There are many outdated misconceptions about services to treat substance disorders. Some think you must hit rock bottom, but everyone’s journey is different. Someone with a strong support system may get treatment before arriving at the lowest point.
Others believe that treatment is a quick fix that doesn’t hold. However, with dual diagnosis and evidence-based therapies, your treatment can heal co-occurring mental illness and change how you see and value yourself.
And no, you won’t have to put your life on hold or quit your job. If you lead a busy life, outpatient programs are designed not to disrupt your routine.
Lastly, treatment it’s not only for rich people. Financially, there are ways to manage the fees and payments. Most health insurance covers some form of treatment for substance use too.
Thankfully, information is more available nowadays and treatment is more readily available.
When you find yourself, or a loved one, living with drug use, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s hard to find hope sometimes, but there are a variety of treatments to start recovery.
There are many elements playing a role in the development of a drug habit. Genetics and family history can put someone at a higher risk along with the environment and outside influences such as peer pressure or parental neglect.
Untreated mental illnesses, such as depression and post-traumatic syndrome disorder, can lead to drug use to cope with the symptoms. Dealing with chronic physical conditions can also misguide someone towards finding solace in substance use. With the rise of medications such as Oxycodone, a pharmaceutical opioid, drug addiction became a common response to patients that needed pain management.
Note that all the factors mentioned above are not a life sentence. Many elements could prevent the development of substance use.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) reports that, in 2019, nearly 2 million people sought treatment for substance use disorder. The study included people 12 years and older, 26-35 years old, the age range with the most significant percentage. Opioids accounted for 30% of admissions, followed by alcohol with 17% and amphetamines at 12%.
Since 2019, however, the drug crisis in the U.S. has grown substantially, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC found that 13% of Americans admitted starting or increasing substance use to cope with the pandemic.
A 2020 study by SAMHSA reports that Ohio had 69,478 patients in substance use treatment on March 31, 2020. Only three years prior, SAMHSA reported 56,197 patients undergoing treatment in Ohio. As expected, there has been an increase in the number of people going to treatment for substance use.
The relationship between mental health and substance use can be compared with the age-old question: what came first, the chicken or the egg?
There’s a high rate of connection between substance use and anxiety disorders, such as PTSD, panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder, as well as depression, bipolarism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. These conditions, if mismanaged, can lead one to substance use just to cope with the symptoms.
In addition, the chronic use of drugs can alter the user’s brain chemistry short-term and long-term. Our body tries to regulate the effects drugs can have on our brains, resulting in changes that may lower the brain’s potential to regulate emotions and attention, and one can expect to experience various symptoms. Over time, brain regions responsible for judgment, decision-making, learning, and memory can change, making certain behaviors “hard-wired physically.”
Drugs influence your physical health at the molecular level affecting your body’s chemistry and changing systems like metabolism, blood pressure, hormone levels, etc. This can lead to abrupt weight loss, kidney failure, and cardiovascular, respiratory, and liver diseases.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) found that alcohol is the main culprit of 43% of liver disease deaths in the U.S. It also puts people at a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, stomach bleeding, and certain cancers. In Ohio, the annual average of alcohol-attributable deaths for 2015-2019 was 5,739, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Substance use puts you at risk of contracting diseases, depending on the method of consumption. For people using drugs intravenously, there has been an epidemic of hepatitis C and HIV from people sharing needles. Even sharing heated and damaged pipes can spread hepatitis C by causing mouth injuries.
The first step is to go through the withdrawal symptoms that most drugs will cause once you stop using. There are detox centers to go through this process safely. During that time, therapists, nurses, and psychiatrists will ensure you stay healthy and comfortable.
Each drug is different, but the physical withdrawal symptoms can usually be challenging to go through alone. In some instances, the detox from alcohol and benzodiazepines can be deadly, depending on the severity of the drug habit. Your mental health might also be affected, and therapies can begin at this stage.
Fear of withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating and make someone who wants to start their recovery journey shy away from seeking help.
After getting the drugs out of your system, it’s time to tackle mental health. Substance use and mental illnesses are intricately connected. First, chronic drug use can develop mental illnesses. Second, mental illnesses can lead to the use of drugs.
When dealing with drug addiction, there’s a lot to unpack. With the help of trained professionals, you’ll start therapy to treat your drug habit and any co-occurring disorder.
SUN Behavioral Columbus offers diverse therapy modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), group psychotherapy, and recreational therapy in addition to wellness techniques such as mindfulness and stress management.
Our team of professionals will assess the situation and offer an individualized plan to fit your personality and needs.
You can do that in an inpatient program and move into our treatment facility for 24/7 care. We also offer two types of outpatient programs. First are partial hospitalization programs, where you would spend your day at our treatment facility and return home for the night. Second, intensive outpatient programs, where you would spend a few hours in our facility, five days a week.
As another excellent tool for lasting recovery, medication-assisted treatment combines the use of medication with counseling and is highly effective.
FDA-approved drugs such as buprenorphine, used for opioid addiction, and acamprosate for alcohol help with withdrawal symptoms and cravings and ultimately help you keep achieving recovery.
Support groups following the 12-step program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), are popular. AA and NA foster supportive environments but are not formal addiction treatments. Those groups won’t offer interventions such as therapies to tackle the substance disorder and other co-occurring health issues but can work well as part of aftercare.
Aftercare is an integral part of substance use recovery in preventing relapses. Our staff will prepare you for this next phase at the end of your treatment.
During treatment, there are principles to keep in mind:
Don’t wait until the drug habit becomes unbearable. The sooner you start substance use disorder treatment, the better. At SUN Behavioral Columbus, our admissions department is open 24/7. Call us at (614) 454-3911 and begin your journey to recovery today!
Constant drug use results in physical and psychological dependence. Without the drug, the person using it doesn’t feel the same and might experience withdrawal symptoms.
All drugs work through the brain’s reward pathways and can lead to addiction if use ends up taking primacy in someone’s life.