Addiction And Relationships: The Hard Truth About The Impact Of Addiction
The strength of personal and romantic relationships is truly put to the test in recovery from alcohol or drug abuse.
or other, long-term, committed relationshipsand substance abuse dont mix. If your partner drinks too much, the effect is felt by his or her spouse and children, friends, relatives, and coworkers.
Many would argue that, aside from the drug abuser, the abusers partner often pays the highest price.
Keep reading to learn the hard truth about addiction and relationships.
What To Look For: A List Of Signs & Symptoms Of Addiction To Steroids
Just as with other prescription and street drugs, addiction may result as a result of the use of steroids. The use of anabolic steroids is associated with multiple physical side effects, such as erectile dysfunction, baldness, stomach pain, and severe acne. While these signs may be of abuse of the drug, they do not necessarily mean addiction.
The main signs of addiction to steroids include the following, particularly if the use of steroids is not discontinued after seeing these symptoms:
- Aggressive behavior
- Swelling of feet or ankles
An Addicted Person Doesnt Need To Hit Rock Bottom To Seek Treatment
In the media, you often hear dramatic stories of addiction recovery after someone lost job, spouse, and kids or ended up incarcerated after turning to a life of crime. While this type of story is compelling, a person doesnt need to hit rock bottom to seek treatment. In fact, early intervention often makes it easier to start the recovery process.
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Warning Signs Of Drug Abuse
Use of recreational drugs, over the counter medications or prescription drugs can lead to substance use issues. It can frequently lead to problems at work, home, school, and in relationships, and leave the user feeling isolated, helpless, or shamed. If youre worried about your own or a loved ones drug use, its helpful to know the warning signs and more importantly, that help is available and treatment works.
Common signs and symptoms of drug abuse
- Risk taking when youre using, such as driving, having unprotected sex
- Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home
- Legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence
Physical warning signs of drug abuse
- Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
- Changes in appetite, sleep patterns, physical appearance
- Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing, or impaired coordination
Behavioral signs of drug abuse
- Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
- Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
- Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
Psychological warning signs of drug abuse
- Unexplained change in personality or attitude
- Sudden mood swings, irritability, spaced-out, or angry outbursts
- Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason
For immediate help and information on treatment, contact the RedlinePhone: 889-9789
The Beginning Of Recovery
Recovery is a life-long process that requires commitment and determination. It is important to note that sobriety and recovery are two very different things. Just because someone is currently sober, it does not mean that they have fully recovered from their addiction. Its one thing to remove a substance from your life, but it is much more difficult to make changes to their lifestyle and their patterns or behaviors.
Emotions will run high and cravings will happen, but its important to keep moving forward to avoid going backward. In the beginning of the recovery process, relapses are likely to occur. However, relapses do not signal the end of the road. If someone is passionate about recovery, they will try their best to continue with sobriety after their relapse.
The recovery process usually begins with rehab. While rehabilitation delivers tools and strategies that can help individuals overcome their addiction, rehab is not the end-all-be-all. It will not magically cure an addiction instead, it will help patients understand the root of their addiction and develop more positive coping mechanisms.
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Find Your Own Path Outside Of Meetings
Attending an addiction recovery group is vital, especially in early recovery, but you will eventually need to find your own path outside of meetings. This means developing your own ways, other than meetings, to support your own recovery. Activities such as volunteering, exercising and attending classes are great options.
The Legal System Enters The Picture
Most people who start out as casual users of drugs or alcohol, then end up in legal trouble related to an addiction that developed, are shocked when it happens. Alcohol abuse can result in being arrested for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence . Buying or being in possession of illegal drugs or prescriptions that dont belong to you can also get a person arrested.
Once a person enters the legal system due to their substance use disorder, life becomes expensive and complicated on a whole new level. The cost of legal assistance, court costs, probation, and loss of income add up quickly. Having an arrest record can affect a persons employment, future financial life, and housing options. The conflict it causes in relationships also takes a heavy toll, with loved ones often being asked to bear an emotional and sometimes financial toll that comes with their loved one being in legal trouble.
The Signs Of Addiction To Opioids
Opioids are one of the most common forms of drugs, and take the form of both prescription painkillers and heroin. Also called opiates and narcotics, opioids are essentially pain relievers made from the naturally occurring opium from poppy plants. Abuse of opioids represents a significant problem in drug and substance abuse as Dr. Nora D. Volkow states, “The abuse of and addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers is a serious global problem that affects the health, social, and economic welfare of all societies.”
