Many men and women begin using drugs as a way to cope with life. They were restless, irritable, and discontent, and found relief from their psychological and emotional suffering in drugs and alcohol. For a time, self-medicating with substances may have provided a sense of comfort, but addiction is a chronic and progressive disease—eventually, our problems are not alleviated, but made worse by our drug abuse. Drug abuse and mental health problems often coexist. We enter into a cycle where we use drugs to help with our emotional problems, such as depression or anxiety, but eventually our problems are made worse so we increase our drug use until we find ourselves seemingly trapped in our addiction. According to the National Institute of Health, “Compared with the general population, people addicted to drugs are roughly twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders, with the reverse also true. In 2015, an estimated 43.4 million (17.9 percent) adults ages 18 and older experienced some form of mental illness (other than a developmental or substance use disorder). Of these, 8.1 million had both a substance use disorder and another mental illness. Although substance use disorders commonly occur with other mental illnesses, it’s often unclear whether one helped cause the other or if common underlying risk factors contribute to both disorders.” Whether our drug abuse was a symptom of a psychological problem, or our psychological problems developed from our addiction, eventually both are made worse. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous offers a series of “bedevilments” that strike a person in active alcoholism: “We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to miser and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people…” These bedevilments only get worse overtime because addiction and alcoholism are progressive diseases. Our emotional health suffers until we fall into dangerous levels of misery and depression. Once the substance is removed, however, we begin to straighten out mentally, physically, and spiritually. Therefore, the only way that we can live a life of true happiness and joy, free from the weight of emotional suffering, is through entire abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
Your story can be one of health and happiness in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and build a better life of hope, faith, and courage. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with knowledgeable professionals who understand addiction and are dedicated to providing you all the tools needed to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777