Not all secrets are bad, but sometimes a secret can become deadly. There’s a big difference between a bad habit and a deadly one. There’s no question that abusing drugs or alcohol can be deadly. If you are keeping addiction a secret, you face many dangers that could ultimately make things harder for you. In this article, we’ll look at the reasons why revealing a secret addiction is vital in order to recover from drug or alcohol addiction.
Having a secret addiction can be overwhelming. If you want to talk to someone about getting help, please contact us at 405-583-4390. We can direct you to treatment facilities near you that will provide compassionate care.
More Than One Problem with Addiction
If you are abusing drugs or alcohol, then they likely aren’t your only problem. Unfortunately, there are other factors involved with addiction that create greater urgency to get help. Lung disease, heart disease, other cardiovascular issues, cancer, and mental health issues are among the ailments that addicts must face other than their addiction. These are serious problems for anyone, but the problems become more potent when you add addiction to the mix. Fortunately, when addiction treatment facilities develop treatment plans for patients, they don’t just treat the addiction. They look at other problems that the person may be facing. Health issues, family problems, mental issues, and others can make recovery more difficult. You must deal with those issues as well as the addiction itself.
Moreover, many health issues can occur along with addiction. According to DrugAbuse.gov, “It is now well-known that tobacco smoke can cause many cancers, methamphetamine can cause severe dental problems, known as meth mouth, and that opioids can lead to overdose and death. In addition, some drugs, such as inhalants, may damage or destroy nerve cells, either in the brain or the peripheral nervous system (the nervous system outside the brain and spinal cord). Drug use can also increase the risk of contracting infections. HIV and hepatitis C (a serious liver disease) can occur from sharing injection equipment or unsafe practices such as condom-less sex. Infection of the heart and its valves (endocarditis) and skin infection (cellulitis) can occur after exposure to bacteria by injection drug use.”
Preventing Other Issues
Some people abuse drugs to ease their depression. In some cases, mental diseases like schizophrenia, depression, or anxiety begin before drug or alcohol abuse even begins. That means that the addict has more than one problem to face. Each problem creates its own challenges. The good news is that you can get treatment for both addiction and mental disorders, but only if the addict is willing to reach out for help. Unfortunately, the nature of addiction makes it nearly impossible to recover on your own power. Keeping the disease of addiction a secret means that you won’t get the help you need.
Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol abuse is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. More than 22,000 people died from alcohol-related liver disease in the past year. In addition, the number of alcohol-induced deaths (not counting accidents and murders) tops 35,000. In 2018, more than 67,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. Addicts involved opioids in more than 46,000 overdose deaths in 2018. How many fewer deaths would we see if those who have a problem were getting the help they need?
You do not need to suffer in silence. Let your secret out. We can help you. Call our trained specialists today, and start getting the treatment that you deserve.
Breaking the Stigma of Addiction
There is a stigma associated with addiction that prevents many people from talking about the problem. In fact, in television and movies, drug addiction is usually portrayed as an urban problem involving criminal activity and violent behavior. However, that’s not always the case. Drug addiction can take place in a quiet neighborhood without any illegal substances involved. For example, that can happen when someone gets addicted to painkillers or secretly begins drinking alcohol. True addiction is a disease, not a bad choice or a character flaw. It once would have been taboo to talk about taking antidepressants, but as more people began to discuss taking them, it has become more acceptable to talk about.
In addition, we need to get to the same point when talking about addiction. We need to understand that an addict and a criminal are not necessarily the same thing. Additionally, if addicts involve crime, it doesn’t have to continue. Fortunately, victory over addiction is possible with the right help. Beth McGinty from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health spoke about the importance of changing society’s attitude toward addiction. “The more shame associated with drug addiction, the less likely we as a community will be in a position to change attitudes and get people the help they need. If you can educate the public that these are treatable conditions, we will see higher levels of support for policy changes that benefit people with mental illness and drug addiction.”
