What is Chemical Dependency
Is it a Problem for You
The LGBT Community
What’s a Dependency Center?
Chemical dependency centers help individuals and their families to find solutions to the difficult problem of drug and alcohol addiction. Through psychological care, medical treatment, medication when necessary, and a wide range of therapeutic resources, a drug and alcohol rehab center can help you kick the habit with almost any drug of addiction. A big part of choosing the right treatment program is finding a chemical dependency center that employs staff members who have extensive professional experience and compassion and know how to employ evidence-based medical treatment and therapies with the goal of helping you to achieve a healthy, drug-free and alcohol-free lifestyle.
If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol and you need help breaking that addiction, Michael’s House can help. Michael’s House offers a complete chemical dependency treatment program for people addicted to any combination of drugs and alcohol, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, crystal meth, club drugs, prescription painkillers, stimulants and more.
If you are looking for a proven and safe program that focuses on the individual, contact our Michael’s House call center at 1-877-345-8494 today.
What Is Chemical Dependency?
For example, chronic health problems and issues with personal and work relationships usually arise when chemical dependency is present. Even when warned by doctors and loved ones that they are hurting themselves, the addict finds it impossible to stop using their drug of choice without medical assistance from a chemical dependency treatment center.
If an individual suffers from chemical dependency, it is imperative that he or she seeks treatment as soon as possible. Chemical dependency centers work closely with individuals suffering from addiction to any illicit substance. Many who require treatment for chemical dependency are addicted to multiple drugs and alcohol or have co-occurring mental disorders that require treatment as well.
What Are the Stages of Dependency?
Chemical dependency usually occurs in five stages that describe the progressive and lethal effect of drug abuse and alcohol abuse. It is largely believed that most addicts do not seek or need help until they have come to the point of no return or have “hit bottom” in their drug abuse. At Michael’s House, we don’t believe this is true. We believe that, like all medical disorders, the earlier you get treatment at a certified drug rehab, the more likely you will experience a successful and lasting recovery from chemical dependency.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the development of chemical dependency can occur in multiple stages:
Stage Two: Regular Use: Very few users will never develop a chemical dependency but continue to use their drug of choice without any initial impact. Over time, certainly, health problems are likely, and finances and relationships may not go in the best possible direction; however, in terms of making it safely through day-to-day life, they will not develop the medical disease of drug addiction.
Stage Three: Risky Use: “Risky use” is a term that encompasses the many behaviors, decisions and consequences that result due to abuse of drugs and alcohol. But, for many people, things that they would never have done before their drug use turned into an addiction suddenly start to become commonplace. For instance, the limitations that a person sets for himself may continually begin to fall off (e.g., “I won’t take any pills at work” turns into “I can take one pill as long as I’m about to get off in an hour” or “It’s my lunch hour so one won’t hurt”). Dangerous behavior, dangerous choices under the influence, and the buildup of dangerous effects in the body can add up to permanent damage if chemical dependency is not treated in a timely manner.
Stage Four: Dependence: Dependence upon drugs and alcohol can lead to disaster. The ability to keep up with responsibilities to family and career slips. Drug and alcohol users become focused on getting their drug of choice and using it, and lose focus on other aspects of their lives. There are a limited number of individuals who are able to be dependent on drugs and alcohol and still keep up with their personal obligations. Most lose their jobs, their families, their financial security and their personalities. If nothing else, almost all lose their interest in hobbies and friends in favor of maintaining their addiction.
Stage Five: Addiction: Chemical dependency is a serious illness that, if left untreated, will end in death. With constant drug use, the addict is perpetually craving the drug, looking for the next dose. Damage to body systems and organs develops more and more as time passes.
Is Dependency a Problem for You?
Every drug of addiction, including alcohol, brings with it a slew of signs and symptoms that can help you ascertain whether or not you have a problem that requires treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic. When drugs and alcohol begin to cause you problems at work, at the bank, at the doctor’s office and at home, it’s time to reassess your abuse of addictive drugs – and consider getting the addiction treatment help you need to get your life back on track.
