concerned about a loved one's substance abuse Washington disorder

Why Can’t My Loved One Just Stop Using?

Alcoholism and addiction are commonly classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as substance use disorder. Substance abuse in Washington and many other states has risen as a result of deadly-laced heroin and easier accessibility to opiates. These substances in particular are highly addictive and have affected many communities in Washington.

There are two components as to why this substance abuse Washington is such an epidemic. The first one is that substances like fentanyl-laced heroin and oxycontin are now more addictive than they were twenty years ago. The second is that when a person diagnosed with substance use disorder takes these drugs, they are unable to stop despite consequences. It’s almost like a worst-case scenario situation. Addicts can become addicted to virtually anything that makes them feel good, so give them a potent, highly-addictive substance, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Substance Abuse Alters Brain Chemistry

Before the troves of medical research and evidence, society thought substance abuse Washington to be simply a problem of weak will power or just individuals making poor choices. It seems completely ridiculous that after many trips to the hospitals, arrests, near death experiences, loss of family, and loss of jobs or status, that these people will continue to abuse drugs and drink.

Research shows that those suffering from substance use disorder actually have a neurochemical imbalance, meaning that they are simply wired differently in their brains. This brain imbalance can be seen through our brain imaging technology used in our treatment centers. The imbalance may not be as pronounced as say, someone with depression, but it is still prominent enough to influence behavior on a physiological level. Nonetheless, this constitutes a legitimate medical diagnosis rather than simply a problem of poor will power.

Addiction Is Not a Choice

There are certain criteria to meet for this diagnosis of substance use disorder, meaning it is scientifically backed. Therefore, drug addiction and alcoholism are not simply a poor choice of weak will power, but a disease that must be treated. Although the addiction may have begun with a series of poor choices, somewhere along the way, this addiction took over their physical brain leading them to suffer with an obsessive mind and physical compulsion to abuse drugs or alcohol.

These individuals seem hopeless once they start drinking as using, and most of the time they are. Until they are ready to stop, they will continue to pour the very poison into their bodies that’s killing them. However, it is important for loved ones to recognize that they are in the grips of a powerful illness, and without intervention or professional treatment, death or insanity is a real possibility.

Substance abuse Washington is not a matter of wanting to die–it’s not a choice. Many time addicts and alcoholics internally wish they could stop, but they cannot because the substance is too powerful. They are too addicted and caught up in a disease of the mind and body. It’s a fundamental misconception that they choose to get high and drink. Research shows this simply isn’t the case.

Getting Treatment For Substance Abuse Washington

If you think your loved one is struggling with addiction, do not hesitate to reach out to us and receive help taking the next steps. They may need a professional intervention to start them on the path of sobriety before it is too late. Our compassionate team of counselors are available 24/7 to take your call and help you put together a plan of action. Call us today at (844) 338-5046 and get the help you need.