Having a substance use disorder can gradually take over your life, causing significant physical, emotional, and social harm. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. As the disorder progresses, you can lose control over everything that was once important to you. Recognizing the signs of a substance use disorder can often be a challenge, but it will allow you to stop the destructive behavior and seek the necessary support and treatment.

Some common signs that it may be time to seek professional assistance for your substance use disorder include:

  • Trying to quit using substances but being unable to do so
  • Experiencing problems in your relationships, work, or school
  • Having legal or financial issues
  • Using substances in dangerous or risky ways
  • Experiencing physical or psychological problems as a result of your substance use
  • Neglecting your health or hygiene 
  • Having thoughts of suicide or self-harm

In addition, those closest to you may notice changes in your behavior or appearance. They may comment and show concern for your well-being. They may notice you are more irritable or aggressive, have mood swings, have trouble concentrating, or have difficulty making decisions. Sometimes those closest to you will see the problem before you do. 

Tips for Seeking Help

If you are experiencing any signs of a substance use disorder, it is important to reach out for help. Many resources are available to help you overcome your substance use disorder and live a healthy and fulfilling life.

If you are unsure where to turn, consider the following tips for seeking help for a substance use disorder:

  • Recognize the need for help: Acknowledge that you have a substance use disorder and that seeking professional assistance is crucial for your well-being and recovery. You need to be ready and willing to make a change for yourself.
  • Educate yourself: Try to learn about substance use disorders, their effects, and the available treatment options. Understanding the nature of addiction can help you make informed decisions and be prepared for the recovery process ahead.
  • Talk to your doctor: Schedule an appointment with your doctor or another health care professional. They can assess your situation, provide a diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment options.
  • Reach out to your family and friends: Family and friends can offer support and encouragement as you look for treatment options. Having a solid support system in place is essential for a lasting recovery. 
  • Attend support group meetings: Support group meetings offer a safe space to share your experiences and connect with others who are struggling with substance use. Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can provide you with resources and support to help you overcome your addiction.
  • Seek professional treatment: You may need to seek professional treatment for your substance use disorder. Residential/inpatient care gives you the time and space you need to focus on your recovery.
  • Address underlying issues: In addition to a substance use disorder, other underlying issues may contribute to your condition. Substance use disorders often coexist with mental health conditions or underlying traumas. It is essential to address these issues alongside addiction treatment.

Remember, there is no shame in seeking help for a substance use disorder. It is a sign of strength and courage to admit that you need help and to take steps for a better future. With the right support, you can overcome your substance use disorder and live a healthy and fulfilling life.

Recovery is a process that takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself, and do not be discouraged by setbacks. Stay committed to your recovery goals and celebrate every small victory along the way.

Help is Available

If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, help is available. At Mountain Laurel Recovery Center in Pennsylvania, we can determine the right treatment options for your specific needs and put you on the path to a lasting recovery. We offer a holistic approach utilizing various services, including residential treatment, medically monitored detox, family programming, and more. To learn more about what we have to offer, please contact us today.