Learn About Denver Drug Treatment & Alcohol Rehab in Colorado
AspenRidge serves addicts and alcoholics in Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Lakewood, Fort Collins, Thornton, Pueblo, Arvada, Westminster, Centennial, Boulder, and across the state of Colorado and throughout the entire United States. If you're struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, our Colorado drug treatment program can help you get and stay clean while working toward the life you've always wanted.
Alcohol Recovery Information
How Addiction Affects Colorado
Addiction is a serious and deadly disease, and drug and alcohol overdoses are a leading cause of accidental death. That figure doesn't even take into account the lasting damage prolonged addiction can yield. Even if you don't overdose or don't experience any immediate health problems, alcohol and drugs can steadily erode your health.
Addiction has been linked to myriad diseases, lifestyle complications, and mental health issues. Some of the long-term side effects you may experience as a result of addiction include, but are by no means limited to:
- Chronic illnesses such as diabetes and osteoporosis
- Organ failure, especially of the kidneys and liver
- Permanent brain damage that can lead to intelligence issues, poor memory function, difficulty “finding” words, and an assortment of other challenges
- Age-related dementia, including Alzheimer's
- Mental illness
- Permanent fractures in your intimate relationships
- Skin problems
- Nutritional imbalances with lasting health effects
- Changes in speech pattern
- Chronic pain, fatigue, and muscle weakness
- Inability to tolerate stress
Addiction is more than just a personal decision. It's a serious disease with the power to transform not only your life, but the lives of people you don't even know. Every year, alcohol addiction alone kills 90,000 people, with between 5,000 and 10,000 dying from other forms of addiction. A stunning 10,000 people die in crashes with impaired drivers each year, subjecting not just you, but also innocent strangers, to the dangers of addiction.
What about the people you love the most? It's easy to get wrapped up in the ongoing painful drama of your own addiction, but addiction is - almost by definition - a family illness.
The people who love you the most will not escape your addiction unscathed; indeed, the strain of loving someone who is an addict is so intense that nearly half of all people who are close to an addict suffer from depression. If you can't find the motivation to seek help for your own well-being, then at least consider seeking help so that your loved ones can have a better life. Some of the many ways in which addiction harms your loved ones includes:
- Exposing them to danger. If you owe people money or allow drug dealers into your home, your family could be hurt.
- Exposing your family to legal risks. If you have drugs in your home, your loved ones could be arrested for your crimes.
- Chronic anxiety and emotional distress. People who love an addict are locked in a perpetual cycle of worry and fear. Your loved ones may fear you are dead when they can't reach you, live in terror of what you will do next, or spend endless hours trying to get you to go to rehab.
- Abuse and violence. Many addicts behave in brutal or cruel ways while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or when they are craving drugs. This can exact a hefty toll; hitting your child or spouse even once, for instance, can be intensely traumatic, necessitating years of assistance to manage the emotional toll.
- Financial challenges. If your loved ones help pay for your legal feels, bail you out of jail, fund your rehab, give you money for drugs, or help pay your living expenses, your addiction is directly draining their ability to live their own lives or manage their own finances.
- Guilt. Your loved ones may blame themselves for your addiction. This is especially common among children, who struggle to understand that addiction is a disease.
- Neglect of your children. If you have children and are an addict, rest assured you're not giving your children everything they need. They know more about your addiction than you realize they do, and they can suffer untold harms due to your addiction.
Addiction's effects extend well beyond your immediate community, though. Drugs and alcohol increasingly help to fund organized crime and international terrorism. For example, more than 90% of the world's poppy crops come from Afghanistan, home to the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and a host of other terrorist groups. The opiate drugs - such as heroin - used from these crops can then be used to fund terrorist attacks, illegal wars, and other human rights abuses. No matter how much you think your addiction is a private matter, the data on the far-reaching effects of alcohol and drug addiction suggest otherwise. Your problems don't just affect you, your family, or the state of Colorado.
What is Addiction: Do I Need Drug Rehab in Colorado?
At first blush, the answer to what addiction is seems fairly obvious. But when we begin to peel back the layers on the disease of addiction, it becomes apparent that addiction is not always what it seems.
A number of popular myths serve only to make addicts feel worse about themselves, so proper treatment begins with dispelling these damaging and outdated ideas.
Addiction is not:
- A choice
- A moral failing
- A spiritual crisis
- Something someone else can cause
- The inevitable result of mental illness
Addiction is a disease, just like osteoporosis or diabetes. And just as various factors can increase or decrease your risk of developing these disorders, a number of factors can affect your likelihood of becoming an addict. The single most significant risk factor is use of drugs or alcohol. No matter how many risk factors you carry, you won't become an addict if you never use addictive substances. But if you do opt to use alcohol or drugs, the following risk factors increase your odds of becoming an addict in Colorado:
- A family history of addiction. In this scenario, genetic factors play a key role. But seeing a family member struggle with addiction can also make that addiction feel “normal,” thereby increasing your risk of also becoming an addict. Children of addicts are almost twice as likely to become addicts in adulthood.
- Stressful life events. You're more likely to become an addict during times of trauma and crisis.
- A previous history of addiction. Addiction is a lifetime disease, which means that once you become an addict, you're forever vulnerable to additional addictive issues.
- A history of mental illness. About half of all people with an addiction also have a mental illness. Mental illness makes life more challenging, thereby increasing the stress that can sometimes lead to addiction.
- Hopelessness and despair. People living in poverty or under other challenging circumstances are more likely to turn to drugs to cope.
- Chronic health issues. If you have health challenges, you may turn to drugs to cope. Likewise, some people with chronic health issues take potentially addictive medications; over time, you can become physically dependent on these drugs without even meaning to.
The disease of addiction doesn't appear overnight. This is part of what makes it so challenging to detect. The process begins with the first time you use drugs and alcohol, though. As you use these substances, your body desperately tries to protect you from their effects. Your body will take immediate action to reduce the degree to which alcohol and drugs impair your judgment and functioning, leading to chemical tolerance.
As you become tolerant, the effects of alcohol and drugs will be reduced, necessitating a higher dosage to get the same results. For instance, a first-time drinker might get drunk off of a single beer. Over time, that drinker might need two, three, or four beers to feel drunk. And eventually, if he or she becomes an alcoholic, he or she might never feel drunk. Rehab for alcohol is available in Colorado!