There are times when people find it impossible to quit taking drugs. Addiction is a serious medical condition that makes it difficult to impossible for people to quit drugs and alcohol on their own, and anyone in this position might need some time to get the help that they need. Addictions can make going to work impossible, and anyone who needs help should look to the Social Security Administration for benefits that they can use to pay for bills until they’re able to get clean and healthy.
What Are Addictions?
An addiction is a disorder in which a person is unable to discontinue their use of a certain substance or several substances. People can become addicted to a range of drugs, including alcohol, opioids, and many other addictive drugs.
People become addicted to drugs because of the pleasure and reward system in the brain. A person who functions normally needs this system because it causes us to repeat functional behaviors. For instance, eating is a pleasurable activity that gives us feedback that tells us to do it again. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol use that same reward system that has been wired into us. When a person takes some types of drugs, they get high, which is a pleasant experience for the user. But they also come down from the high, which is usually unpleasant. In order to get rid of the withdrawal symptoms, the user needs to get another dose of that drug.
While anyone can become addicted and some drugs are more addictive than others, there are some risk factors to becoming addicted to drugs. For instance, genetics can play a role in who becomes addicted. Environmental factors, such as family attitudes toward drug use and peer relationships can also play a role in who becomes addicted to drugs.
Symptoms of Addiction
Anyone who suspects that a loved one has an addiction should know the symptoms. It’s usually difficult for people with addictions to admit that they have a problem, so it often falls on others to help the person with the addiction to get the help that they need.
Many of the symptoms are behavioral, so others can often see them. For instance, if a person is taking the drugs regularly and feels that they need to continue to take them, this is one of the signs of a drug addiction. A person might also spend money on the drug even when they can’t afford to pay for it. This can lead to financial problems, such as an inability to pay utility bills or even the rent.
Employers and co-workers might also notice that obligations are not being met at work, and friends might begin to notice that the person using drugs is no longer spending as much time with them. Some people might engage in risky behaviors or begin to steal so that they can continue to get their drug of choice.
There are also some symptoms that the person with the addiction might be more likely to experience. For instance, an addicted might experience cravings and need higher doses to continue to achieve the high that they initially felt when they first started using.
Some people will also experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using the drug. Plus, there are people who will completely fail at quitting.
Treatments for Addiction
There are several forms of treatment that people can use to move forward in their journey to recovery from substance abuse. One of the first things that a person can do is find a treatment center. Unfortunately, some people will go to the hospital first because they have an overdose.
Depending on the type of drug problem the person has, they will need different kinds of treatment. Opioids are a commonly abused drug in the U.S. today, and first responders to people who have overdosed on an opioid will often give naloxone to counteract the effects of the opioids. Then, people who have an opioid or other drug addiction will need to undergo detox, which is a process in which the person doesn’t use drugs until the substance is no longer in their body.
For long-term care and as a way to help a person live without drugs, an outpatient treatment center is the right option for many people with addictions. Outpatient programs help people with drug problems by providing individual counseling and group counseling while letting the person with the drug problem stay at home. Some people with a drug addiction might go through just an outpatient program, but outpatient programs can also be included in a longer treatment after the person has already completed an inpatient program.
The inpatient program is a treatment plan where the person with the addiction stays in a facility that’s specifically designed for people with addictions. While there, they will undergo detox. After the drugs have been cleaned out of their system, they’ll go to individual and group counseling sessions to learn strategies to stay off of drugs once they leave the outpatient center.
There are differing opinions on whether or not the person should be weaned off of their drug or be expected to quit without the assistance of the drug of choice or a similar drug. But depending on the facility, some drugs might be used in the process of detox.
There are also self-help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, that people use to stay off of alcohol and drugs.
Disability Benefits for Addiction
People with an addition need disability benefits to pay bills when they can’t work, especially if they’re getting inpatient treatment or have a health complication because of their drug use. Many inpatient programs, which are necessary for some people with addictions, do not allow the person to leave for work or other normal obligations to receive treatment, but anyone who has a drug addiction should look at the requirements that they must meet to go for treatment.
One of the first things that the SSA will look at is whether or not the applicant’s condition will last for at least 12 months. They’ll also look at whether or not the applicant will earn less than $1,260 per month. Finally, in order to qualify, the condition must have a severe impact on a person’s ability to work.
While there isn’t currently a listing in the Social Security Blue Book for substance abuse, a person can receive benefits if they meet the criteria of any of the impairments that substance abuses cause. Some of these impairments include brain damage, seizures, pancreatitis, liver damage, depression, peripheral neuropathy, gastritis, anxiety, or personality disorders.
The complications to working must be severe. Furthermore, if it’s determined that the complication would resolve itself if the person simply stopped using drugs, the SSA can deny a claim. But if the complication wouldn’t go away as soon as the person quit using the drug, the SSA is more likely to award benefits for a claim.
Additionally, people who receive benefits but continue to use drugs could be required to go to a rehab facility. And some people who are ordered to go to treatment might also be set up with a representative payee, which is a person who manages the finances for the recipient of benefits.
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal a denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Appeal an existing denial of Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations due to Addiction, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.