It’s devastating to watch a loved one spiral into negative behaviors as a result of chemical dependency—withdrawal from social activities, engagement in self-destructive behavior, lies about drinking or drug use. Though it’s natural to be afraid to approach a friend or family member struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, your concern and support are exactly what your loved one needs during this difficult time. With your encouragement to seek chemical dependency treatment, your loved one will be empowered to break the cycle of addiction and gain the tools needed to return to a drug-free and sober lifestyle.
What is chemical dependency?
Chemical dependency refers to the abuse of drugs or alcohol that persists even when it results in significant health, relationship, legal, and career problems. More than just a need to feel the mood- or mind-altering affects of a substance, chemical dependency is a disease that can lead to serious psychological and physical issues if left untreated.
While the exact causes of chemical dependency are unknown, there are several factors that can contribute to an individual’s risk for addiction. As with many diseases, genetics play a role in a person’s likelihood of becoming dependent on drugs or alcohol. Social pressure, stress, and family life, as well as psychiatric conditions like depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder can also play a role in the development of a drug or alcohol addiction.
Symptoms of chemical dependency
While the symptoms of chemical dependency vary according to the person and the substance, the following are some of the most common signs your loved one could be struggling with addiction:
- Needing to drink or use more of a drug to achieve the same effect
- Taking risks, like driving under the influence
- Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking or using drugs
- Unsuccessful attempts to cut down on drinking or drug use
- Loss of interest in social activities and hobbies
- Deteriorating performance at work or school
- Spending a lot of money to get drugs or alcohol
- Exhibiting strong cravings for the drug or for a drink
- Doing illegal things to obtain a drug, like forging prescriptions
- Damaging close relationships due to drug or alcohol use
- Neglecting physical appearance or personal hygiene
Addiction Treatment in San Diego
Encouraging someone to seek drug addiction help is an emotional and difficult task. Approaching it on your own can be extremely overwhelming and quickly become your only priority. During this stressful time, it’s comforting to know you don’t have to do this alone. When your loved one is ready to begin the journey to a sober and healthy lifestyle, Alvarado Parkway Institute is here to help.
Our chemical dependency programs are designed to help individuals suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol achieve sobriety through education, relapse prevention, stabilization, and support. We offer a range of interventions and services—including individual and group therapy, management of withdrawal symptoms, and trigger identification and avoidance—that are tailored to each patient no matter where they are in the recovery process.