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AddictionWhat We Treat

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease with profound physical, psychological, and emotional consequences.
 
Untreated addiction can disrupt lives, damage families, and span generations.
 
Treatment works. Stop the cycle. Reclaim your life.
1 (800) 782-1520

Substance Use DisordersAddiction is a Chameleon

It’s one disease with many names and faces.

Abuse. Dependency. Alcoholism. Self-medication. Alcohol use disorders. Substance use disorders. If you’ve never experienced addiction firsthand, here’s something to know: most people struggling with addiction don’t want to be where they are. If they could quit alone, they would. Most people struggling with addiction are in survival mode, living from one drink, one smoke, one pill, or one injection to the next.

A Paradigm Shift

We used to call people battling addiction demeaning names loaded with judgment and devoid of compassion, understanding, or empathy. Drunks. Junkies. Druggies. Potheads. Speed freaks. Cokeheads. Burnouts. If you’ve never experienced addiction yourself, here’s another thing to know: almost no one living with addiction identifies with those names. That’s not how they see themselves.

Here’s what most people living with an alcohol or substance use disorder think and say:

I’m not one of them. Those names don’t apply to me – only other people. I drink every day but I’m fine. Just fine. I have the pills under control – two at night after dinner to relax, and that’s it. I promise. I only get drunk on weekends. I just smoke weed to take the edge off. I pop pills at work so I can make it through my shift. I pop pills after work so I can wind down and get a decent night’s sleep. Besides, everyone has vices – what’s the big deal? I’m following doctor’s orders so it’s okay. The only person I’m hurting is myself. I’ll quit…tomorrow.  I’ll stop…once this big work project is finished.  I’ll ease back a little at a time…after the holidays. Don’t worry: I got this.

If you’ve heard any of these lines from a loved one – or you’ve said any of them to yourself – then it’s time to consider the fact there may be an alcohol or substance use disorder at play. And it’s time to consider getting help before the alcohol or drug use escalates and becomes a crisis – or worse.

Symptoms of Addiction

There are as many paths to addiction as there are people addicted. Every case looks slightly different, but there are signs and symptoms common to all cases of addiction which, when present, mean it’s time to take action.

Physical Signs

  • Unexplained accidents or injuries
  • Shaking hands or other physical tremors
  • Neglect of appearance and hygiene
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Slurred or agitated speech
  • Clammy palms
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Poor physical coordination
  • Unusual odors on breath, body, or clothes
  • Needle marks on arms, legs, or feet
  • Shaking hands or other physical tremors


Behavioral Signs

  • Emotional instability
  • Significant personality changes
  • Decline in work or academic performance
  • Increased anger, resentment, and sensitivity
  • Decreased ability to focus
  • Failure to keep commitments
  • Apathy
  • Stealing
  • Lying
  • Loss of interest in lifelong hobbies or passions
  • Secretive activity/hiding things

Treatment for Addiction

It bears repeating: addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. Other chronic, relapsing diseases include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, arthritis, COPD, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease – to name just a few.

The days of treating people struggling with an alcohol and/or substance use disorder as if their disease is the result of poor decisions, a character flaw, or a simple lack of willpower are behind us.

We don’t punish, insult, or degrade people with cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. We treat them with the latest medications and evidence-based techniques.

When they make positive progress, we share their joy. When their disease returns, we don’t blame them: we look at their treatment, lifestyle, and any other contributing factors to find out why the disease returned. Then we adjust the treatment, support them to the best of our abilities, and help them find hope for a healthy future.

The same should be true for people working to overcome addiction: we should treat them, support them, work to understand them, and do everything we can to help them.

If one treatment approach is unsuccessful, we should try another. If they relapse – which is analogous to a chronic disease coming out of remission – our job should be to find out why. Then we should do everything we can to help them return to a state of health. The same way we do with people with other chronic, relapsing diseases or conditions.

That’s what we do at Pinnacle Treatment Centers.
Healing Happens Every Day.

If you’re ready to begin your journey out of addiction, we’re here for you. Call us now:

1 (800) 782-1520
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