Drug addiction often causes actual physical changes in the brain. Specifically, addiction alters the way the brain experiences pleasure, modifying certain nerve cells (neurons). Neurons communicate with each other and create moods and other sensations using chemicals called neurotransmitters, and drug addiction can change the way neurotransmitters work in the brain.
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:
Patient-centered, collaborative therapies like motivational interviewing (MI) have proven to be more effective at retaining patients in alcohol treatment than older, more confrontational styles. In a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, alcoholics who received this encouraging, patient-centered form of therapy during the intake process were more likely to remain in treatment than those who were approached using traditional therapeutic styles.
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.
I will start out by writing that the Costa Rica Treatment Center has saved my life...I was at rock bottom. Robert and Eric came and picked me up in Jaco, in very bad shape, and they persistently, lovingly, gently, firmly, medicinally, therapeutically, turned me back around, cared for me taught me, changed me...I lived here for one month, and just felt safe and secure. They slowly brought me back to good health. I have grown spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally, and can never repay what has been given to me. From Gernot and Maggie (owners of this beautiful home), Robert (administrator, jefe) full of life and play but very disciplined, Eric (assistant manager, wonderful strong, positive, caring energy), Arturo ( Yoga instructor, who gave me daily 5 am classes, with meditation, and a chef), Donia Sonya ( housekeeping), Sheila(psychotherapist), Diego and Marianna(psychologists), Diego (MD), and other persons, in Recovery, who will remain anonymous, who have given their time and advice, and lent an ear to me...I feel this is the best place for you, if you are struggling with an addiction that is out of your control. They just "know" here, how it feels, they understand, without judgement, and their goal is to help you manage your addiction, and move forward into a good life full of purpose, kindness and happiness...This home is beautiful, spacious, room for togetherness and privacy, serene, alcoves, patios, gardens, my room was so cozy, I was able to get much needed rest. I will continue to keep Costa Rica Treatment Center a part of my life, with much gratitude to all of you for returning me to the old, and new Allison...very, very thankful...
Getting alcohol out of the addicted person’s system is the first part of recovery. People with a severe alcohol addiction can experience intense withdrawal symptoms. A supervised alcohol detox is usually necessary for people addicted to alcohol to prevent potentially fatal complications. Shaking, sweating, seizures, and hallucinations are possible alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Woman Turns to Rehab After Struggling With Drugs, Alcohol: Part 1