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Addiction: Asking for Help Is Hard

Published in Addiction Services, For the Health of It, Medical Professionals Author: Scott Abrams,MD

My name is Scott Abrams and I'm in recovery from an addiction to opioid pain medications.

I've been sober for nearly seven years, but still, I remember how difficult it was to reach out to ask for help. Long before I went to treatment, I knew that I desperately needed to go.

I couldn't stop

Initially of course, I was in control of my pill use but as I became physically and psychologically addicted, the drug took over, controlling more of my life. Eventually, I sacrificed everything – faith, family, health, and career for the drug. My life was a spiraling disaster and yet I couldn't stop. I desperately needed help, but it was just so hard to talk to anyone about it.

Several times, I looked up the phone number for a service that helps addicted physicians. I dialed the number and then hung up, or I called after hours, when I knew no one would be there. I wanted to change, but I was also terrified of the process of changing.

This is how addiction poisons our minds

The addiction protects itself, telling us that we cannot live without it. "I don't know how I could cope without my pills if I quit." The addiction tells us that we cannot let anyone know. "I can't tell my wife or my work. I'll get divorced and probably get fired." The addiction tells us that it will be too painful to quit and that we'd be better off just remaining where we're at. "I can't go to treatment, and I can't bear the thought of everyone knowing what I truly am." The addiction shames us and our shame keeps us enslaved.

There is hope

Recovery and freedom are possible. No, it's not easy. Having found recovery though, I can promise you that it's worth it and I can't believe I didn't do it sooner. Waking up every day to realize I don't have to spend my day finding, consuming, and hiding my pills is such a relief. In recovery, I've regained those things I gave up in my addiction – faith, family, health, and career. In recovery, I got my life back.

Whatever you're struggling with, whether it's alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, if you've tried and failed on your own, then it's time to get help.

I am now a part of the Addiction Services team at Carris Health. Together we provide confidential and nonjudgmental help with addiction.

So, if you're struggling, call us, make an appointment, and come in to talk. It won't hurt anything to visit with us, and in reaching out for help, you may just begin to find recovery and your new life.

Addiction services are available through self-referral or clinician referral. Patients are welcome to call directly to request an appointment.