal mind is a devil's playground. That is, get your hands and mind busy by joining a healthy support group, keeping a side job, or volunteering in a drug-free environment. A drug-free environment includes only attending special events where they do not serve alcohol or drugs.

Seek help today. Call the 24/7 HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY or Text HOPENY (467369), or call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Toll-free and confidential.

Feel free to forward this article to anyone you suspect needs addiction treatment. Let's be part of the solution to drug overdose in our community.


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LMSW* A lifestyle writer helps you get healthier, happier, wiser, and wealthier. I create recipes and stories for us to learn how to live a healthier, better life.

Westchester County, NY

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