- Financial issues. Whether you’re buying illegal drugs off the street, purchasing prescriptions or buying alcohol at the corner store, the bills add up. Additionally, those who are chemically dependent will have a hard time keeping up at work – many will call in sick and miss opportunities to earn while others will be fired due to poor performance. This forces many in addiction to use credit cards to pay basic bills – interest fees and late payment fees add up, creating a debt situation that’s almost impossible overcome – unless they get drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
- Health problems. Chronic drug and alcohol addiction will eventually cause a plethora of health problems. In the short term, patients must deal with the side effects caused by their drug of choice. Many experience mood changes, changes in breathing and heart rate, headaches, and/or an inability to concentrate or focus. After the drugs wear off, they may feel ill and unable to keep up at work or at home. In the long term, patients who continue to abuse their drug of choice can experience kidney and liver failure, respiratory ailments, cardiac problems or any number of chronic health problems. The specifics will vary depending upon the drug of abuse, but there are no addictive drugs that don’t eventually create serious issues for the patient in terms of health and wellness.
- Family issues. Your spouse is usually the first one to realize that your drug and alcohol abuse is abnormal. Closest to you, they are in a unique position to know what you are capable of and how the drugs you are taking are causing you to fall short. Your children, too, and your relationship with them will suffer as your dedication to drugs and alcohol increases over time. If you are missing out on important family events and spending all your family time “sleeping” or not feeling well due to drug abuse, it’s time to seek treatment.
Problems within the GLBTQ Community
Chemical dependency in the GLBTQ community can reach very high rates. In fact, there are several elements surround GLBTQ chemical dependency unique to these men and women, according to the Education Resources Information Center. Patients report that some of the most common issues they face that inform their addiction to drugs and alcohol include:
- Personal history. A young member of the GLBT community may suffer from a number of psychological and social problems before they come out of the closet. Many young gay men and women will turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with the pain and confusion they feel because of their sexuality. This creates a considerable number of young addicts who then must contend with issues of alcohol and drug addiction, sexual confusion and acceptance – all at a time when the body is going through changes that distort one’s self-image – making matters more complex.
- The gay party scene. The gay culture in many cities (especially large metropolitan areas) often features an intense nightlife scene. In and of itself, this is not a problem, but the rampant substance abuse that takes place within this section of the community provides a number of risks associated with chemical dependency. Crystal meth addiction and Ecstasy addiction rates are both high in these scenes. These drugs are used to enhance the party experience, and many individuals find it difficult to quit because of the social pressures involved with their use.
- The lesbian lifestyle. Lesbian women have a higher rate of alcohol addiction than heterosexual women. Over the years, there have been several theories put forth as to why this is, but all that is known for sure is that every woman who develops a drinking problem does so for a range of unique and personal reasons.
It is important to note that being gay or lesbian does not automatically amount to a drug and alcohol addiction. However, it is important for men and women in this community to have access to treatment centers that have an understanding of the issues unique to the GLBTQ community.
What Is a Drug Dependency Treatment Center?
The chemical dependency center is also likely to engage the individual in counseling sessions – be they one-on-one or in a group setting. Group counseling at a chemical dependency center gives the recovering addict a chance to interact with a peer group who is dealing with many of the same challenges. These sessions are very helpful and often result in a person talking openly about their addiction for the very first time. The cost of a chemical dependency treatment center may vary – but many are affordable or in some cases even free as a service of the community. These institutions are often not in business for profit, but instead have a primary directive of helping the chemically dependent individual achieve sobriety.
Finally, the chemical dependency center may also feature an aftercare program for the individual to attend after they have completed their time at the center. Aftercare programs are a key element in the full recovery of an addict, providing accountability and support as the individual attempts to reenter mainstream society.