If you are experiencing a disability, you may be more likely to develop an addiction to a drug or substance. Why is this? Well, there are a few reasons why a disability could lead to an addiction or addictive behavior. In this article, we’ll discuss this possibility in more detail as well as the steps that you should take if you are worried about your own addictive behaviors or those of a loved one.
Why Do People With Disabilities Suffer From Addiction
Research suggests that people with a disability may be more likely to experience an addiction. Here are some of the reasons why.
It’s important that you don’t underestimate the psychological impact of a disability. A disability will change your entire life. It could mean that you can no longer engage in some experiences while also opening up new doors.
This sudden and significant change to your life can leave you feeling:
Any feelings like this may lead you to turn to a self-prescribed substance. This could be anything from painkillers to alcohol.
An addiction can start by accident and often does. For instance, you might be taking medicine to manage pain related to your disability. While you may not intend to, it’s all too easy to end up with an addiction to medication like this. Particularly, if you aren’t monitoring your intake as carefully as you should be. This is one of the reasons why many medical experts recommend that you avoid standard painkillers completely and instead explore herbal medicines if you are struggling with chronic pain.
As mentioned, an addiction can be used to manage pain. Unfortunately, this can make things far worse. It could leave you with unbearable pain or feelings of agony when you stop taking a drug that you are dependent on. This is a form of withdrawal. If you are struggling to manage your pain without a high intake of medication, then you need to speak to your doctor as soon as possible.
Types Of Addiction
There are different types of addiction to be aware of.
The first type is an addiction to a prescribed medication. This could be a painkiller or any medication that a doctor has prescribed to you so that you can manage your condition more effectively. Even medication such as sleeping pills can be addictive overtime. It’s also possible that medication becomes less effective the more you take it. This means that you will need high doses or more powerful meds to manage the symptoms of your disability or medical condition.
The other type of addiction that you should be aware of is an addiction to self prescribed substances. This could be anything from food to alcohol or cigarettes. We can use virtually anything to feel better about ourselves or make issues in our life feel more bearable. In reality, taking any substance in excess is only going to make things far worse for you in the long term. This is why you need to make sure that you are focusing on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Remember, alcohol isn’t dangerous to your health as long as you are managing the quantities you consume.
Support For Addiction
If you are struggling with addiction, then there are lots of options to explore that may help. This can also stop an addiction growing out of control where it becomes impossible to manage.
Family and Friends
If you are struggling with addiction, don’t be afraid to speak to those closest to you. These can be members of your family or your friends. You may be worried that they will judge you and not want to speak to you about any of it, but they may surprise you. Family and friends can be one of your biggest support networks, which is something you need to get through addiction. They can give you a friendly shoulder to cry on whenever you are having a bad day. Sit down with them and get everything off your chest. They may be able to come up with tactics and strategies that you haven’t yet thought of.
Another way you can deal with addiction or addictive behavior is to check yourself into a rehab facility. There will be different facilities depending on if you are reliant on alcohol or other drugs, so make sure you are contacting the right one when you contact them. Family and friends may have recommended checking into an alcohol rehab facility not to interfere, but to make sure you get the best treatment possible. You can of course self-refer to rehab or you could be checked into one by a professional. Rehab centers aren’t as bad as some people assume, they can be a helpful source of information and useful for breaking your habit.
Finally, if you are worried or concerned in any way about your struggle with addiction then you might want to seek help from a counselor. Talking therapies can help those suffering from addiction and give them strategies to change their behaviors. Speaking to a therapist or counselor can change the way you think or react to certain things. This can be extremely helpful if you are trying to break a cycle of bad habits. There will be specialist counselors and therapists depending on the type of addiction you have. Do your research or speak to your doctor who may be able to recommend one to you.
Remember, counseling doesn’t always have to be about laying on a couch speaking to a random person about your difficulties. There are now many different types of counseling and it is all about finding what works for you.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key steps that you can take if you are struggling with a disability. Remember, if you are worried about addictions to drugs for pain management, there are alternatives. You may want to consider using herbal medicines. These are often just as effective for treating chronic pain without the danger of a long term dependency on a substance.