August 2021 - Hader Clinic Queensland

Common Roadblocks that Stop you Seeking Addiction Treatment

It takes a lot of willpower and strength to begin the journey into drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

Often, multiple roadblocks will arise that make it difficult to continue down the road to recovery. Let’s explore some of the common roadblocks and how to overcome them:

The cost of rehab

Many people will be deterred by the cost of rehab. It is an assumption that insurance does not cover rehab costs, however most private health insurance providers do provide some cover for alcohol and drug rehab services, and at the Hader Clinic Queensland, we provide an obligation-free initial consultation that is completely free of charge.

It is also important to consider that the cost of a drug addiction is much higher than the cost of a rehab program. There are fees associated with court, theft and property damages, healthcare, decreased productivity and cost of the drugs themselves that can all culminate in a very expensive addiction. There are also personal costs involved such as emotional, social and physical tolls on you and your loved ones as a result of a drug addiction.

Time commitments of rehab

The time commitment required for rehab is another roadblock that may cause setbacks. Many individuals believe rehab will take up a significant amount of time away from their work or loved ones.

When you think about the time required for rehab, it is important to remember that you need to put some time in to recover. Addictions require professional help and constant management, and cannot be resolved without putting in time to heal. Consider that you will use up more time neglecting a treatment plan, and that your overall quality of life will be improved as a result of the time sacrifice.

Career responsibilities

Job responsibilities are a big reason why individuals may reject addiction treatment. It can be the fear of missing out on work or career goals, or the fear of getting fired due to the drug addiction. You must remember that your addiction will be more damaging to your career than addiction treatment will be. Outpatient treatment options can also be considered that don’t require you to be present in a professional facility 24/7.

Fear of losing friends

Many people who are addicted to drugs often find themselves surrounded with others who contribute to their addiction. You may consider these people your friends, but you shouldn’t fear losing people who are negatively impacting your life.

You may not realise it now, but these people are enabling your addiction. Seeking treatment may require you to cut off some of these ‘friends’ and instead rely on a healthier support system. You may also be the positive example your addicted friends need to seek treatment themselves.

Denial

Denial is the hardest obstacle to overcome if you are trying to seek treatment. There are many turning points that may help you overcome denial, such as losing a job, having a conversation with a loved one, receiving an injury or being arrested. It can be helpful to learn about the science of addiction and the help resources available to you.

If you are struggling to overcome roadblocks to treatment, the Hader Clinic Queensland can offer suggestions for how to get back on track with your life and overcome these obstacles.

 

Is Addiction a Disease?

Is addiction a disease? Yes it is, but unfortunately it is still a popular opinion that addiction is a choice rather than a chronic disease.

This adds to the considerable social stigma addicts and their friends and families face every day, which sometimes acts a barrier for those seeking addiction treatment.

How is addiction a disease?

It is absolutely true that you can’t “catch” addiction like a common cold or virus nor is it a moral failing. Addiction will always start from a decision to experiment with drugs or alcohol, however, when we look at the way addiction works, this is the only major difference between addiction and what we accept to be a disease.

While the act of using a substance is a choice, the process of becoming an addict is not.

No one chooses to develop a substance abuse disorder; addictions evolve over time, changing the brain function and even the brain structure of the user, until quitting is no longer simply a matter of will power.

Most addictive substances overstimulate the production of chemicals that occur naturally in the brain – such as dopamine, adrenalin, endorphins, serotonin – thus giving the user feelings of euphoria and heightened confidence.

Once the effects of the drugs or alcohol wear off, the user is left with a deficit of these chemicals, leading to a steep decline in well-being and subsequent cravings for more drugs to re-establish the sensation of being high and happy.

Depending on how susceptible a person is to the effects of a substance, and depending on their natural capacity to produce these chemicals, the brain will, over time, change in order to accommodate the effects of frequent drug or alcohol use.

Once an addiction has taken hold, it is bound to have negative effects on most areas of the addicts life, much like chronic diseases which lower the quality of the sufferers’ lives significantly.

