Some people are more vulnerable to drug addiction than others, just as some people are more vulnerable to cancer or diabetes than others. There is no single factor that controls whether you will become addicted. Overall, though, the more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of drug addiction is; on the other hand, the more protective factors you have the less risk of addiction you face.
However, your participation can make a big difference. Based on clinical experience, many health providers believe that support from friends and family members is important in overcoming alcohol problems. But friends and family may feel unsure about how best to provide the support needed. The groups for family and friends listed below under Resources may be a good starting point.
The physician must state firmly, but empathically, that alcohol is a problem for the patient and that the patient determines the solution. Patients come for treatment through several means, often from a mixture of both coercion and concern. The clinician needs to understand the extent of resistance to effectively work with the patient. A good strategy is to learn about patients' goals and indicate discrepancies between their goals and their choices. Pointing out discrepancies is more effective initially than statements such as, "You have to quit," or, "You have to go to AA."
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Integrated treatment is comprehensive programming that offers all of the therapeutic resources necessary to help the individual heal physically, mentally, and spiritually. There is no one cause of addiction, though living with a mental health disorder may increase the likelihood of developing a substance use disorder — and vice versa. Everyone is different. In some cases, a mental health disorder predates the development of a drug abuse. In other cases, mental health symptoms are not apparent until after addiction has taken hold — sometimes, these conditions are exacerbated or worsened by drug use.
Numerous studies have proven that Antabuse is effective in the treatment of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Antabuse has been used since 1951. (The generic name of Antabuse is Disulfiram.) Antabuse is not only effective in treating alcoholism, it is also helpful in treating drug addiction. If you have a drug problem, anything that helps you stop drinking will also help you stop using drugs, because alcohol usually leads to drugs.
Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana and nicotine also are considered drugs. When you're addicted, you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes.
A number of faith-based groups operate drug and alcohol recovery programs. These include the Christian Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers and Harbor Light detox and residential centers, which can be found nationwide, as well as a variety of other rehab centers and organizations dedicated to residential rehabilitation and support based on their specific faith traditions. Some religious organizations offer support organizations for people in rehab, such as the Orthodox Jewish Chabad movement recovery program and its residential treatment center for men in California, or JACS, a Jewish community addiction resource group in New York, along with a number of other Christian support organizations, like Alcoholics Victorious and Christians in Recovery. These groups generally provide free 12-Step support or other counseling, religious motivation, and peer support group programs, but do not provide medical detox, requiring that their clients undergo detox before beginning their programs.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states, “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” Addiction can result from a variety of factors and catalysts, including genetic predisposition, circumstances, environment, trauma and mental health disorders. While addiction often starts with drug abuse, it is not an indication of a person’s moral status or stability. In fact, many addictions spring from prescription drug use or casual use of legal substances.
One of the brain areas still maturing during adolescence is the prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain that allows people to assess situations, make sound decisions, and keep emotions and desires under control. The fact that this critical part of a teen's brain is still a work in progress puts them at increased risk for making poor decisions, such as trying drugs or continuing to take them. Introducing drugs during this period of development may cause brain changes that have profound and long-lasting consequences.
Substance abuse therapy: Used as a part of many inpatient and outpatient programs, therapy is one of the cornerstones of drug addiction treatment. Individual, group and family therapy help patients and their loved ones understand the nature and causes of addiction. Therapy teaches coping strategies and life skills needed to live a productive, sober life in the community. For individuals with a co-occurring mental illness, intensive psychotherapy can also address psychiatric symptoms and find the underlying issues that contribute to addiction. Inside Shalom House, Australia’s ‘strictest’ drug rehabilitation | Australian Story