Commitment and follow-through are key. Recovering from alcohol addiction or heavy drinking is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the alcohol use, the longer and more intense the treatment you’ll need. But regardless of the treatment program’s length in weeks or months, long-term follow-up care is crucial to your recovery.
Antabuse is a bridge between your two lives. On the one hand, you have the life that you know. It's not what's good for you, but it's what you know. On the other hand, you have the life that you want to get to. It's better for you, but you don't know how to live there. You don't know how to relax, reward yourself, and celebrate without using drugs or alcohol. Antabuse helps you live in that life long enough so that you can develop new habits and coping skills.
To begin this process and to find these treatment options, a person dealing with drug or alcohol addiction can get in touch with their state or local mental/behavioral health or substance abuse services. These are often part of larger public or community health agency networks within the government. SAMHSA maintains a Directory of Single State Agencies (SSA) for Substance Abuse Services to make it easier for people to find out whom to contact. The state’s government websites can also provide information on these services and how to apply for them.
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.
The action stage of change represents full recognition of a problem along with observable evidence of steps taken to reduce alcohol use. The clinician should reinforce and praise the decision to change. Emphasizing that the biggest error at this stage is to underestimate the amount of help needed to quit drinking is critical. The patient should be given a list of options for treatment including AA and pharmacotherapy.
Drug abuse statistics can be alarming, but the numbers also show a potential for help and healing. The Substance Abuse and MEntal Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Substance Abuse and Health states that while 21 million Americans aged 12 and over needed drug or alcohol treatment in 2016, only 3.8 million received the help they needed at a specialized treatment facility. Other research sources on drug addiction show that:
That characterizes the vast majority of people with addictions. They initially think a few tweaks of their schedule will help them stop their use of substances, but they fail to realize the compulsive nature of addictions and the strong grip it has on their life. Rehab can help you set short and long-term goals in the areas most important to a strong recovery. These areas include goals for your physical and emotional health, relationships, occupational and spiritual aspirations.

More good news is that drug use and addiction are preventable. Results from NIDA-funded research have shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction. Although personal events and cultural factors affect drug use trends, when young people view drug use as harmful, they tend to decrease their drug taking. Therefore, education and outreach are key in helping people understand the possible risks of drug use. Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.


Problem drinking soon progresses to physical dependency. At this stage, you have probably developed a tolerance to alcohol and require more of it to feel the same level of enjoyment as before. This increased consumption can cause your body to get used to alcohol. When you are not using it, or the effects begin to wear off, you will experience physical withdrawal symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, sweating, tremors, and nausea.
Drugs are built to interfere with those messages, causing the release of too many neurotransmitters for the wrong behavior—taking drugs. This causes a huge spike in pleasure for a destructive activity that eclipses normally pleasant activities needed for survival. Drug use also prevents normal reuptake of these brain chemicals, throwing off the entire process and your natural balance, altering your mood. Soon, all that matters is to produce that flood of neurotransmitters again—and due to the addiction, there’s just one way to do that: drug use.

This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. Heroin Withdrawal | First Week In
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