As of 2014, close to half a million people used heroin while more than four million people used narcotic pain relievers without a prescription. Prescription narcotic pain relievers include:
While heroin is usually dealt on the street, the most common way of becoming addicted to opioids is by starting to take the medication outlined above. For some, it is very difficult to discontinue the use of these medications even after the prescription has run out. As a result, many people become addicted to prescription opioids and become nonmedical users of the drug later on.
Signs Someone Else Is Addicted:
- Changes in personality and behavior like a lack of motivation, irritability, and agitation
- Bloodshot eyes and frequent bloody noses
- Shakes, tremors, or slurred speech
- Change in their daily routines
- Lack of concern for personal hygiene
- Unusual need for money financial problems
- Changes in friends and activities
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I Have Slipped A Few Times But I Dont Think Im In Relapse
A relapse means you have made a conscious decision to abandon your recovery plan and return to your pre-treatment ways. It is not an isolated incident. There is premeditation. You actually obtain and consume alcohol or drugs. You know the consequences- you have been in recovery. For whatever reasons, you have returned to feeding your addiction. Sometimes when people relapse, they use slips as an excuse. For example, an alcoholic who drank every day might redefine his addiction if he begins to only drink on weekends. He may call these slips, but this patterned behavior is simply not a slip, even if it is only confined to two days out of seven. If you habitually abuse drugs or alcohol, even if it looks different than your prior addictive behavior, you have relapsed. The longer you succumb to your addiction, the harder it will be to return to recovery, but a relapse does not prevent you from choosing sobriety again. Relapse can be prevented, and it doesnt happen overnight. Please read our article about warning signs of relapse to learn more.
The First Step To Overcoming Drug Abuse And Addiction
Developing an addiction to drugs isnt a character flaw or a sign of weakness, and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing illegal or certain prescription drugs can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that makes sobriety seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your situation seems or how many times youve tried and failed before. With the right treatment and support, change is always possible.
For many people struggling with addiction, the toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: recognizing that you have a problem and deciding to make a change. Its normal to feel uncertain about whether youre ready to start recovery, or if you have what it takes to quit. If youre addicted to a prescription drug, you may be concerned about how youre going to find an alternate way to treat a medical condition. Its okay to feel torn. Committing to sobriety involves changing many things, including:
- the way you deal with stress
- who you allow in your life
- what you do in your free time
- how you think about yourself
- the prescription and over-the-counter medications you take
Its also normal to feel conflicted about giving up your drug of choice, even when you know its causing problems in your life. Recovery requires time, motivation, and support, but by making a commitment to change, you can overcome your addiction and regain control of your life.
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Lying About His Or Her Addiction
If you are simply unable or unwilling to come face-to-face with the truth regarding the addiction of your loved one, then there is a good chance that you are actually also enabling his or her addiction by assisting him or her in covering up their alcohol or drug abuse.
Do some of these things sound familiar?
- You have explained the absence of your wife or husband by saying that he or she is ill.
- You have covered up for your adult daughter or son when he or she crashed his or her car.
- You have lied to your own family doctor in order to gain pain medication so that you could share them with your loved one so that he or she doesnt have to buy more illicit drugssuch as heroin or cocaineon the street.
The issue here is that the need for help is impossible to recognize when all parties involved are hiding the truth. Sure, it makes you feel good and better in the moment, but the situation is only getting worse when you do these things for your loved one.
Explore Your Addiction Treatment Options
Once youve committed to recovery, its time to explore your treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:
Detoxification. Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Behavioral counseling. Individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.
Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.
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Remember That Addiction Is A Disease
Drugs and alcohol can rewire the brain, disrupting function and leading to dependency. It results in a distorted value system that shifts toward supporting ongoing substance use.
Its natural to get frustrated with your loved one when you see them doing something thats harmful to their health. For your own well-being, you may occasionally need to limit your contact if that person is actively using substances or alcohol.
But be wary of making them feel like an outcast. This can lead to feelings of shame and make them less comfortable reaching out for support. After they enter recovery, when it feels appropriate, you can slowly open up more communication with them. Try to understand how substance misuse became a routine part of their life and ask how you can best support them.
