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Physical Disability and Addiction

Physical Disability and AddictionPhysical disability is an umbrella term for a wide variety of impairments most often associated with orthopedic, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders. The common factor in physical disabilities is that people often must rely upon assertive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, canes, and artificial limbs to obtain mobility.

The causes of physical disability can be congenital or a result of injury, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, amputation, heart disease, pulmonary disease and more. Regardless of the cause, physical disability has an impact on every aspect of a person’s life. Louisville residents with physical disabilities may be tempted to use drugs or alcohol as a temporary relief from their discomfort.

Emotional Impact of Physical Disability on Louisville Residents

People with physical disability live in a constant state of adjustment. They must adjust to not feeling well, to decreased activity and capability, and changes in priorities, finances, self-image, and relationships. This ongoing requirement to adjust can affect Louisville residents in a variety of ways and trigger the following emotions:

  • Hopelessness
  • Frustration
  • Helplessness
  • Depression
  • Sadness
  • Embarrassment
  • Resentment
  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • Shame
  • Loss

These emotional impacts often cause a range of behavior changes as well.

Behavioral Changes Associated with Physical Disability

Louisville residents who are struggling with physical disability and the associated emotional impact may alter their behaviors as a result.  Behavior changes associated with physical disability may include:

  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Reduced time spent in social situations
  • Resistance to religious support
  • Isolation

All of these adjustments may lead a person to experience extreme loneliness. Between the emotional and behavioral impacts, people with physical disability may seek a reprieve from their lives through the use of drugs and alcohol.

Physical Disability and Addiction

A 2011 report, entitled Substance Use Disorders in People With Physical and Sensory Disabilities, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), found that it is difficult to determine whether rates of substance abuse are higher or lower among people with physical disabilities than among the general population. Although debate exists among researchers about the prevalence of substance abuse disorders among people with disabilities, there is agreement that active substance abuse disorders can seriously harm the health and quality of life of individuals with disabilities in the following ways:

  • Interfere with successful engagement in rehabilitation services.
  • Interact with prescribed medications
  • Impede coordination and muscle control
  • Impair cognition
  • Reduce the ability to follow self-care regimens
  • Contribute to social isolation, poor communication, and domestic strife
  • Contribute to poor health, secondary disabling conditions, or the hastening of disabling diseases
  • Inhibit educational advancement
  • Lead to job loss, underemployment, and housing instability

For some Louisville residents, drug or alcohol abuse may be the direct or indirect cause of their disability, for example, by falling or causing a car crash while intoxicated. For others, the disability led them to abuse substances.

Get Help for Louisville Residents with Physical Disability and Addiction

Life is difficult enough if you have a physical disability. You do not want to make matters worse by becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. We can help you deal with issues associated with physical disability and addiction by finding an integrated treatment program that is right for you. Please call our toll-free number today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about integrated treatment.

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