Addiction is the highest level of obsession. It becomes all-encompassing and all pervasive. The alcoholic cannot function without the drink, nor can he or she function with it.
Everyone has some obsession or the other at some point in their lives. A young child may get addicted to a particular food item; a teenager gives the favourite sport top priority, a professional will only work ignoring everything else around him and putting the family on the back burner. These obsessions may fade away with time and do not disrupt or endanger our lives. However, alcoholism or drug abuse is a different matter.
Who is an addict? A drug addict or an alcoholic is someone who continues to use the chemicals despite adverse consequences. Addiction is generally recognised by certain symptoms:
• Slowly friends and family are of no importance as the addiction takes precedence.
• There is now no interest in performing activities which one loved and enjoyed the most.
• Eyes are a window of the body. Dazed, bloodshot, dilated or anything other than normal are a clear sign of something abnormal.
• Borrowing or stealing money from family and friends to buy the drugs/alcohol/other substances.
• Keeping away from home and lying about locations and situations.
The first step on the road to recovery is ‘honesty’. You have to be honest with yourself and accept that you do have an addiction and you want to beat it. This is the most difficult thing to do. Most often addicts do not accept even the suggestion of an addiction. They feel it is a normal, routine life. Accepting the fact and addiction recovery is a big long drawn battle. Professionals at a rehab can help you in intervention for breaking the denial of being the addict.
Once you have accepted your drug addiction or alcohol addiction or any other substance addiction, the next step is to confide in someone preferably a parent or sibling or someone you trust completely. You must have the courage to speak up.
Ask for help in choosing the appropriate de-addiction programme in a rehabilitation centre. Asking for help does not make you a lesser mortal or an inferior person. It does not make you a burden on the family or anyone else. In fact, it indicates courage – the courage to change.
You must not fear or get anxious about the social stigma attached to drug addiction. Addiction is a disease like any other and can be treated with therapy, medication and counselling. There is no shame or embarrassment in accepting your problem. In fact it makes you stronger and a more determined person.
Parents are a big support in these matters. Reach out to them. Talking is also a kind of therapy. Talk to the family or friends. It will be good if you tell them how your addiction started initially. This will help them understand the circumstances and an insight on dealing with the atmosphere at home and provide help and support in the right course.
Take advice on which rehabilitation centre would be helpful in your condition. There are drug rehab and recovery centres, alcohol addiction treatment centres and also clinics which treat every kind of addiction.
Depending on the degree of your addiction, family atmosphere and the social environment you will be advised for residential or out-patient treatment.
The real test of your determination for de-addiction starts when therapy starts. It will be very tough in the beginning but take strength from your peers, counsellors and family.
Remember addiction is a disease and recovery depends a lot on the sort of professional help you seek and family support. You are not alone in the battle for de-addiction. Take help from family and friends to kick the malaise.
Soon you’ll be on the road to recovery!