Drug addiction is not a rural issue, an urban one, nor is it a suburban problem. Substance abuse in the United States is a rapidly growing phenomenon that affects each and every one or us whether directly or indirectly. Habits are hard to give up, but it is important that we relinquish the ones that adversely impact our health and those who love us. While it is never too late to seek addiction treatment, one should not wait for a definite and clear ‘rock bottom’ before attempting to quit. As drug use continues it becomes more difficult to treat. The damages irreversible. Now is the time for change.
Drug Abuse in the United States
Drug addiction in the United States is a growing epidemic with opioid addiction, in particular, having recently been declared a national public health emergency. 63,600 Americans died of an overdose in 2016 while an estimated 72,000 lives were claimed in 2017, a number that can increase as data for that year is still being collected. These deaths are being felt across the country, generating reactions from the public. In a study involving over six thousand subjects conducted by Pew Research Center, almost 90% of citizens in rural areas felt that drug addiction was a concern in their community in comparison to 87% in urban spaces and 86% in the suburbs. As awareness of drug abuse is growing, now is the time to make sure addiction treatment is a prominent topic in our political and social discourse. All addicts need to know the treatment resources that are out there, ones they can utilize before reaching rock bottom.
Addiction treatment is an issue that should be part of our priorities as a nation. 46% of adults in the United States have reported having a close friend or family member who has been addicted to drugs or is currently struggling with substance abuse. These numbers are identical across all demographics: Democrats and Independents when compared with Republicans and right-leaning individuals report the same statistic (46% each) as do the same amount of men and women (also 46% each). In addition, the findings do not differ much amongst White Americans (46%), African Americans (52%), and Hispanics (50%). We are all being affected by drug use and so there must be action taken swiftly before it is too late to treat the people who need our intervention. Drug addiction does not discriminate based on age, gender, race, financial status, or political ties. It is an issue that affects everyone equally and can only be solved when we recognize that addicts are equal to those who are not suffering from addiction. The negative stigma around addicts has been proven false by the statistics yet people still feel shame, embarrassment, and isolation from their community and feel they have nowhere to turn. If we continue to wait until people hit rock bottom, the overdose death statistics will only get worse.
What is Rock Bottom?
“Hitting rock bottom” is a phrase so popular that people use it frivolously in casual conversations. While it is part of all of our vernaculars, we must exercise caution when using the phrase in relation to addiction. The general definition of rock bottom usually refers to an event or time in a user’s life that causes him or her to reach their lowest point possible and start re-evaluating their disease. This could be getting a DUI or DWI charge, losing a fellow addict to suicide or overdose, and perhaps even receiving jail time for drug possession.
No matter what happens, rock bottom is the breaking point in an addict’s life. They often feel that their life cannot possibly be worse and there is nothing left to lose or ruin.
The thing about rock bottom is, it is only valuable in retrospect. Someone in active addiction likely just reached their new ‘rock bottom’, but another may be just around the corner. Stealing money may be a new rock bottom but then intravenous drugs become the new low. More often than not “Rock bottom” is an event that reached a new moral low that was once unthinkable. Many family members use the excuse that their addict family member needs to hit this mythical ‘rock bottom’ before they will get treatment, but that may be too late. The term ‘rock bottom’ is used often in recounting tales of recovery, but it is impossible for the user or a family member to define as the crisis is on-going. Each day reaches a new low. If you are serious about saving your loved one you need to intervene early. While it can take month or years of pleading with loved ones, it is important not to give up hope for them. If you need advice on how to help your loved one we have counselors available any time. Whether you need help with an intervention or just advice from someone who has gone through what you are going through, we are here to help.
Addiction Treatment Starts at FHE Health
It is never too late to begin addiction treatment. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse, now is the time to seek professional help. Do not wait for rock bottom or what you think is rock bottom. Do not wait for legal or financial consequences of your drug use before getting clean. Your health is at risk, your family and friends are hurting, and there is so much happiness waiting for you on the other side of sobriety. Do not buy into the misconception that rehabilitation is too expensive. The Center for Substance Abuse Research has found that the average addict often spends hundreds of dollars daily to maintain drug habits. Those funds could be better spent on a detox program, medication to counter the effects of withdrawal, a gym membership to get you active and your mind off of drug cravings, etc. No matter what it is, money can always be better spent on other things for the benefit of your well-being and future.
Recovery is a manageable but long process. It takes time. You cannot just quit a drug overnight, there is an effort that needs to be invested in addiction treatment. Some substances, like opioids, alcohol, and benzodiazepines should never be stopped suddenly. This “cold turkey” approach is potentially life-threatening. It can induce seizures, thoughts of suicide, dehydration, rapid relapse, etc. As soon as you stop using a drug, your tolerance for it lowers, meaning less of the drug is needed to achieve that strong high. Therefore, the chances of overdose are increased because when addicts relapse they accidentally overdose not knowing their tolerance has dulled.
Detox is usually the first step towards addiction treatment and does not require you to reach rock bottom. Instead, it helps you begin the recovery process at any time and start managing it so you can get sober in the long run in a healthy manner. Medical detox programs, such as the ones at Florida House, set you up with round-the-clock supervision and medical assistance. In whatever way that works, detox will help you get through the withdrawal process. Understand that your addiction is not permanent and does not define you, you need to have hope that treatment will work for you. It is never the wrong time to start rehabilitation but does not wait for your addiction to devastate your life forever. Hitting rock bottom does not mean that you will be immediately ready for treatment. Hitting rock bottom does not mean that you cannot still relapse afterward. Your version of rock bottom will not be the same as someone else’s. Do not wait, act now.
Get Addiction Help Now
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, Florida House is ready and willing to help. Drug abuse is a growing epidemic in our country and the rates of overdose are increasing every single year. There are numerous addiction treatments available to help prevent such tragic losses of life. Do not wait for rock bottom, speak with a member of our team of highly trained and compassionate individuals now at (833) 596-3502 for immediate assistance.