One of the biggest misconceptions about seeking addiction treatment is that you need to wait for a rock bottom moment to decide to get help. Although it’s true that dramatic turning points like a near-fatal overdose, job loss, or an addiction-related arrest can inspire people to seek treatment for their substance use disorder, waiting for rock bottom is an unnecessary risk.
Let’s look at the reasons why embracing treatment now can lead you to a brighter future.
1. Substance Abuse Causes Lasting Physical Harm
Some of the physical consequences of prolonged drug and alcohol abuse include:
- Organ damage. Chronic substance abuse can lead to severe damage to vital organs such as the liver, heart, and lungs.
- Neurological impairment. Prolonged drug and alcohol use can result in cognitive deficits, memory problems, and impaired judgment due to changes in brain structure and function.
- Weakened immune system. Substance abuse weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
- Respiratory issues. Smoking drugs and tobacco or inhaling substances can lead to respiratory problems like chronic bronchitis, lung infections, and reduced lung function.
- Cardiovascular problems. Drug abuse can increase the risk of heart-related issues such as heart attacks, irregular heartbeats, and high blood pressure.
- Gastrointestinal disorders. Drug and alcohol abuse can cause gastrointestinal problems like gastritis, ulcers, and pancreatitis.
- Hormonal imbalances. Substance abuse can disrupt hormonal balance, leading to issues with reproductive health, sexual function, and overall hormone regulation.
By addressing your addiction promptly, you can mitigate health risks and increase your chances of reversing past damage.
2. Your Mental Health Is Deteriorating
As your brain becomes increasingly dependent on drugs and alcohol, it undergoes significant chemical changes that disrupt its delicate balance—leading to an array of adverse mental health effects. Neurotransmitter systems that regulate mood, motivation, and pleasure are hijacked, resulting in mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
The toll of addiction can extend beyond the chemical imbalances within the brain, however. Social isolation often accompanies addiction, as individuals with substance use disorders withdraw from their friends, family, and social activities due to shame, embarrassment, or the need to hide their substance use. This isolation reinforces feelings of loneliness, amplifying depressive symptoms and contributing to a sense of disconnection from the world. In the most extreme cases, the mental health struggles associated with addiction can lead to suicide.
3. Your Relationships With Loved Ones Are Suffering
Substance abuse doesn’t just affect the person who is using drugs or alcohol. Waiting for a rock bottom moment can lead to shattered trust, painful misunderstandings, and emotional distance from loved ones. Your spouse may ask for a divorce, your children may no longer want to be a part of your life, or your long-term friends may distance themselves once it becomes too painful to sit and watch your condition deteriorate.
Seeking treatment earlier allows you to mend fractured connections, rebuild trust, and cultivate a network of support that will aid in a lasting recovery.
4. Substance Abuse Is Putting Your Finances In Jeopardy
The financial toll of addiction is often underestimated. Here are just a few of the ways substance abuse can wreak havoc on your finances:
- Cost of substance use. The direct cost of purchasing drugs or alcohol can quickly accumulate, straining personal finances and leading to financial instability.
- Lost income. Substance abuse can lead to job loss or decreased work performance due to absenteeism, reduced productivity, and impaired cognitive functioning.
- Legal fees. Involvement in criminal activities related to substance abuse, such as drug possession or DUI, can result in legal fees, fines, and court costs.
- Medical expenses. Substance abuse-related health issues often require medical treatment, hospitalizations, therapy, and medication, contributing to higher health care costs.
Seeking treatment can minimize the economic impact of addiction and put you on a path toward financial stability.
5. You’re Putting Yourself in Danger
Waiting to hit rock bottom risks your safety and potentially even your life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 106,699 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in 2021. Over 75% of overdose deaths were linked to opioid abuse, but deaths involving psychostimulants such as methamphetamine are also on the rise.
Alcohol might seem “safer” than illegal drug use, but it’s not. More than 140,000 people across the United States die from excessive alcohol use each year. Lives were shortened by an average of 26 years.
Seeking treatment proactively reduces your risk of becoming a statistic.
6. You Deserve Happiness
Above all, the biggest reason you shouldn’t wait to seek treatment is that you deserve happiness, health, and a life free from the chains of addiction. You have the potential to create a life that’s vibrant, purposeful, and fulfilling.
If you’re ready for a positive change, Waypoint Recovery Center is here to help. Contact us today to learn how our South Carolina addiction treatment programs can help you take the first step toward reclaiming your life from the grip of addiction.