Substance Abuse

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Each year, millions of Americans deal with substance abuse problems. If you’re struggling with substance abuse, or have been for a while now, you aren’t alone. While you might be tempted to keep your abuse a secret, it’s important that you speak up and seek out help.

How to Get the Help You Need

“There are millions of people who suffer from substance addiction and mental health disorders every year; and sadly, because of social stigma, a lot of those people refuse to seek treatment, continue to live with their disorders and destroy every aspect of their lives,” Drug Treatment Finders explains.

While it may not seem like it when you’re overwhelmed by darkness and depression, you have a lot of life left to live. There’s hope and light beyond the toxicity of substance abuse and addiction. But in order to enjoy a fresh start, you have to get the help you need.

Here’s where you can begin:

1. Understand Causes and Triggers

The first step is to understand your causes and triggers. In other words, what is it that compels you to turn to drugs and alcohol? For some, substance abuse is tied to a mental disorder – such as extreme anxiety or bipolar disorder. For others, it’s a generational issue that has been present in the family for decades. Some use it as a stress-relieving mechanism, while others want to numb physical or emotional pain.

2. Contact SAMHSA

If you’re in immediate danger and/or don’t have anyone you can speak with, help is only a phone call away. The SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7/365 treatment referral and information service that helps thousands of people just like you every year. Simply pick up the phone and dial 1-800-662-HELP.

3. Talk With a Family Member

While your family and friends probably a know a lot more about your situation than you think, part of your recovery will require that you talk with them. Not only will you need to apologize for how your behavior has most likely affected them, but you should also implore them to help you get the assistance you need.

The key here is to welcome your loved ones into your life without placing too many expectations on them. They can’t make you quit or do the recovery work for you. However, they can provide the emotional support you need to thrive.

4. Find a Treatment Center

You’ve probably tried to kick your addiction on your own (and it didn’t work). Substance abuse is very much a mental disorder and you need specialized help in seeking recovery. Just as you wouldn’t try to remove your own appendix, you shouldn’t play doctor when it comes to substance abuse. In many cases, a treatment center is the answer.

There are dozens of treatment centers around the country, so do your research and find one that fits your needs, preferences, and budget. It’s also wise to review your insurance to see what your plan covers (if anything).

5. Restructure Your Life

Substance abuse isn’t something you just fix and walk away from. For most people, it’s a lifelong battle that requires discipline, patience, and mental fortitude. After getting professional treatment, restructure your life so that your triggers are less likely to come into play.

Take the First Step

It doesn’t matter how badly your spouse, parents, child, or best friend wants it for you. In order to finally tackle your substance abuse problems once and for all, you have to take the first step and seek help. Using this as a foundation, people can then circle around you and provide the encouragement and assistance you need to get better.