To truly comprehend the benefits of rehab and treatment, you first need to understand the problem of drug abuse.
Drug abuse continues to be a huge problem in the U.S., and it’s continuing to grow. Nearly 23 million Americans are addicted, while nearly 20% of adults polled admitted to using illicit drugs in the past month, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In addition, more than 19,000 people die of drug-induced causes each year, which breaks down to roughly one drug death every 30 minutes nationally.
Why Drug Abuse Happens
The dangers are well-known, and it’s clear that drug abuse exacts a price that is both financial and personal—but drug abuse continues to happen. Why? What makes intelligent, compassionate people travel down this path? For some, they are trying to dull the pain of a past or present hurt. Others are self-medicating, trying ease the symptoms of a possibly undiagnosed mental health issue like depression, anxiety, trauma or bipolar disorder. Some begin taking a legal drug under a doctor’s orders, but eventually find they are using it for different reasons. Others simply fall into drug use out of boredom, as a means of experimenting or as a diversion, never imagining they won’t be able to stop when they want to.
The drugs may differ – ranging from illicit drugs like heroin or cocaine, inhalants, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals to dietary supplements or non-pharmaceutical inhalants—the problem is the same: drug abuse.
A Professional Opinion
Despite the toll addiction takes, someone with a drug abuse problem is usually reluctant to acknowledge the struggle he or she is going through, especially when confronted. The idea of rehab or treatment can seem frightening, but a drug abuse counselor can help by getting beyond the emotions and presenting the facts of addiction and providing a professional evaluation. Loved ones mean well, but their intentions are often clouded by emotions that rise to the surface during conversations about getting treatment for drug or alcohol dependency. That’s why it’s a good idea to bring in a professional when trying to determine if rehab is the right approach.
When seeking treatment, it’s important to find a program with a staff that is experienced specifically in treating drug addiction. Look at the staff-to-client ratio and see whether they provide treatment for co-occurring disorders (the treatment of drug abuse in conjunction with any mental or emotional conditions that may have contributed to the drug use in the first place). This is known as integrated treatment, and it has been shown to be the most successful when it comes to achieving long-term recovery.
Time for Treatment
Those who acknowledge they have a problem may still be reluctant to get treatment, afraid that taking time out of their regular life isn’t possible. We understand that making time for treatment is difficult, but the ramifications of not getting treatment are far greater. It’s never going to be a good time to enter rehab, but when it’s necessary—and when it’s entered into for the right reasons—treatment can be life-changing and even life-saving.