Addicts are likely to experience physical changes, health problems, social problems and mental health issues as a result of their substance abuse.

Once substance abuse has moved past a person’s control, which is one of the defining characteristics of an addiction, they are going to require professional help in order to be able to break the cycle of addiction.

What difference does it make to treat addiction like a disease?

The biggest upside of recognising addiction as a disease is the instant removal of social stigma.

Addicts are often reluctant to admit their substance abuse issues to themselves or their loved ones, because they fear harsh judgement.

If we understand addiction as a chronic disease, seeking help becomes less daunting and this empowers addicts to take steps towards recovery.

Addiction is not just a physical condition, it is also heavily impacting the users’ mental health, which is why holistic treatments for substance abuse disorders are required for successful treatment.

Addicts beginning the recovery process require not just medical supervision in order to manage their physical withdrawal symptoms, they also need in-depth therapy and mental-health support in order to beat their cravings, break destructive behaviour patterns and understand the triggers that might lead to relapse.

Can addiction be “cured”?

Addiction, much like chronic disease, can not be cured in the traditional sense, however a successful addiction treatment program will address not only the physical, but the emotional, social, psychological, and spiritual aspects of recovery. This helps the recovered addict manage their addictive behaviours and prevent relapse.

Recovery is not possible until a person can recognise the triggers for their addictive behaviour. Identifying and eliminating or minimising triggers is an important step in the journey of recovery.

Sources

https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/brain-health/science-says-addiction-a-chronic-disease-not-a-moral-failing
https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/programs_campaigns/02._webcast_2_resources.pdf
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/addiction-science

How Effective is Rehab for Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

So how effective is rehab for drug and alcohol addiction? Put simply, very. Residential addiction treatment is the most effective form of drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Drug and alcohol rehab is considered successful when the person is abstinent from drug and alcohol use, and they can manage their addictive behaviours. The person’s quality of life will improve as they are able to live their life normally and free from addiction.

How we assess how effective addiction treatment is

There are several criteria to be considered when assessing the effectiveness of addiction treatment for drugs and alcohol, including:

  • Abstinence from drug and alcohol use
  • Improved and sustained employment
  • Higher performance in studies
  • Healing relationships with friends and family
  • Cessation of criminal activity
  • Improved mental health
  • Improved emotional state
  • Improved physical health

Addiction recovery is a life-long process and unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration and feelings of defeat and hopelessness. It is important to understand that every day of sobriety and every improvement, no matter how small, constitutes a win.

How to maximise the effectiveness of addiction treatment?

Long-term recovery and behavioural changes are significantly more likely if the complete rehabilitation process is completed. This process includes:

  • Medical detox – the process of removing the substance from the body and managing the acute withdrawal symptoms safely under medical supervision.
  • Psychosocial education program – a range of psychological therapies, including counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, and strategies on how to manage the person’s addiction.
  • Residential treatment – a period of 30 to 60 additional days spent at a treatment facility, where the education, counselling and therapy program is continued, equipping the person with the life skills necessary to live a normal life free of drugs and alcohol.
  • Transitional housing – a safe, secure, and supportive living environment designed to help the person integrate into normal life. The person is supported through regular group meetings, individual counselling sessions, and daily AA and NA meetings.
  • Aftercare – support is always important for a recovering addict, so aftercare still involves regular meetings and check-ups with GPs and counsellors.

Relapse does not mean failure

Recovery is a process and, unfortunately, sometimes a relapse can occur. However, a relapse does not mean the recovery process has failed.

A relapse can occur as an isolated incident or involve several weeks of engaging in addictive behaviours. It is important to recognise the signs of relapse and act quickly.

This could involve medical detox, and readmission into residential rehab.

Even though relapse can occur, long-term recovery is possible. Recovery isn’t easy – but it’s possible

Support and help is essential

If drug and alcohol use is impacting your ability to live a fulfilling life, support and treatment is available. To find out what help is available, please get in touch.

 

Sources

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-effective-drug-addiction-treatment

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