Prepare For Hard Questions
After admitting your addiction to family and friends, you need to give them the opportunity to ask questions. Prepare to answer some tough ones. These might include:
- Were you an addict before I met you?
- Did you break the law?
- When was the last time you took drugs or alcohol?
- Do you have an STD?
- When did you start using drugs or alcohol?
- Have you quit before?
Answer these questions honestly. Its not necessary to go into explicit detail, but the benefits of openness will outweigh any immediate discomfort. Trust in your loved ones willingness to accept you and your past, which can significantly ease the burden of addiction.
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Signs To Help You Spot An Addict
While you may actually believe the lies that you are currently telling yourself, it is important that you are able to recognize the signs of an addict. Are you able to notice the following signs and symptoms of an addiction?
- Blood shot eyes or pupils that appear smaller or bugger than normal
- Neglected appearance
- Nodding off at inappropriate times
- Appearing drugged or spaced out
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Sudden mood swings
Learn Healthy Ways To Cope With Stress
After addressing your immediate problems with addiction and starting treatment, youll still have to face the problems that led to your drug abuse. Did you start using to numb painful emotions, calm yourself after an argument, unwind after a bad day, or forget about your problems?
Once youre sober, the negative feelings that you dampened with drugs will resurface. For treatment to be successful, youll first need to resolve your underlying issues.
Once you have resolved your underlying issues, you will, at times, continue to experience stress, loneliness, frustration, anger, shame, anxiety, and hopelessness. These emotions are all a normal part of life. Finding ways to address these feelings as they arise is an essential component to your treatment and recovery.
There are healthier ways to keep your stress level in check. You can learn to manage your problems without falling back on your addiction. When youre confident in your ability to quickly de-stress, facing strong feelings isnt as intimidating or overwhelming.
Quickly relieve stress without drugs
Different quick stress relief strategies work better for some people than others. The key is to find the one that works best for you.
Movement. A brisk walk around the block can be enough to relieve stress. Yoga and meditation are also excellent ways to bust stress and find balance.
Step outside and savor the warm sun and fresh air. Enjoy a beautiful view or landscape.
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Take The Next Steps With Synergy Recovery Services
If you or a loved one is suffering with an addiction, the experts at Synergy Recovery Services can help. Our discreet and professional atmosphere allows us to treat the person behind the disease with respect and dignity.
Using a combination of medications and counseling, Synergy Recovery Services offers an addiction treatment program tailored to the individual and their drug history. Contact our offices by calling 661-878-9930 or scheduling an appointment online. Our comprehensive addiction treatment program will provide you with the support that you need to get your life back on track.
Dont Bend The Rules Or Try To Negotiate Your Recovery
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Your Friends Family Or Co
One way to know if you have an addiction is if other people start pointing it out.
People who are close to you will know if somethings off. They may not come out and directly ask you if you have an addiction, but they will notice changes in your appearance, mood, and behavior.
Your instinct will be to lie and hide your substance abuse. Additionally, bringing it up and asking for help is incredibly difficult. If someone who loves you has noticed and is offering you their help, take this opportunity to come out of hiding.
Having just one person on your side who knows about your problem can make all the difference in the world. Dont let pride or shame stop you from getting the help you need and beginning the process of recovery.
Signs You Need Professional Addiction Treatment
Some people choose to join an amateur or semi-professional treatment program. These programs may be able to provide some level of benefit. However, if your addiction is in the moderate or severe range, then you may need to seek professional treatment. Professional treatment will provide you with the right care and support for your individual needs.
Professional treatment centers and programs are accountable to the government, and they are held to a high standard of care. This means you can expect better care and higher quality treatment.
Medical Needs Require Professional Treatment
Serious medical issues make it necessary to seek professional help. Even if you have not met the criteria or you have questions about your use, it is still important to seek professional help. You may believe that you do not have an addiction because of your substance use history. You can schedule an assessment and get answers from a professional who works in the field.
You should also seek professional help if you can:
- Meet the criteria for addiction, but do not believe that you are an addict
- Believe that you have an addiction, but do not understand what treatment is
- Believe that you have a behavioral addiction, such as gambling, but do not understand addiction
- Know someone who has an addiction but cannot recognize symptoms
- Thinking of quitting an addiction because you are aware of the negative effects on your life or health
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