Psychotherapist working with drug addicted young man indoors

Substance abuse and addiction have only been increasing since the start of the opioid epidemic, especially during the pandemic. It’s all too common that we see individuals ignoring the signs of addiction which leads to fewer and fewer people seeking out the treatment they desperately need. Opting not to get addiction treatment help and attend a rehab facility only serves to make the problem worse, compounding on the already difficult situation of dealing with addiction.

This can be especially true during the holiday season and winter months as seasonal affective disorder can cause episodes of depression due to the lack of sunlight. Increased levels of stress and anxiety surrounding family gatherings and the pressures of purchasing dozens of gifts can lead individuals to start abusing drugs or alcohol as a way to cope. Even if it seems like this abuse is tied only to the holidays, there’s a strong chance that rehab is still needed even if it’s the most minimal treatment plan.

Substance Abuse and Addiction Worsen Over Time

Addiction isn’t a switch that gets flipped and suddenly your entire life revolves around drugs or alcohol. Like many conditions, it gradually builds upon itself and grows in severity the longer it’s left untreated. Living a life with addiction is living a life held back by the constraints of cravings and dependencies. Not only this, but substance abuse can lead to other health conditions or exacerbate existing ones. Thankfully, the cycle of addiction can be permanently stopped when the proper help is sought out and the individual is committed to a drug and alcohol-free life.

Addiction Doesn’t Just Impact the User

For how common addiction and substance abuse disorder actually are, it’s surprising that there still lies a stigma around it and seeking help. While the media will portray celebrities consuming copious amounts of drugs and alcohol freely, they shy away from highlighting the negative impacts felt on the other side of the abuse. Millions of Americans are currently battling with drug addiction and alcoholism, some as young as 14 years of age. These findings include abuse of:

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamines
  • Heroin
  • Opioids
  • Prescription Medication
  • Cocaine
  • LSD

When any of these substances are at the root of addiction, it can be difficult to see a life without them. The longer a substance is used, the more dependent our brains become on having it around in order to function. This is known as a dependency meaning the central nervous system has changed how it functions in order to accommodate the presence of drugs or alcohol. When the substance is no longer being used, the nervous system goes into a mode of panic as it attempts to relearn how to function on its own again.

The Sooner You Beat Addiction, the Sooner You Get Your Life Back

Since drug abuse can often start as a coping mechanism, many of those afflicted with substance abuse disorder actually prefer their intoxicated state over reality. What they don’t realize is that drugs and alcohol tend to make matters worse once the individual sobers up, leading to even more consumption. Another factor found in those who struggle to overcome addiction is the challenge of withdrawal.

Withdrawal is when one ends drug or alcohol use, prompting the mind and body to initiate a sort of recovery mode that can bring about uncomfortable and painful withdrawal symptoms. In severe cases, these symptoms can even be life-threatening if not handled by medical professionals. Medically-assisted detox is available at professional rehab centers and uses carefully administered medication to address these withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process as comfortable as possible.

When an individual gives themselves this fighting chance, the likelihood of relapse is all but erased. The reality is that addiction doesn’t have a cure, but breaking the overall cycle and equipping yourself to fight off future cravings can provide a drug and alcohol-free future for you and your family.

If the holiday season has put you or someone you know on the path to addiction, we strongly encourage you to reach out to America’s Rehab Campus today for a free consultation. All of our calls and visits are 100% confidential so feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.