When drug addiction becomes a part of our lives, the stark realities inevitably include sickness, financial ruin and the constant threat a fatal drug overdose. However, with a growing recognition of the potential for transformation that appropriate treatment provides, an increasing number of drug addiction stories are about redemption and restoration from the horrors of a chemically imbalanced lifestyle.
For many people like James, whose substance abuse began at the early age of nine, the hope of recovery often seems like an impossible dream. According to James, alcohol and heroin had become a way of life for him. Then one day, “I realized that I was incapable of putting a stop to my drinking and drug use on my own” James said in his drug addiction story. Like many others before him, finally reaching out for help has been the turning point that changed the trajectory of his life. Today, James says he is all about helping others and he shares his story with the hope that it may rescue someone from going down the dark path of addiction that he took.
Most people that fall into addiction make the critical mistake of believing that drugs and alcohol will always provide that initial relief or euphoria. In fact, addiction is the end result of the perpetual quest to repeat those good feelings. This was clearly evident in a 1988 LA Times article that chronicled the experience of medical professionals who experience addiction. In a candid recounting of his addiction to the narcotic anesthetic Fentanyl, one anesthesiology explained that he decided to use the drug when he saw how it made his patients feel. After just one intravenous self-administration of the drug that diminished his feelings of tension, anxiety and heightened his feelings of efficiency and control, in his own words he said he was hooked. “My mistake” he said “was in thinking that I would always feel this way.”
What followed was a lifestyle of addiction that ultimately threatened the lives of his patients and impaired his health. Addiction stories such as these are prevalent in society today. Many individuals falsely believe that because they have an understanding of these chemical substances or still function while under the influence of drugs and alcohol they are beyond being trapped in the cycles of addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) describe addiction as a progressive brain disease. Without treatment, habituated drug abuse inevitably causes severe neurological impairments, overdose deaths and in some instances chronic life-threatening health issues. Also, long before these physical and psychological impairments manifest, people that operate under the influence of these mind altering substances endanger themselves and others through errors in judgement, vehicular and on the job accidents.
Chronic use of drugs can make the decision to seek treatment difficult if not impossible for some addicts. As such NIDA scientist suggest that family and friends can play a key role in helping their loved ones in addiction to identify, enter and stay in treatment. Whatever form this critical assistance takes, studies show, for many individuals, it has turn out to be life-changing and in some instances life-saving. The initial step is to recognize when someone has a drug or alcohol problem or is in crisis. Staging an intervention often help the person in addiction to recognize for the first time the severity of the problem and the impact it is having on everyone, including themselves.
Drug interventions are designed to bring awareness without judgement as well as to help remove potential hindrances to the treatment process. As such, families are encouraged to seek out the help of a professional drug interventionist to assist with the planning and execution of a drug intervention. For individuals with a drug addiction problem or a loved one struggling with a substance abuse problem, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and drug rehab facilities offer various resources to that can help families to explore and identify treatment and recovery options that are best for them.
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