National Recovery Awareness Month
September is National Recovery Month for those suffering from addiction. The month represents encouraging people to seek treatment and expressing empathy and understanding of their addiction. Addiction is something that has likely touched all of our lives in some way, and it is important that we understand some of the forces behind it so we can create a positive environment for those struggling to feel comfortable and seek help.
- Addiction is a disease.
There has been a lot of controversial conversation surrounding addicts and their use of drugs. Some say that addiction is a choice and that the user knew the consequences of using the drug long before becoming addicted. The diagnostic and statistical manual 5th edition is widely used by mental health professionals to help diagnose mental disorders. Addiction is a biopsychosocial disease. Meaning that biological, environmental, and psychological factors all play into it. While an addict does choose to use drugs or alcohol, it slowly takes over the persons mind and body, and withdrawal can be deadly.
- Withdrawal can be deadly.
Stopping the use of drugs or alcohol without medical supervision can have dire consequences for the suffering addict. Vomiting and diarrhea seem to be the two main factors in withdrawal deaths, causing dehydration and heart failure. However, there are a lot of different symptoms that someone going through withdrawal will suffer from.
- Family and Friend Support Groups.
Having support from your family and friends is a huge part of the recovery process. It’s important to remain non-judgemental if someone tells you they are suffering from addiction. Being supportive and encouraging them to get professional help from a mental health provider. Just like anything in life, we want to be loved and feel supported. Addiction can cause a lot of tension between friends and family, but understanding more about it can help you be more supportive. It is important to encourage the suffering addict to cut ties with other users and to encourage sobriety. Remember, addiction comes with severe cravings for substances, which can happen any time day or night. Be supportive, even if it’s two a.m.
- 41 people die a day from substance abuse.
Every day, 41 people die from abusing substances like drugs or alcohol. This is an alarming number, and raising awareness can help to reduce those numbers. Raising awareness about addiction can help others notice the signs and symptoms of addiction and withdrawal, allowing you the opportunity to reach out and speak up. It may save someone’s life.
- Help lines.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offer an overabundance of information on addiction and specific drugs. They also have help hotlines which can be called any time, day or night, to help suffering addicts get the treatment they need.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 800-662-HELP (4357)