Urge surf. Many people try to cope with their urges by toughing it out. But some cravings are too strong to ignore. When this happens, it can be useful to stay with the urge until it passes. This technique is called urge surfing. Imagine yourself as a surfer who will ride the wave of your drug craving, staying on top of it until it crests, breaks, and turns into less powerful, foamy surf. When you ride out the craving, without trying to battle, judge, or ignore it, you’ll see that it passes more quickly than you’d think.
Two factors have been identified as playing pivotal roles in psychological dependence: the neuropeptide "corticotropin-releasing factor" (CRF) and the gene transcription factor "cAMP response element binding protein" (CREB).[9] The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is one brain structure that has been implicated in the psychological component of drug dependence. In the NAcc, CREB is activated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) immediately after a high and triggers changes in gene expression that affect proteins such as dynorphin; dynorphin peptides reduce dopamine release into the NAcc by temporarily inhibiting the reward pathway. A sustained activation of CREB thus forces a larger dose to be taken to reach the same effect. In addition, it leaves the user feeling generally depressed and dissatisfied, and unable to find pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, often leading to a return to the drug for another dose.[17]

What happens in the brain during alcohol withdrawal? GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is the main calming neurotransmitter of the brain. GABA and adrenaline are supposed to be in balance during normal brain functioning. Frequent drinking causes the brain to produce less GABA, because the brain begins to rely on alcohol for part of its calming. So, frequent drinking causes your brain chemistry to be out of balance with an excess of adrenaline. When you suddenly stop drinking, your brain doesn’t have enough GABA neurotransmitter to balance the excess of adrenaline, which causes withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal can begin soon after the cessation of drug use and will likely peak in intensity in the first 24 to 48 hours. If severe withdrawal is left unchecked, in some instances it can be fatal. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal should be under a doctor’s care, and for drug addicts entering treatment medical detox is often required before therapy for addiction can begin.
^ Dutcher LW, Anderson R, Moore M, Luna-Anderson C, Meyers RJ, Delaney HD, Smith JE (Spring 2009). "Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT): An Effectiveness Study" (PDF). Journal of Behavior Analysis of Sports, Health Fitness and Behavioral Medicine. 2 (1): 82–93. ISSN 1946-7079. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 December 2010.[unreliable source?] Why Drug And Alcohol Treatment Centers Are Unsuccessful

The legalization of marijuana in several states and the growing acceptance of this drug in the medical community correspond with a rise in use and abuse of this substance. Marijuana, or cannabis, is a plant-based substance that can be smoked, vaporized, or ingested in foods and liquids that contain the drug. When smoked or consumed, marijuana binds with receptor cells in the brain that respond to substances called cannabinoids. Many of these receptor cells are located in the same parts of the brain that control judgment, reasoning, motor coordination, and spatial perception.

The first stage is occasional use or binge drinking. This usually involves experimentation. If you like the taste or the way alcohol makes you feel, you might choose to drink again. However, at this stage, you can still exert control over your drinking, even if you do drink more than the recommended weekly amount. You might think that occasional binge drinking is harmless, but the reality is that it can have a negative impact on your health and put you at risk of alcohol poisoning. Furthermore, if you continue to binge drink regularly, it can lead to a bigger problem.
One of the major benefits of limiting our enrolment is having the space for flexibility and individuality a larger institution can never accommodate. While our addiction treatment program is primarily focused on evidence-based psychotherapy, we are open and able to integrate into this whichever alternative therapies appeal to each resident. Our goal is to provide each of our residents with precisely the right combination of Psychological, Medical, Pharmaceutical, Nutritional, Alternative and Spiritual practices that will bring each of them their recovery. We pride ourselves in our ability to work with each resident closely, and offer him or her the care, support and treatment they need with compassion and dignity.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that causes dangerous physical effects such as rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure. Cocaine is extremely addictive due to its short half-life and method of action. It keeps a steady stream of dopamine in the brain while users are high, preventing further dopamine production and closing down dopamine receptors. When withdrawal sets in, the brain starts to crave the lost dopamine the drug once provided, making it extremely hard to recover from.10
Our priority is to offer individual support and attention to residents in a welcoming and comfortable environment in which they are not overwhelmed by a large crowd of people. This allows residents to engage with therapy more easily and get to know us and each other better. In a larger centre, a group therapy session can mean 25 or 30 people listening to a speaker, which essentially makes you a member of an audience. At Searidge a group session is much more of an interactive discussion. This enables residents to better express themselves and have their concerns and opinions be heard. A more open and deeper engagement with group therapy results.
Individual therapy will help you learn to recognize triggers and cope with them. The therapists may also help you to improve your emotional regulation skills in order to better avoid relapse. Group counseling provides you with the opportunity to practice sober social skills, as well as the coping strategies you learned in individual counseling. Family therapy sessions can help to repair broken relationships, improve communication skills, and build conflict resolution skills. Medication, such as methadone or Suboxone, may be used in combination with behavioral therapy to help opioid-addicted individuals remain abstinent. Once your rehab program nears an end, your treatment team will create an aftercare or relapse prevention plan for you consisting of ongoing support. Ongoing support may include individual therapy, group counseling, self-help group meetings (e.g., 12-step, SMART Recovery), alumni programs, or sober living homes.1,2

With opiate abuse (heroin, morphine, OxyContin, Vicodin), withdrawal symptoms usually start within a matter of hours and last for several days. With stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine, withdrawal may be more extensive, with cravings, depression, and anxiety lasting for several months. Withdrawal from prescription medications, such as sedatives in the benzodiazepine family (Valium, Xanax, Ativan) may require a drug taper lasting a number of weeks to clear the chemical safely from your system.


When they first use a drug, people may perceive what seem to be positive effects. They also may believe they can control their use. But drugs can quickly take over a person's life. Over time, if drug use continues, other pleasurable activities become less pleasurable, and the person has to take the drug just to feel “normal.” They have a hard time controlling their need to take drugs even though it causes many problems for themselves and their loved ones. Some people may start to feel the need to take more of a drug or take it more often, even in the early stages of their drug use. These are the telltale signs of an addiction.
Repeat on each part of your body that’s experiencing the craving. What changes occur in the sensations? Notice how the urge comes and goes. You’ll likely notice that after a few minutes the craving has gone. The purpose of urge surfing is not to make cravings disappear, but to experience them in a new way. However, with practice, you’ll learn how to ride your cravings out until they go away naturally.
It is important that you know how to act when triggers or cravings present themselves. If you have a plan in place, it can help to prevent a full-blown relapse. It may be that you will get in touch with your counsellor or sponsor, or perhaps distraction will help. You might find that going for a walk or doing something else to keep you busy can help the cravings subside.
The methamphetamine binge is followed by a phase called “tweaking,” a state characterized by restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, agitation, sleeplessness, and intense cravings. “Tweakers” may experience delusional thinking, psychotic episodes, hallucinations, and violent impulses. Severe itching and the urge to harm oneself are common at this point. Methamphetamine withdrawal is complicated by the fact that many heavy users are malnourished, dehydrated, and sleep deprived. Meth-induced psychosis can continue for weeks or months after the addict stops using. In a case study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one methamphetamine addict continued to have auditory hallucinations, fears of persecution, and paranoid delusions for a year after treatment. A rehab jail for heroin addicts
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