What are your answers about substance abuse?

September is Substance Abuse Recovery month.

In recognition of Substance Abuse Recovery Month, I would like to take the opportunity to raise awareness about substance abuse symptoms and the possibilities for long term recovery from substance abuse and addiction.

Here are questions that may be used to evaluate your own or a loved one’s dependence on substances;

Do you ever use alcohol or drugs alone?

Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain prescription drugs?

Do you regularly use alcohol or drugs when you wake up or when you go to bed?

Do you avoid people or places that do not approve of you use?

Has your job or school performance ever suffered from the effects of your use?

Have you ever been arrested as a result of your use?

Have you ever lied about what or how much you use?

Do you put the purchase of alcohol or drugs ahead of your financial responsibilities?

Have you ever tried to unsuccessfully stop or control your using?

Have you ever been in a jail, hospital, or a rehabilitation center because of your using?

Does using interfere with your sleeping or eating?

Do you feel it is impossible for you to live without alcohol or drugs?

Is your use making life at home unhappy?

Have you ever thought you couldn’t fit in or have a good time without drugs?

Do you think a lot about alcohol or drugs?

Has using affected your relationships?

Have you ever used alcohol or drugs because of emotional pain or stress?

Do you continue to use despite negative consequences?

Recovery is a possibility. You do not have to continue living in pain. There are many pathways to long term recovery. Here are a few things to consider when looking into options in substance abuse treatment:

No single treatment is appropriate for all individuals.

Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug addiction.

Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical for treatment effectiveness.

Counseling and behavioral therapies are critical components of all effective treatments for addiction.

For certain types of disorders, medications are an important element of treatment, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.

Addicted persons with coexisting mental issues should have both disorders treated in an integrated way.

Medical management of withdrawal syndrome is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use.

Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.

Various types of programs offer help in alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation, including:

Residential treatment (in-patient), typically 28-90 days in a treatment facility.

Out-patient, attend treatment during your normal day.

Intensive out-patient

Local support groups, community based groups willing and able to help.

Holistic medicine approaches.

Recovery or sober living houses.

Newer rehab centers offer age and gender specific programs.

Long term recovery from substance abuse is a reality and there are a tremendous amount of resources available to those who want help or just want to know more:

Contact a local substance abuse agency or counselor, in the yellow pages under Alcoholism or Drug Abuse.

Contact local community based support groups which are typically in the newspaper or phone book.

Use the internet to search for the words “Substance Abuse Treatment.”

Go to the website, http://www.recoverymonth.org