News, Culture & Society

What Families Should Know About Addiction

Most of us don’t ponder the possibility of addiction being a symptom of another problem, but in some cases it is.  When psychological disorders and conflicts dealing with negative experiences in life contribute to the onset and intensity of substance abuse, it becomes increasingly difficult for the addict’s loved ones to find the right approach for a successful recovery.

Out of the 22 million Americans that meet the criteria for substance use disorder, only 11 percent actually pursue recovery efforts.  One reason why this percentage is low is due to other psychological conditions that may be causing the addiction. As stated earlier, many people have psychological disorders that are also occurring with the addiction, which increases the odds that the person won’t reach out for help with the addiction. Therefore, it is imperative all conditions are diagnosed properly to discover the right approach to recovery and to maximise all recovery efforts.

Common conditions that occur along with substance abuse are obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, etc.  Studies have also shown that childhood traumatic experiences like emotional and child abuse often encourage substance abuse in adulthood.

Other compulsive actions known as addiction interaction disorders (AID) can also co-occur with addiction. Common addiction interaction disorders include shopping, sexual addictions, gaming, gambling, work addiction and eating disorders.

Although these disorders can occur without substance abuse ever becoming a possibility, they have been known to increase the likelihood of eventual problems with drug and/or alcohol addiction. For example, some people may adopt the use of drugs and alcohol as a means of self-medication to alleviate the symptoms of these disorders. Unfortunately, these self-medication efforts can lead to other issues like stealing, lying and harm to self or others.

People who have other conditions existing with the addiction may not realize they need help, which makes it even more difficult for their loved ones to help them.  However, for successful recovery, all coexisting conditions need to be acknowledged, diagnosed and treated. In order for your loved one to have a successful recovery and return to a normal and successful life, all coexisting conditions need to be treated—not just the symptoms of the addiction.

It’s common to blame all behaviors on the addiction when your loved one is displaying symptoms of other conditions. That’s why it’s important to get professional help to determine if there are underlying conditions fueling the addiction.  The goal is to address all issues so the best course of treatment will be provided.

Many recovery service agencies utilise what is referred to as an integrated treatment model to treat all conditions that coexist with the addiction. Ongoing evaluations are implemented to assess the patient’s physical and mental health. Also, evaluations are conducted to document the person’s experiences during the addiction and during recovery. In short, when recovery agencies use the integrated treatment method, they employ a variety of assessment tools to maximise treatment and enhance recovery efforts.

If you’re at the point where you want your loved one to get help, now is the time to seek professional help and get your loved one evaluated. You can have an evaluation done over the phone, face-to-face during in office here at brightview health.  This may be a tough decision to make at first, but it’s necessary if you want your loved one to recover from this addiction.


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