Substance use disorder appears in many different ways: just as individuals are unique, so are the signs and symptoms of addiction. Approximately 40.3 million Americans 12 or older had a substance use disorder in 2020. Of those, 2.7 million had an opioid use disorder and 28.3 million reported an alcohol addiction. As we near the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, these numbers will most likely increase as many people relied on alcohol and other substances to cope with stress and isolation.
Treatment for substance use disorder is specific to the individual and a care plan should be designed around their specific needs.
Typical signs of a substance abuse disorder include:
- Prioritization of drinking or using drugs
- Loss of relationships with friends or family
- Decline in physical health
- Uncharacteristic emotional breakdowns or fits of irrational anger
- Severe financial difficulties directly caused by substance abuse or associated factors
- Frequent expressions of hopelessness, cynicism, fatalism, despair or suicidal ideation
- Symptoms of depression, anxiety or other forms of mental health conditions
- Significant increase of abuse following a relapse
Treating addiction is not easy. At times, individuals battling addiction fail to see their abuse as a problem and are in denial of the physical, mental and emotional effects of their condition. In other cases, a person reaches “rock bottom” before realizing the harm they are inflicting on themselves and others.
Rock bottom is commonly characterized as the moment a person realizes they want and need to seek help. It often involves an impactful moment that changes their perception of their substance use and leads to their acceptance of the addiction. These moments often revolve around loss: the loss of supportive relationships, financial security, employment, housing and safety or physical and mental health due to their addiction. Individuals can arrive at “rock bottom” after a particular event or following a slow decline over time.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, don’t wait to reach out for help – at any point of drug or alcohol use, you can contact a medical professional for treatment. You are not alone – Oceans is here to help. Our inpatient and intensive outpatient programs offer focused, intense treatment approaches for drug or alcohol addiction and includes both individual and group counseling. The outpatient program can be a next step following successful alcohol or chemical dependency detox or continuing care following completion of an inpatient program. Learn more about Oceans substance use services at https://oceanshealthcare.com/treatment-and-services/substance-use-disorder/