Every May the world comes together to celebrate Mental Health Awareness month.  A time dedicated to raising awareness to those living with mental health conditions, highlighting the importance of mental wellness and help in reducing the stigma so many experience.  While it is important to end the negative stigma around mental illness for all, those who suffer from the most severe form of Substance Use Disorder (SUD), Addiction, are often overlooked.  The reason – a lack of understanding leading to the common misconception that all people who use drugs have the ability to choose when to stop. 

If only it were that easy!

Most people suffering from addiction would stop in a heartbeat if they could but it’s not that easy and this is where understanding the difference between drug use and drug addiction comes in.  Both usually start with experimental use of a recreational drug, for some it is only in social situations but for others the use becomes more frequent.  For the addict as time passes, larger doses are needed to chase that high, soon it may be needed just to feel good and then it becomes difficult to go without.  Addiction affects the brain in fundamental ways, changing a person’s view of their needs and replacing it with new priorities connected to procuring and using drugs.  Because people do not get to choose how their brain and body respond to substances, those who struggle with addiction cannot control their use while others can.  An addict should not be blamed for having a disease, but rather be able to get quality, evidence-based care to address it.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration acknowledges that SUD is directly linked to trauma and under every addiction is pain, collateral damage from a lifetime of complex traumas.  With the help and support of family, friends and peers to seek and stay in treatment, they increase their chances of recovery and survival. If addiction is left untreated, it can become more severe leading to other physical and mental disorders that may be life threatening.  The past 18 months has been extremely difficult for the entire world, the CDC has indicated that selected mental health conditions and initiation of or increase in substance use to cope with stress or emotions during the pandemic were commonly reported by people.  Addiction develops over time, it usually begins with misuse, moving toward abuse and results in addiction. 

You are in the right place

So you hit rock bottom, you are tired of being a slave to your addiction, you realize there is so much more you want out of life.  Well you are in the right place, the road to recovery, and we are happy for you.  This next phase of your life is an ongoing process, one that takes time, one that requires acceptance in order to grow and rebuild. You don’t get over addiction by stopping but rather by creating a new life where it is easier not to use.  The Dismas Home of New Hampshire (DHNH) is here for you,  we offer a four phase holistic approach in a family-like environment where our residents participate in a number of programs designed by professionals utilizing evidence-based practices in an effort to do whatever is necessary to help our residents successfully transition as contributing members of society.   Through education, training, therapy and recovery services we assist our residents in transforming their lives, breaking the cycle and starting their new adventure of recovery. 

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