The path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs. But over time, a person's ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised. Seeking and taking the drug becomes compulsive. This is mostly due to the effects of long-term drug exposure on brain function. Addiction affects parts of the brain involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and control over behavior.
A large body of scientific evidence has been gathered in recent years to show that addiction can run in families. In fact, children of alcohol-addicted parents are four times more likely to develop alcohol addiction in later life than those born to parents without alcohol addictions. How this works is complex, and there is no one ‘alcohol gene’ to blame for this; instead a number of genetic variations, which mean some individuals are more pre-disposed to alcoholism than others.
Relapse prevention. Patients can use medications to help re-establish normal brain function and decrease cravings. Medications are available for treatment of opioid (heroin, prescription pain relievers), tobacco (nicotine), and alcohol addiction. Scientists are developing other medications to treat stimulant (cocaine, methamphetamine) and cannabis (marijuana) addiction. People who use more than one drug, which is very common, need treatment for all of the substances they use.
In a survey of treatment providers from three separate institutions, the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, Rational Recovery Systems and the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors, measuring the treatment provider's responses on the "Spiritual Belief Scale" (a scale measuring belief in the four spiritual characteristics of AA identified by Ernest Kurtz); the scores were found to explain 41% of the variance in the treatment provider's responses on the "Addiction Belief Scale" (a scale measuring adherence to the disease model or the free-will model of addiction). Addiction Help - Allie Severino Sentenced to 120 Years in Prison at Age 17! Beat Her Drug Addiction.
As the brain matures, experiences prune excess neural connections while strengthening those that are used more often. Many scientists think that this process contributes to the steady reduction in gray matter volume seen during adolescence (depicted as the yellow to blue transition in the figure). As environmental forces help determine which connections will wither and which will thrive, the brain circuits that emerge become more efficient. However, this is a process that can cut both ways because not all tasks are desirable. The environment is like an artist who creates a sculpture by chipping away excess marble; and just like bad artists can produce bad art, environments with negative factors (like drugs, malnutrition, bullying, or sleep deprivation) can lead to efficient but potentially harmful circuits that conspire against a person's well-being. Coming KLEAN: Stories of Overcoming Addiction, The Documentary (Rated R)
Living on a limited income is challenging enough; having to deal with recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction on a limited income is even more so. Finding help with treatment can make ease some of this burden, and it can help those struggling with addiction to get their lives back. Once recovery is in progress, it can help to be surrounded by others who understand and who can help the recovering individual through the process, such as by participating in self-help groups and other counseling programs. Alcoholism - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology
Traditional alcohol treatment programs rely on evidence-based strategies such as psychotherapy, behavioral modification therapy, peer group counseling, nutritional counseling and 12-step programs. Rehabilitation begins with detox, a cleansing process that allows the patient to withdraw safely and comfortably from alcohol. After detox, the patient participates in a structured series of therapies that are designed to help him or her modify destructive behaviors and create a sober life.
In the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 20.2 million American adults reported a past-year substance use disorder, and out of this group 7.9 million (39.1 percent) also suffered from a co-occurring mental health disorder. The range of co-occurring disorders known to coincide with drug addiction is broad and includes virtually every type of mental illness recognized by the American Psychiatric Association.
Drugs affect the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and how they look. But substance use disorders are often accompanied by co-occuring mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. Some people may use drugs as a form of self-medication for these issues, while other people may develop a mental health disorder after taking substances. Either way, it’s important to look out for psychological and behavioral changes in friends or loved ones who might be struggling with addiction: Documentaries on Alcoholism | RecoveryNavigation.Com
One study tracked the weekly drug use among individuals who attended residential treatment centers. After one year post discharge they discovered that there is a correlation between retention rates and the length of stay at a facility. Individuals coming form programs of 90 days or more showed a lower relapse rate than those coming from programs of less than 90 days. Drug Addiction : How to Help Someone with a Meth Addiction
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.
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. Eminem on drugs, addiction and rehab
One of many recovery methods are 12-step recovery programs, with prominent examples including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Drug Addicts Anonymous and Pills Anonymous. They are commonly known and used for a variety of addictions for the individual addicted and the family of the individual. Substance-abuse rehabilitation (rehab) centers offer a residential treatment program for some of the more seriously addicted, in order to isolate the patient from drugs and interactions with other users and dealers. Outpatient clinics usually offer a combination of individual counseling and group counseling. Frequently, a physician or psychiatrist will prescribe medications in order to help patients cope with the side effects of their addiction. Medications can help immensely with anxiety and insomnia, can treat underlying mental disorders (cf. self-medication hypothesis, Khantzian 1997) such as depression, and can help reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptomology when withdrawing from physiologically addictive drugs. Some examples are using benzodiazepines for alcohol detoxification, which prevents delirium tremens and complications; using a slow taper of benzodiazepines or a taper of phenobarbital, sometimes including another antiepileptic agent such as gabapentin, pregabalin, or valproate, for withdrawal from barbiturates or benzodiazepines; using drugs such as baclofen to reduce cravings and propensity for relapse amongst addicts to any drug, especially effective in stimulant users, and alcoholics (in which it is nearly as effective as benzodiazepines in preventing complications); using clonidine, an alpha-agonist, and loperamide for opioid detoxification, for first-time users or those who wish to attempt an abstinence-based recovery (90% of opioid users relapse to active addiction within eight months or are multiple relapse patients); or replacing an opioid that is interfering with or destructive to a user's life, such as illicitly-obtained heroin, dilaudid, or oxycodone, with an opioid that can be administered legally, reduces or eliminates drug cravings, and does not produce a high, such as methadone or buprenorphine – opioid replacement therapy – which is the gold standard for treatment of opioid dependence in developed countries, reducing the risk and cost to both user and society more effectively than any other treatment modality (for opioid dependence), and shows the best short-term and long-term gains for the user, with the greatest longevity, least risk of fatality, greatest quality of life, and lowest risk of relapse and legal issues including arrest and incarceration.
Drugs affect the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and how they look. But substance use disorders are often accompanied by co-occuring mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. Some people may use drugs as a form of self-medication for these issues, while other people may develop a mental health disorder after taking substances. Either way, it’s important to look out for psychological and behavioral changes in friends or loved ones who might be struggling with addiction:
Outpatient treatment programs give you the flexibility to continue to live at home and work or attend school while participating in a program. There are varying levels of outpatient treatment depending on the level of care the patient needs. Some outpatient programs may involve several hours of therapy per day while others might require varying amounts of time throughout the week.5 Program requirements vary, and you can research the various programs to find what works best for you.
As alcohol abuse progresses from dependency to addiction, your need for alcohol will become increasingly overwhelming. You may start to spend more and more of your time drinking or thinking about drinking, leaving little time for anyone or anything else. This can affect your ability to take care of responsibilities at home and work, and can have a negative impact on your relationships with family members, friends, and work colleagues. Addiction Recovery: 12 Steps and Beyond (TTA Podcast 321)
Many substance abuse treatment centers are affordable, or even free, for some clients. Many communities offer free counseling or rehab drug treatment. These types of programs usually take place at outpatient drug rehab centers. For affordable inpatient and outpatient care, utilizing an insurance provider can help you cover the cost of rehab. Many insurance plans cover substance abuse treatment completely. Speak with your insurance provider, or a representative from a potential program to find more details. The Recovery Village accepts a variety of insurance plans and works with clients to develop payment plans so they can make healing a priority. The Recovery Village’s insurance verification tool can help you narrow down your options.
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