8 Reasons to Start Your Addiction Recovery Today

Nzinga Harrison, MD
January 15, 2020

No two people experience addiction in the same way, which means it can be difficult to know when to seek treatment. Many people might think that they don’t need treatment because they haven’t “hit rock bottom.” Others might think their drug or alcohol problem isn’t “bad enough.” While the severity of addiction ranges from person to person, it is a progressive illness. Without treatment, negative side effects and consequences can worsen over time.

This means there is no bad day to begin treatment. It’s better to get help at the first sign of the problem and before a substance addiction becomes overwhelming. Here are the top reasons to seek addiction treatment today and take the first step in the recovery journey.

1.   Repair relationships with family members and friends

The disease of addiction not only affects the individual but also the individual’s relationships with their family, friends, and partners. Loved ones need to cope with the problems addiction causes, such as:

  • Feelings of guilt, shame, anger, fear, or hopelessness

  • Lack of communication

  • Broken trust

  • Financial hardships and strain

If your relationships have been affected by addiction, recovery can be a healing process for both you and your loved ones. Some treatment programs may involve loved ones in therapy or provide support groups for those impacted by addiction. Together, you can learn how to communicate and build trust again.

2.   Rebuild your career and professional commitments

Issues at work may start small, like an occasional missed deadline or arriving late once or twice. As the addiction progresses though, these minor issues become a pattern of problems that lead to poor performance and other consequences such as:

  • Physical injuries or accidents at work

  • Conflicts with coworkers or boss

  • Withdrawal symptoms that affect attendance or performance

  • Risk-taking that impacts the company

If you’re afraid of losing your job, or if you already have, it’s time to evaluate your drug or alcohol use. Treatment programs can connect you with career coaching services to help you keep your current job or put you on the path to getting the job you want. Programs may also offer flexible appointment scheduling or virtual services that allow you to meet your treatment needs and professional obligations in parallel.

3.   Prevent and treat physical health problems

Substance use disorders are associated with a number of short- and long-term health effects. These effects differ depending on the drug type, how much is consumed, how often it’s used, and the person’s overall health and well-being.

As prolonged substance use progresses into addiction, complicated health problems and chronic disorders can develop, including:

  • Heart conditions such as abnormal heart rates, collapsed veins, and heart attacks

  • Lung conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, and tuberculosis

  • Stomach conditions such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and severe constipation

  • Kidney and liver damage

  • Seizures, stroke, memory loss, and brain damage

  • Weakened immune system and increased risk of HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis, and other infectious diseases

If you’re experiencing any of these complications, take that as a sign from your body that you need help. Many treatment programs include or help you to navigate medical services that help manage your overall health conditions as you recover and heal.

4.   Take care of mental and behavioral health needs

Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows that about half of people who experience a substance use disorder experience will also have a mental illness at some point in their lives. These include:

For some people, they develop mental health problems as a result of drug or alcohol use. For others, they use substances as a way to ease mental illness symptoms. No matter the cause, it is important to treat both addiction and mental health at the same time.

Many programs use a treatment approach that combines psychiatric medication management with individual and group therapy. If you feel overwhelmed by your addiction and mental health issues, treatment can help you manage your symptoms.

5.   Avoid injury to yourself and others

The parts of the brain responsible for judgment, vision, and coordination are among the first to be negatively impacted by alcohol and drug use. As a result, people who use substances are more likely to get hurt than people who don’t. These injuries can happen due to accidents like car crashes, fires, or falls. They may also be a result of violence, either as the aggressor or the victim.

Injuries can affect you and others for life. If you’ve injured yourself or others as a result of substance use, it’s important to get help before another one happens.

6.   Undergo withdrawal and detox safely

When stopping alcohol or drug use, you will often feel worse before you start to feel better. Withdrawal is the process of the body adjusting to a lack of substances and can cause physical and emotional distress. The seriousness of these symptoms differs from person to person and depends on age, health, length of substance use, and amount of substances used.

If you’ve tried to stop substance use and experienced unpleasant symptoms, doctor supervision and medication can help – call 866-723-7354. or email gethelp@eleanorhealth.com so we can walk you through withdrawal safely.

7.   Replace unhealthy relationships with a network of supportive peers

Recovery can be hindered by unhealthy relationships with others who use drugs or alcohol. Separating the people from the substances themselves is challenging, which is why it’s recommended to step back from friendships centered around substance use. If you’re looking to build healthy relationships that support healthy living, addiction treatment can help.

Many programs bring together people in recovery through group therapy and peer support networks. Together, you’ll help each other during difficult moments and celebrate your achievements throughout recovery.

8.   You’re worth it

Addiction can make you feel lost, hopeless, and insecure. Those feelings might make recovery seem like an obstacle but joining a treatment program is a great opportunity to build your confidence and momentum towards the future you want.

If you need help with your substance use disorder, we are here to help you build your confidence and momentum towards the future you want. We provide treatment services for adults with alcohol, opioid, and other substance use disorders. We are currently located in Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.

Get Started Today

Nzinga Harrison, MD

Dr. Harrison serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Eleanor Health with more than 15 years experience practicing medicine. She is a double-board certified physician with specialties in general adult psychiatry and addiction medicine. Dr. Harrison has spent her career as a physician treating individuals from marginalized communities with substance use and other psychiatric disorders. As a physician executive, she has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer roles committed to creating and improving systems-based delivery of psychiatric and substance abuse care. She is a vocal advocate for stigma reduction, and is passionate about the necessity for whole-person care as individuals and communities seek to recover from and prevent substance use disorders.

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