acquiesce - June 20th, 2021

How to Seek Help When Struggling with Drug or Alcohol Addiction

If you think you may be struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction and are looking to seek help, that’s great news. The first step to recovery is being able to recognise that you have a problem and wanting to make a conscious effort to stop it.

If you’re unsure whether or not you have an addiction but are concerned about your drinking/drug habits, here are some common behavioural, psychological and physical signs and symptoms of a substance addiction to help you to identify whether or not you should seek help. 

Behavioural Signs of an Addiction:

  • Poor performance and/or attendance at work, college or school.
  • Withdrawing from social occasions
  • Lack of care for family or personal safety
  • Engaging in negative behaviour or failure to stop using drugs or alcohol despite the negative consequences
  • Agitation of lack of communication with loved ones
  • Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed e.g. hobbies
  • Lack of attention to personal responsibilities
  • Dishonest and secretive behaviour
  • Stealing or selling belongings to gain money to fuel addiction
  • Lack of physical exercise and movement.

Psychological Signs of Addiction:

  • Regular and extreme mood swings
  • Increased temper and feelings of anger
  • Becoming agitated or irritated often
  • Memory problems
  • Becoming defensive during conversations
  • Lack of self-esteem, self-confidence and self worth
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Poor judgement and lack of care for personal wellbeing
  • Lack of sleep and fatigue
  • Paranoia and stress
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Addiction can also manifest itself as an increase in any existing mental health problems.

Physical Signs of an Addiction:

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Disturbed sleep patterns or insomnia
  • Fatigue, tiredness and exhaustion
  • Decrease in personal hygiene
  • Lack of care for physical appearance
  • Withdrawal

Signs of Withdrawal:

  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sweating
  • Aches and pains
  • Shaking
  • Retching
  • Seizures
  • Delirium Tremens

Once you have acknowledged that you have an addiction, you can make the decision to start the recovery journey. Usually, those struggling with an addiction ‘hit rock bottom’ or ‘a turning point’ first before realising they need to make a change. This tends to be when it begins to significantly impact them financially and put heavy strains on relationships or when their job is at risk as a result of their addiction. Unfortunately, for some with severe addictions, these factors aren’t enough to encourage them to seek help and get on the road to recovery.

Getting the Right Kind of Help

The NHS recommends that those struggling with addictions seek professional help from a treatment centre when trying to quit the substance that you are addicted to. This is incredibly important as attempting to quit alcohol or drugs cold turkey or unattended by a professional can be very risky. 

Due to the way in which the body can become dependent on drugs and alcohol, cutting off the supply too quickly can lead to more extreme withdrawal symptoms including life threatening seizures and Delirium Tremens. Not only are you at greater risk of these fatal symptoms, you’re also more likely to start using the substance again if you find the withdrawal symptoms too intense and you are unsupervised, leading to a relapse. 

At Acquiesce, we can help you on the way to a successful recovery journey, starting with a safe and supervised detoxification process, helping you to manage the nasty withdrawal symptoms that follow, preventing a relapse so early on.

We also know that overcoming an addiction is more than just quitting the substance and battling the withdrawal stage. Addiction is very much a psychological reliance as well as a physical dependence. This means someone with an addiction feels they cannot relax or function normally without taking drugs or alcohol. Many people suffering with addiction also have pre-existing mental health problems and use alcohol as a way to cope with their thoughts and feelings, soon becoming reliant upon it.

That’s why at Acquiesce, we have different programmes to help target the physical, psychological, spiritual and social sides of your addiction through the use of interventions that have been developed based on research and evidence, alternative therapies and activities, all of which are delivered by our highly trained and experienced team. These include a combination of the 12 Steps and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which complement each other incredibly effectively.

How to Seek Help

If you believe you are struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, treatment at Acquiesce begins with a free confidential consultation with a Recovery Practitioner in order to establish the individual needs and suitability for safe treatment with our service. This can be done via phone or by booking an appointment at the treatment centre. 

Often individuals with an addiction feel shame or embarrassment which prevents them seeking the right kind of help that they need. If you are experiencing these feelings, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease, just like any other and that your number one priority should be getting better. Discussing your addiction with a friend or relative can help to take some of the pressure off and you’re more than welcome to bring them along to your consultation if this would make you feel more comfortable.

Alternatively, you may wish to speak with your GP first, who will discuss the options you have such as from local community addiction services. You can also ask about free local support groups and other addiction counselling that you feel may suit you best.

For more information, click here to schedule a free consultation call today.

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