Addiction and the Disabled: Breaking the Cycle

Living with a physical disability is an isolating experience, and it can make even the most mundane task difficult to complete without the assistance of others. Many people with physical disabilities also experience some form of pain or discomfort on a daily basis that forces them to rely on strong painkillers to get through the day.

After prolonged use of pharmaceuticals, the body begins to develop a tolerance and requires more of the drug in order to feel the same effect. This can easily lead to dependence, and many addicts with physical disabilities experience difficulty when seeking treatment in a rehabilitation facility since many are not equipped to provide adequate care.

While the last 10 years has seen a shocking rise in the number of disabled patients developing addictions to drugs and alcohol, there is hope for those with disabilites to avoid addiciton.

Coping With Disability

Those who become disabled later on in life due to an injury often find it extremely difficult to adjust to the sudden change in their lifestyle. One study found that around 50% of patients who have suffered a spinal cord or brain injury abuse some form of substance, and this figure is incredibly high when comparing it to only 10% for the general population.

The majority of people with disabilities find it difficult to find work or build personal relationships, and this leads to further isolation and feelings of loneliness. Without friends or family to lend support or intervene when substance abuse begins to take over, it can be almost impossible for a person to stop using alcohol or drugs through willpower alone.

Breaking the Cycle

In order to avoid falling into the trap of addiction, it is important to avoid chemical substances as much as possible. If it is necessary to take pain medication everyday, this should be closely monitored by a medical professional or loved one. Alternative medicine has been proven to be extremely helpful when dealing with chronic pain, and people with disabilities should undergo at least one form of alternative therapy to help them manage their pain.

Chiropractic medicine, acupuncture, and aromatherapy massage have all been scientifically proven to reduce pain and improve overall health and wellbeing, and in some cases they have led to patients being able to reduce or even stop their medication altogether. Many rehabilitation programmes can further complicate a patient’s recovery by substituting one drug for another during treatment, and this does not reduce cravings or physical dependency on drugs. Therapies such as biophysical detox programmes are much better suited to those with a physical disability as they tackle the root cause of cravings by cleansing the entire body of chemical substances.

People with disabilities are at an increased risk of developing addictions due to an inability to identify when their substance use is spiralling out of control, enabling by the medical industry, and separate health problems which may make their addiction harder to spot. Addressing the problem before it’s too late is crucial in ensuring a swift and complete recovery, and on-going care and support is necessary to ensure the patient does not suffer a relapse.

We’d like to thank Albert Stayton for submitting this post. Albert Stayton is a counselor who focuses on addiction. He researches and writes about addictive behavior, its causes and effects, and how to respond to it. Visit the website to learn more about biophysical detox programmes.