Although we now know much more about addiction and its treatment than ever before, the truth of the situation can still be shocking and frightening. Here are 5 fundamental truths about addiction which everyone needs to understand:
1. Addiction is a Treatable Disease
The life of an addict is not glamorous and it seems fair to say that nobody wants to be an addict. Although they might have made the choice initially, few are aware of the changes which an addiction will make to their body and mind. The medical community now recognizes addiction as a disease of the brain and it is vital that we change the way we consider addiction to accommodate this.
2. The Person is Still in There Somewhere
While it’s true that many addicts change their personality in the face of their illness, lying to gain access to their particular need, ceasing contact with family members or losing motivation, it’s also true that a rehab center and the treatment which goes along with recovery can help that person to rediscover who they are.
3. Addiction Affects Everyone
Watching a loved one battle any kind of illness is frustrating. Watching them become overtaken by an addiction is equally heartbreaking and frustrating. The chances are the addiction will not only make the addict ill, but will also affect their whole family and circle of friends. Some might avoid social situations, change their personality as they struggle to cope, or turn to lies and excuses to defend their loved one. They may even feel selfish for wanting to protect or care for themselves rather than their loved one, but by staying strong and “well,” they will be in a much better position to work alongside a rehab center to help their loved one overcome their addiction.
4. The Addict Needs Support
It’s not easy loving someone who has an addiction. Whatever the particular addiction might be, it is likely that they’ve changed from being the person you loved and now seem selfish in their pursuit. There is a belief that addicts must hit “rock bottom” before they can begin their recovery, but we now know this is not true in all cases. Family and friends can be just as important in bringing the addict to recovery by supporting them while they undergo treatment at a rehab center. What matters most is the fact that they are in recovery, not what brought them there.
5. Relapse is Common
A relapse might seem like a failure and can be especially devastating in sight of the effort which has been put in to recovery. However, addiction is a chronic disease and sadly is not quickly fixed. Relapse may happen, even years into recovery. What is essential though is having the tools to manage the relapse successfully. Vantage Point near Woodland Hills has been working with addicts and their families since 2001 in order to help provide these tools. The company offers support to addicts as well as their friends and family.
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