Discussing Addiction with Loved Ones
Are you worried about how your family and friends will react to the news you struggle with addiction? It’s important to understand that your loved ones want you to be happy and healthy. Speaking up and discussing your addiction with your loved ones can be extremely helpful. In some cases, if an addict is reluctant to get help family members will stage an intervention. An intervention is a well-planned meeting where a person with an addiction is urged by their loved ones to get professional help immediately. Interventions try to show the addicted person how their addiction affects their loved ones and that their loved ones want them to get help.
This help from loved ones can be vital. According to the National Library of Medicine, “An increasingly robust evidence base supports family-focused and social network-focused interventions in substance misuse treatment. Recent studies have continued to show that family and network approaches either match or improve outcomes when compared with individual interventions.”
Strength In Numbers
Almost everything is more accessible when you have the help of others. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “the natural propensity of human beings to congregate makes group therapy a powerful therapeutic tool for treating substance abuse, one that is as helpful as individual therapy, and sometimes more successful. One reason for this efficacy is that groups intrinsically have many rewarding benefits—such as reducing isolation and enabling members to witness the recovery of others—and these qualities draw clients into a culture of recovery.” They point out that group therapy can help cure other ailments, including depression, isolation, and shame.
Moreover, as social creatures, humans are born into groups. Our experiences shape our lives in these groups. Family, religious, social, and cultural groups will affect a person’s health and self-image. Of course, we know that groups can also support deviant behavior. As the NCBI states, “Groups organized around therapeutic goals can enrich members with insight and guidance; and during times of crisis, groups can comfort and guide people who otherwise might be unhappy or lost. In the hands of a skilled, well‐trained group leader, the potential curative forces inherent in a group can be harnessed and directed to foster healthy attachments, provide positive peer reinforcement, act as a forum for self‐expression, and teach new social skills.” Group therapy isn’t the only kind of treatment that works, but it demonstrates how important others can shape our lives.
Let us help impact your life. Our trained professionals can get you on the right path to sobriety. Do not hesitate. Call today, and start living your best life tomorrow.
Don’t Lie to Yourself About Your Addiction
At the very beginning, we noted that some secrets aren’t always bad. However, there’s a difference between keeping a secret and lying to yourself. If you know that you need help, you prevent yourself from healing if you don’t try to get that help. An addiction will not “go away” if you don’t think about it. Additionally, lying to loved ones about addiction only delays healing and can further damage relationships. One reason that interventions are so powerful is that they force an addicted person to face the truth.
Also, if all your loved ones confront you about a problem, you must choose to honestly face that problem. To ignore your addiction would be ignoring the concerns of your loved ones. If you can see that your addiction is harming yourself or others, then you have to choose to do something about it.
Furthermore, if you knew that you had heart disease, you would likely want to go to the doctor for the best treatment possible. So, why refuse to go to the doctor because your addiction is contributing to heart disease? Keeping an addiction secret means being forced to keep other secrets that can harm your health. However, realizing that keeping your addiction a secret only harms yourself or others may be what you need to do to get help.
Many families get hurt by addiction. However, keeping your addiction a secret isn’t the best way to prevent that hurt. Getting help to treat your addiction will be the first step toward recovery both for yourself and your family and friends. The challenge of reaching out for help is not as great as the challenge of living with an addiction that you know causes harm.
Welcome the Help
We have seen how important it is for people affected by addiction to get the help they need. In addition, we have seen how keeping addiction a secret can’t solve the problem. However, addiction can be treated, but only with assistance from professionals who can help you. Rehab facilities help people overcome addictions and get their lives back into their power.
To summarize, by revealing the secret and asking for help, you are taking the first essential steps to lead you to a better life. Your loved ones will be thankful to know that you are doing what it takes to get your life back. Most of all, you will be back in control of your life and have the ability to make good choices again. If you are ready to reveal the secret and change your life, please contact us today at 405-583-4390. We can direct you to rehab facilities near you that can help you overcome any addiction.
Written by: Steve Witucki
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