Substance abuse does not only happen to a certain type of person. Contrary to what is portrayed on television and on the big screen, there is no stereotypical substance abuser. Substance abuse, including drug, alcohol and pain medication addiction can happen to people of all ages, of all races, of all classes, of all professions, of all walks of life. Regardless of whether you live in the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Mid-Town, Chelsea, or anywhere in between, substance abuse could very easily be affecting you, or someone you love. Every single substance abuse case is different and thus it is not fair or correct to automatically assume the reasons for substance abuse. In fact, the only constant in substance abuse cases is the pain and suffering it can cause not only the user, but also those close to him or her. Statements such as he had a hard childhood; she’s going through a difficult time; he’s got an addictive personality may help some people come to terms with substance abuse but it most certainly won’t be enough to end the pain, frustration, guilt, confusion, anger and fear that comes with battling addiction. The road to recovery is an uphill journey; however, with the right professional counseling, network of support and dedication to success, you can not only take on this mountainous battle, but you can make it out of the fog and to the top of your life.
Substance abuse in New York is more common than you may think. Sure, you may have seen the alcoholics battling in the streets but you probably did not think twice about it. Many cases of substance abuse happen behind closed doors. Furthermore, many people who battle substance abuse do not even realize they have a problem. Others want to get help but are unsure where to turn. However, the harsh reality is that one in four US deaths can be attributed to alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use. There are 100,000 deaths each year from excessive alcohol abuse and another 16,000 deaths due to illicit drug use. These numbers are scary to say the least.
Three Factors to Consider when Battling against Substance Abuse
There is no right way. Many people will react positively to certain medication substitutes while others might be able to beat their problem by entering a rehabilitation facility. Others find it is best to discuss their concerns with a professional therapist and try to figure out what is behind the addiction. There are three things you must consider when battling substance abuse or when helping someone with an addiction.
- Willingness is a Must – telling yourself that you want to change is one of the hardest things to do but it is also the first step in the right direction. Many people are unwilling to admit they have a problem or believe that the addiction is bigger than them and thus, they continue down the path to self destruction. There is no perfect time to admit to having a problem and there is no perfect time to accept that changes must be made. This is an individual journey.
- Abuse can stem from other Problems – in many instances, substance abuse stems from an underlying problem. Overcoming death, relationship problems, career-related stress, depression, anxiety, self esteem issues or family grievances can all impact your decision to turn to drugs or alcohol. Many people are unsure of why they turn to a substance for relief while others know the case but are unable to dig into this painful experience. It’s important to remember that substance abuse is not your fault and there are ways to overcome this problem.
- The Right Support can make all the Difference – most people cannot battle substance abuse on their own. Even if your problem occurs mostly behind closed doors, it is best to have someone to talk to about your problem. If you or someone you love is battling from substance abuse in New York City, consider speaking to a trained counselor in the field of addiction and abuse. A professional therapist can help you overcome your problem but there are other options as well. Friends, family, support groups and even online forums can help you see that you are not alone and that you can beat this problem and move on with your life. There are millions of people across the United States fighting their own personal battle with addiction; however, there are millions of others who have overcome these demons.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to battling substance abuse is that there is help out there. You are not alone. And if you choose to accept this help – and pursue a different life – things can get better. You do not have to keep living the way you have always lived. However, it is up to you to accept the challenge.