Alcohol and drug consumption is a social pastime all across the world. However, for some, the slippery road down to addiction often catches them by surprise, and the last thing in their subconscious at such a time is the negative consequences associated with substance abuse. Alcohol and drug addiction is a severe problem in contemporary society and impacts millions of people leading to dire consequences. There is a thin line between using alcohol and drugs as a pastime and being addicted, and many people are not aware when they cross it. For this reason, addicts continue to suffer the damaging effects of alcohol addiction instead of getting help. Frequently, addicts are not able to determine when they need treatment.
It is important to note that alcohol and drug addiction can severely deteriorate the quality of life of an addict. Substance abuse not only impacts one’s ability to function but also causes severe distress. However, because many people overlook the concept of addiction and attempt to live as functional addicts, diagnosis is often made too late. At that time, the addict’s condition is severe and makes them susceptible to serious medical complications. However, the good news is that drug and alcohol addiction is treatable. Treatments include medication and behavioral therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), family therapy, and Contingency Management Therapies (CMT). If you are reliant on drugs or alcohol or have loved ones who suffer from addiction, then this article could help you identify whether it is time to seek treatment.
Inability to Stop
An inability to stop substance abuse despite numerous attempts is the primary characteristic of addiction. If one tries multiple times to stop addiction habits or reduce alcohol consumption without success, then it might be time to solicit professional help.
Many people are not willing to admit they have a problem until a medical complication arises. For example, alcohol abuse exposes one to severe negative impacts on health. These complications are:
- Liver disease – Alcoholic liver disease damages the liver, causing inflammation, scarring, and a buildup of fats. Over time, scarring can become permanent leading to liver failure and eventually, death.
- Brain Damage – Alcohol addiction could disrupt motor coordination, impair vision, and interfere with a person’s reaction time. Since alcohol is a depressant, it often leads to a decreased ability to process information and solve problems. Additionally, heavy drinking puts one at risk of brain damage and also increases the possibility of falls or accidents.
- Cardiovascular Disease – Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to a risk of heart failure, angina, and high blood pressure. Excessive alcohol consumption could cause fluctuations in blood pressure and escalate the possibility of getting a stroke.
If one experiences such medical complications and still finds it hard to stop drug abuse, then it is vital to seek treatment.
Other signs that could signal it is time to seek treatment are:
Loved Ones May Continually Complain About Addiction
Those closest to a person may be better placed to tell when alcohol or substance abuse problems progress to adverse levels. Loved ones are frequently the first to spot inappropriate behavior and may continually complain about one’s lack of control over consumption of drugs.
The costs of maintaining and hiding an addiction are often too high to ignore. Due to a lowered inhibition when under the influence and also to sustain the use of drugs and alcohol, an addict may be prone to impulsive financial decisions that strain his or her finances and even fall into debt. Addiction renders its victims unable to effectively have control over their finances.
In most cases, excellent financial plans and budgets are usually disrupted when the person is under the influence of alcohol. If financial strain, severe debt issues, or reckless and impulsive purchasing decisions are the norm, and can be directly attributed to drug or alcohol abuse, then it could be time to seek treatment.
People experiencing substance abuse problems find it difficult to sustain relationships. An addiction problem impairs cognitive function causing one to neglect important duties within the family. Substance abuse could thus render a person unable to work or study. For example, since an alcoholic’s ability to make decisions is often affected, the individual is unable to fulfill their commitments resulting in conflict and breakdown in relationships. If drug or alcohol addiction interferes with one’s relationships, then it could be time to seek treatment.
Evidently, drug or alcohol addiction can be debilitating to the addict’s life. If the habit leads to adverse physical effects, strains relationships, and affects one’s financial stability, then it is essential to seek treatment. It is imperative to note the signs early enough to avoid the risk of failed relationships/marriages, inability to fulfill daily obligations, and even death. The scourge of drug and alcohol abuse affects society from the family unit. Therefore, seeking treatment for addiction is an excellent way to secure the future of generations to come.