Before advances were made in addiction science, there was a common belief that a person had to hit “rock bottom” before they would seek help. Their addiction would be so bad that almost all facets of their lives would be torn apart, leaving them no other choice. Once that person finally got to the point of needing help, they’d generally end up in a program that was not aligned with general healthcare, and some programs even used questionable methods to treat their patients.
Thankfully, things have changed over the past decade for people who need help, no thanks to the devastating opioid epidemic that’s still ravaging the country. In 2016, The Surgeon General looked to establish new ideas regarding addiction treatment that would revolutionize how we view addiction and the people who need care the most. The critical concepts suggested were the following:
Drug misuse is worthy of intervention: When someone regularly misuses drugs and alcohol, and worrisome behaviors and signs are present, it’s best to consider taking measures to help them before it gets worse. This can be done by staging an intervention or other methods to help the person misusing substances confront their budding problematic habit.
Mild cases of addiction should be treated: Although someone may appear to be “functioning” in their addiction, they still need help. Some may consider these to be mild cases because their life isn’t falling apart entirely, but the longer they continue to misuse substances, the closer they get to further dangerous risks that come along with the illness.
Early treatment can prevent substance use disorder: Addiction can proliferate quickly, stemming from occasional misuse to someone’s entire life revolve around obtaining and misusing their drug of choice. Intercepting that process and getting them help before addiction sets in can prevent them from undergoing lengthy and extensive treatment in the future.
Addiction screening should be part of overall healthcare: Because addiction is a disease, healthcare providers could help save many more lives by screening patients for signs of addiction or drug misuse using not only their health history but also by recognizing signs in their current health that would suggest they are possibly struggling.
Intervention should be sought after by healthcare providers: If a healthcare provider has gathered proof that a patient is potentially dealing with substance use disorder, they should have the resources to handle interventions and monitor the patient’s progress and health through traditional healthcare avenues.
Middlesex Recovery is committed to helping any patient that feels they need treatment for their substance misuse or addiction at all of our recovery locations. Things don’t have to get the worst they possibly can before the root of the issues is treated. Avoiding severe substance use disorder and getting individualized, evidence-based care can be a life-saving decision. Give our compassionate and competent staff a call today to learn more about our office-based treatment options, or check out our quick guide.