Addiction is something nearly half of all Americans will face during the course of their lives. A recent survey from Pew Research Center shows that 46% of U.S. adults have a family member or friend who’s struggled with addiction, and opioid addiction is an especially rapidly growing problem. Whether the issue is substance abuse or a behavioral addiction, the results can be devastating. If you need opioid treatment in Florida, Sunlight Recovery has a variety of treatment programs available.
Addiction can tear apart families and destroy your physical and mental health. But with the proper treatment, many people can successfully leave their addiction in the past. By combining medical and mental health approaches, you can start and continue treatment, living sober for years to come.
What Is Addiction?
Since addiction is so ubiquitous, it’s important to understand what it is. Substance abuse without a chemical or psychological dependency isn’t addiction. Addiction is a chronic illness that can have both physical and mental components. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) uses the following definition:
“Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.”
The definition of addiction has undergone several revisions as doctors gain more insight into how addiction occurs and the best methods to treat it. Like any chronic illness, recovery or remission isn’t the same as a cure. You wouldn’t expect someone with high blood pressure to suddenly have great cardiovascular health, and you shouldn’t expect addiction to disappear after achieving sobriety.
Types of Addiction
While addiction might have many people discussing opioid treatment or looking up local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, you should be aware that substance use is not the only path to addiction.
Addiction comes in two basic forms:
- Chemical dependence
- Process addiction or behavioral addiction
While the mechanisms of addiction are different for each type, both fall under the definition given by ASAM. No matter what you’re addicted to, the result is harm to yourself and those around you.
Chemical dependence describes physical addiction, but not everyone with chemical dependency is addicted. Most people with a substance abuse issue develop chemical dependence, particularly when using alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, heroin and other drugs. Chemical dependence means that when you don’t have access to the substance, you go through withdrawal. Your body develops a need for those drugs, and when you don’t have them, you get sick.
With opioid addiction treatment, the first step is often a medical detox to get through the withdrawal symptoms. The same is true for alcohol, heroin and many prescription drugs. However, you can use prescription drugs that are addictive without becoming addicted.
Addiction happens when you have both a chemical and behavioral addiction to the substance. If you stop participating in social events or struggle to perform at work, it could be a sign of addiction.
Process Addiction/Behavioral Addiction
It’s possible to develop an addiction with no chemical dependence. Sex, gambling, shopping, eating, exercise and many other regular activities can become addictive in the wrong circumstances. While these are everyday activities most people do, they don’t become an addiction unless:
- You have mental or physical health issues resulting from the behavior and can’t stop.
- You struggle to maintain healthy relationships at home or work due to disruptions from the compulsion.
- You face problems directly tied to the behavior, such as losing a significant other due to seeking sex from other partners or going bankrupt due to gambling.
- You can’t stop, even when you know the behavior is causing you life-changing issues. This is when addiction treatment becomes a priority.
You can experience both chemical and behavioral addiction with substance abuse. For example, if you can’t face a day at work without a drink in the morning, you’re likely addicted to alcohol — even if you don’t experience withdrawal. If you or a loved one are struggling with a behavioral addiction, help is available.
Getting Help for Addiction and Opioid Treatment in Florida
At Sunlight Recovery, we offer various programs designed to treat addiction. Our alcohol or opiate addiction treatment programs often start with a medical detox, which can last for several days. During medical detox, you slowly wean off any drugs or alcohol, preparing you to take the next steps on your road to recovery.
Recent changes to the laws governing health insurance mean that addiction treatment cost is not as much of a barrier. If you have insurance, it should cover at least some of the cost of a rehabilitation program. If you don’t have insurance, you may qualify for state Medicaid, which also pays for addiction treatment.
How Addiction Treatment Works
Medical detox is the first step toward sobriety for an overwhelming number of people who have a substance abuse disorder. During medical detox, doctors and other health care professionals monitor you around the clock. Carefully tailored dosages of drugs designed to cushion the withdrawal symptoms make it easier to take those first crucial steps toward treatment.
After completing detox, the most effective option for continuing treatment is a residential program. Residential programs remove you from the stress of everyday life, letting you focus on therapy and the underlying issues that may have led to your addiction.
Since addiction can also be paired with challenges such as homelessness or inability to work, providing a safe place for treatment is essential. It’s also important to know that the longer you stay in treatment, the more likely you are to recover successfully. Most residential treatment programs last for a minimum of 30 days.
After completing a residential program, aftercare is critical. For some, that might mean continuing an intensive recovery program on an outpatient basis. Others may be ready to transition to a more moderate ongoing management strategy. Everything depends on the level of your addiction when you start and how well you respond to treatment.
The longer you continue with therapy and support group meetings, the more likely you are to avoid a relapse.
Addiction Treatment at SLR
If you or a loved one has an addiction, you can make positive changes. Similar to any other chronic illness, treatment can help you get your disease under control. At Sunlight Recovery, we know how hard it is to overcome compulsive behaviors and chemical dependence. Our team is full of empathetic professionals who can help.
If you’re addicted to drugs, alcohol or risky behaviors and ready to make a change, contact us at SLR for more information about our recovery programs. Get started by calling (855) 656-2854 to talk with a mental health professional and take the first step on the road to a sober life.