Drug addiction is a complex neurobiological disease that requires integrated treatment of the mind, body, and spirit. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain — they change its structure and how it works. Without treatment, these brain changes can be long-lasting. Addiction is chronic, it is progressive, and if left untreated, it can be fatal.
Nalmefene, an opiate antagonist that is similar in its chemical structure to naltrexone, is one of the most recent drugs being investigated for the treatment of alcoholism. Like naltrexone (sold as ReVia, Depade, or Vivitrol), nalmefene deprives the person struggling with substance use of the pleasurable feelings associated with drinking. But nalmefene is less toxic to the liver than naltrexone. As of 2013, nalmefene was still undergoing clinical trials through the U.S. National Institutes of Health before receiving FDA approval. From Rehab to a Body Bag | Dying for Treatment: VICE Reports (Full Length)
There are two different types of residential drug abuse rehabilitation programs: hospitalized and non-hospitalized. In the last few years, residential treatment facilities have undergone changes and started to provide an environment that is less hospital-like for patients. Treatments in residential facilities may depend upon the particular program and facility.5
Integrated alcohol treatment programs are designed for patients who meet the criteria for a substance use disorder and a form of mental illness. In a national study of co-occurring disorders, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 37 percent of individuals with alcohol dependence also suffered from a mental health disorder, while over 50 percent of individuals who abused drugs also had a psychiatric illness. These patients face unique obstacles in recovery, such as low motivation, anxiety about new situations, poor concentration and delusional thinking. Integrated treatment, which targets both the patient’s mental illness and substance use disorder within the same program, is the most effective way to achieve a full recovery. Services for both issues are provided at a single facility, and delivered by staff members who are cross-trained in substance abuse treatment and mental health.
If a program doesn’t include these type of approaches, or claims to use “new” strategies, ask to see an independent evaluation of their program outcomes. An evaluation should measure whether the service has had a positive impact (on drug use, dependence or mental health) and what the completion rates are. It can be conducted by independent specialists, or sometimes by the service itself.
In many cases, symptoms of the mental health disorder appear first. As they become more and more overwhelming, the patient may attempt to “treat” those symptoms by using different drugs. For example, a patient who struggles with depression may attempt to improve their mood by taking heroin or prescription drugs. Patients who are living with anxiety may try to calm themselves by smoking marijuana. Conversely, someone dealing with an eating disorder may attempt to further their weight loss attempts by abusing stimulant drugs like cocaine or crystal meth.
The concept of group therapy encompasses a number of equally important goals. For example, one of the goals is to facilitate an environment in which recovering alcoholics can learn from one another. In your case, you have thoughts and experiences that could help someone else in the group. Likewise, what other people have to share could prove beneficial in your recovery. Rehab I'm Me
Individuals who are alcohol dependant have higher rates of psychiatric disorders than the rest of the population, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychosis. For these people, alcohol might be a DIY solution to their disorder, and at first might be effective at keeping the symptoms under control. Nonetheless, in time, these problems will only intensify as a result of alcohol abuse.
It’s commonly known that even after the completion of a treatment program, the temptation to drink again is a lifelong challenge. However, in addition to coping skills and medication, treatment also gives the patient a vast network of contacts – a therapist, a sponsor from a support group, etc. – who make it their priority to talk the addict out of a potential relapse. Being accountable to someone who understands the challenge of trying to remain sober after treatment helps counter the fear and frustration that can be a part of that challenge.
Usually, however, drug classification under such legislation is not related simply to addictiveness. The substances covered often have very different addictive properties. Some are highly prone to cause physical dependency, while others rarely cause any form of compulsive need whatsoever. Also, under legislation specifically about drugs, alcohol and nicotine are not usually included.
During alcoholism treatment, therapy teams provide lessons on relapse prevention. These lessons are designed to help people spot the people, places, and things that can drive them to return to drinking. With the help of these lessons, people can learn to both avoid and/or handle their triggers so they won’t pick up an alcoholic beverage when they’re under stress.
Research the history of the Treatment Center or facility. What is their success rate? Can you find any medical recommendations for them online from members of the established rehab or medical community? How long has the Center been in operation? Is their leadership on solid ground? Are there any signs of financial corruption associated with the Center that is readily visible on the Internet? It is your responsibility to dig for this information. If you cannot find any information about a given Treatment Center online or at your local library, move on to the next Center on your list! 3 Stages of Drug Alcohol Rehab-How It Works