Could I Be The One With An Addiction?

Who needs treatment anyway?

Have you been asking yourself this question lately?  Maybe you’ve been saying in your head, “Am I crazy?”  “Do I need to sign myself into the local mental health unit?” “Why do the same things keep happening over and over again?” “Why can’t I drink (or use) like I used to?” “Why can all my friends go out and party on Friday night and get up and do the stuff they need to on Saturday, but for me the weekend disappears?”  Oh, yeah, I remember what that was like!

What is a substance use disorder?

If you are asking yourself these kind of questions, chances are you meet some of the criteria for substance use disorder.  That’s the new definition for addiction in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V” or how we professionals diagnose it.  Generally speaking, here are the criteria:

  1. Hazardous use: You have used the substance in ways that are dangerous to yourself and/or others, i.e., overdosed, driven while under the influence, or blacked out.
  2. Social or interpersonal problems related to use: Substance use has caused relationship problems or conflicts with others.
  3. Neglected major roles to use: You have failed to meet your responsibilities at work, school, or home because of substance use.
  4. Withdrawal: When you stop using the substance, you experience withdrawal symptoms.
  5. Tolerance: You have built up a tolerance to the substance so that you have to use more to get the same effect.
  6. Used larger amounts/longer: You have started to use larger amounts or use the substance for longer amounts of time.
  7. Repeated attempts to control use or quit: You’ve tried to cut back or quit entirely, but haven’t been successful.
  8. Much time spent using: You spend a lot of your time using the substance.
  9. Physical or psychological problems related to use: Your substance use has led to physical health problems, such as liver damage or lung cancer, or psychological issues, such as depression or anxiety.
  10. Activities given up to use: You have skipped activities or stopped doing activities you once enjoyed in order to use the substance.
  11. Craving: You have experienced cravings for the substance.

Generally speaking, you must meet two or more over the prior twelve months to being assessed.  So how are you measuring up?  Be honest with yourself, no one is looking over your shoulder.  I know that when I was ready to get sober and clean, it was really hard to be honest and I had a lot more than two of the eleven.

The biggest thing that finally got me honest was that I could not stop on my own.  I kept trying.  I was even announcing to others that I was done, over, not drinking or using anymore.  I told my partner, my mom, my boss, but somehow, there I was the next weekend, holding a glass of wine, sniffing a line, not even knowing how I got there. It was like I was in some kind of fugue state.  Drunk again, so what the heck, why not do it all.

Is life with drugs and alcohol getting worse no matter what you do?

What have you tried so far? Have you said:

I’ll get sober on Monday

I’ll cut back

I’ll drink only beer

I’ll only drink on the weekends

I’ll just drink, no drugs

I’ll quit for 30 days

I can do it myself

Usually we all try these “cures” in an attempt to prove to ourselves we don’t have a problem.  Some people are able to do this.  But usually, it only works until we hit the first bump in the road, the stress that we don’t know how to handle, and then we are off again, because nothing wipes out the stress like the first one, or the first few.  I can tell you; the relief was enormous when I finally called for help!

What are you going to do now that you want sobriety?

Treatment is not so bad, you know? Not all treatment is alike.  The secret is finding individualized treatment, where staff and counselors will pay attention to your specific needs, and treat physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs.  There’s cutting edge science now that attends to the brain reward syndrome that is affected when people use quantities of alcohol or drugs.  Our program addresses this through supplements, nutrition and exercise programs.  We want you to be at optimum health as you begin to build a toolbox of skills to go back into the world, equipped to address communication, emotions and issues that you may have been hiding from in your substance use. We will channel you towards self-help that will support your efforts and help you build a network of like-minded people.  You are not alone in your efforts to change.

Bridging the Gaps in Winchester, VA

We can offer just the individualized treatment you are looking for.  We are a small, intimate treatment center, with a specialized, experienced and sensitive staff waiting to serve your specific needs.  From the beginning of our intake process through your treatment to our aftercare program, you will see that we are concerned with addressing what will work for you.  We even have a family program to treat families at the same time you are in treatment, because in addiction, everyone is affected.

Please call us, at 540-306-4617, or email us at Admissions@bridgingthegaps.com. We’ll be glad to hear from you! Please, take that first step!

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