Resources and Tools for Addiction Recovery

As we settle into the ‘20s, it seems as though society as a whole is inflamed, with few resources available to put out the rapidly spreading fire. Some parts of the world are literally on fire, such as much of Australia, while others are engulfed on a more symbolic level. For example, despite what we know about the dangers of binge drinking and Big Pharma, substance abuse and addiction still wreak havoc on communities across the globe.

Addiction has a profound effect on American families in every way imaginable — physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. For a number of the nearly 21 million Americans who struggle with substance abuse, the problematic use of mind-altering substances begins at a young age. Notably, binge drinking is most prevalent among young adults, and youth between the ages of 12 and 20 consume 11% of the country’s alcohol, even though 21 is the legal drinking age.

Studies indicate that teen alcohol use is on the decline; however, here at home, there’s good news in the realm of alcohol abuse. For example, data compiled by Ball State University and released in December 2018 found that binge drinking rates declined from 40.2% of students in 2015 to 21.5% in 2017. Further, BSU students utilize designated drivers in more significant numbers, which improves safety for everyone on the road. 

But substance abuse spans well beyond alcohol culture and binge drinking. In modern times, addiction is more nuanced than ever, encompassing various substances and behaviors, from opioids and other prescription drugs to gambling and sex. Fortunately, substance abuse treatment has kept up with the times, and those seeking to break free from addiction have numerous tools and resources at their disposal. 

Binge Drinking, Opioids, and the College Experience

Much has been made about the nation’s so-called opioid “epidemic” in recent years, for good reason. Across Indiana, overdose deaths have been rising over the past two decades, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH). In 2017 alone, the overdose death rate among Hoosiers was about 29.4 people per 100,000, the majority of which involved an opioid. Indiana is in the top 10 states with the highest opioid prescribing rate, at 74.2 prescriptions for every 100 persons.

Yet Indiana’s opioid crisis is just the beginning — especially among young people, as alcohol abuse is prevalent nationwide. Data indicates that men between 18 and 25 are the most likely to binge drink. Further, binge drinking (defined as consuming a large quantity of alcohol in a single session) is, unfortunately, every day among college students, many of whom view excessive alcohol consumption as an integral part of the college experience.

Binge drinking and alcoholism are intrinsically linked, and a tendency to drink excessively indicates a propensity to abuse alcohol. Alcohol affects everyone differently, and your estimated blood alcohol content (BAC) depends on various factors, such as your gender, weight, types of drinks consumed, and elapsed time. In Indiana, you are considered intoxicated when your BAC reaches 0.08%. And it may only take a few drinks to get to that point.

Recovery Options for Those Struggling with Addiction

No matter the source of one’s addiction, whether alcohol, opioids or a negative behavior such as gambling, help is available. People from all walks of life have succeeded in 12-step recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). However, many addicts are turned off by the “spiritual” nature of 12-step programs and may find that other recovery support groups are a better fit. 

For example, SMART Recovery (or Self-Management and Recovery Training) is a secular, science-based recovery approach offering free meetings nationwide. It’s important to note that some types of addiction may require medical intervention at the inpatient level in the early stages of recovery. For example, alcohol withdrawals can be fatal without medical assistance, and opioid users may wish to wean themselves off the drug in a clinical setting. 

Suppose you’re looking for behavior-based recovery options. In that case, it’s essential to address your addiction’s mental and emotional effects and how it may negatively impact your life. For instance, those prone to periods of compulsive gambling often face crippling financial consequences and poor mental health. Further, gambling is highly stigmatized, and compulsive gamblers are commonly stereotyped as irresponsible, greedy, aggressive, and more. There are also drug treatment centers that can offer all kinds of therapies, so it makes sense to survey and consider the range of options.

Unfortunately, negative stereotypes accompany most forms of addiction, often serving as a roadblock to treatment for addicts who don’t want to be judged.

Addiction Recovery Starts with You

When it comes down to it, recovery can only happen at the individual level. It’s easy to justify your behavior and sweep any red flags under the rug because it’s hard to admit that you’re an alcoholic who needs help. But make no mistake: No level of daily alcohol consumption is truly safe, and it’s never okay to put yourself in debt for the chance to win big. 

Further, if you bring your addiction into the workplace, stealthily sipping on alcoholic beverages or placing online bets using your work computer, it may be time to seek help. Your path to recovery starts by admitting that you have a problem and seeking out resources, whether a 12-step meeting, a medical treatment center, or the listening ear of a caring friend. 

Even if your health coverage lacks, you have plenty of no-cost options. In addition, there are diverse recovery support groups, suboxone doctors online, and meetings available online. And as you set out on your recovery journey, remember that you’re never alone.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button