Many of the neurological processes and brain structures involved in addiction are also used in cognitive tasks like reasoning, learning and memory. With heavy drug use, you may find that you have difficulty learning or remembering information or that you lose focus when you’re trying to concentrate on a task. In addition to short-term physical and psychological impacts, long-term drug use can also alter your mental health.
For all the popularity of alcohol, everyone knows at least one person who has struggled with alcoholism. And there have been hundreds of cases of celebrities, politicians, and other public figures getting treatment for an alcohol habit that got out of hand. We hear a lot about words like “rehab,” “detox,” and “therapy” when it comes to alcohol treatment, but what does all of that entail? How does it help someone get clean and stay clean? And what does this mean for you, or someone you know, who is fighting a battle against the temptation to keep drinking?
UKAT treatment centres view addiction treatment as a way of giving you the best chances of long-term recovery from alcoholism. As such, treatments are individually designed with that goal in mind. Your addiction treatment will meet you where you are. Your treatment plan will be geared toward your unique circumstances, and it will lead you through the recovery journey and on to a healthier, happier life.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that there is no hard, fast rule on how long it takes for an individual to become dependent on drugs or develop a drug addiction. The length of time can depend on the type of drug you’re using, the amount of the drug you take, and whether you abuse a combination of drugs (including alcohol). Other factors, like your physical and psychological health, can also influence drug dependence. Certain drugs, like cocaine, meth, heroin, and prescription drugs in the benzodiazepine family, are known to cause physical and psychological dependence very quickly. For some users, the signs of drug tolerance and physical dependence can develop after only a few uses, while others may take weeks or months to become addicted.
Another approach is to use medicines that interfere with the functions of the drugs in the brain. Similarly, one can also substitute the misused substance with a weaker, safer version to slowly taper the patient off of their dependence. Such is the case with Suboxone in the context of opioid dependence. These approaches are aimed at the process of detoxification. Medical professionals weigh the consequences of withdrawal symptoms against the risk of staying dependent on these substances. These withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult and painful times for patients. Most will have steps in place to handle severe withdrawal symptoms, either through behavioral therapy or other medications. Biological intervention should be combined with behavioral therapy approaches and other non-pharmacological techniques. Group therapies including anonymity, teamwork and sharing concerns of daily life among people who also suffer from substance dependence issues can have a great impact on outcomes. However, these programs proved to be more effective and influential on persons who did not reach levels of serious dependence.
Detox is not the expulsion of ‘toxins’ from your system, but a reaction of your nervous system to the absence of alcohol. Withdrawal from alcohol and its sedative effects results in an overreaction of the nervous system. A number of severe symptoms can develop, such as disorientation, extreme anxiety, diarrhoea, very high blood pressure, delusions, heart rhythm changes etc. This is very dangerous if not supervised and monitored by personnel experienced in addiction recovery treatment. These symptoms can now be controlled in a safe way through proper medical attention and pharmacotherapy during the detox period. Our clinical staff has extensive experience dealing with alcohol detox and conducts the process in as much safety and as comforting an environment as possible. This is a vast improvement from a time before modern medicine when there was a death rate of 33% for those going through severe alcohol withdrawal.
Inpatient or residential treatment can also be very effective, especially for those with more severe problems (including co-occurring disorders). Licensed residential treatment facilities offer 24-hour structured and intensive care, including safe housing and medical attention. Residential treatment facilities may use a variety of therapeutic approaches, and they are generally aimed at helping the patient live a drug-free, crime-free lifestyle after treatment. Examples of residential treatment settings include:
Your doctor. Primary care and mental health practitioners can provide effective alcoholism treatment by combining new medications with brief counseling visits. To aid clinicians, NIAAA has developed two guides: Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much, and for younger patients, Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide. Both are available at www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/clinical-guides-and-manuals
An intervention can be held in the immediate aftermath of a terrible alcoholism consequence. Those openings are easy to find. For example, research published in Addiction suggests that people who drink before heading out on the town are 2.5 times more likely to get in a fight while out, compared to people who don’t drink. When people come home from a night of drinking with bruises and cuts, an intervention may be in order, and it may be well received.
Inpatient treatment, also referred to as residential treatment, provides clients with many benefits that other programs don’t, whether they’re struggling with drugs, alcohol or both. Because mental health issues often go hand in hand with addiction, The Recovery Village offers inpatient behavioral health treatment and inpatient substance abuse treatment together when needed. Some of the common co-occurring disorders include depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Inpatient care includes a number of programs designed to meet the physical and mental needs of men and women. When compared to outpatient treatment, inpatient care is more intensive, and with the many facilities throughout the country, there’s a great chance you’ll find an inpatient facility near you.
Another common misconception about rehab is that every clinic is the same, or that there is only one type available. However, as you’ll see below, there are at least seven types of drug rehab available, ranging in intensity from support groups to inpatient rehab. The option that you choose will have a lot to do with the severity of your addiction, mental state, and other factors.
The specific medicines prescribed will vary depending upon your own particular experience of withdrawal and the symptoms you are manifesting, and it may be that certain medications will not be appropriate depending on your substance of abuse or your own personal health history; an experienced medical professional will be able to make those decisions to ensure you go through withdrawal as safely as possible.
Friends and family: The loved ones of those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often want to help but aren’t always sure how to bring it up. It’s worth it to ask loved ones if they are willing to assist with the cost of treatment, even if one is embarrassed to do so. Perhaps it could be discussed as a loan that the individual can work to pay back over time. This may be a last resort for some, and even for those who ask, the answer may be no, but it’s a chance for loved ones to be involved and invested in recovery.
contribute to mental illness including depression and anxietycause significant liver damage, ultimately preventing the liver from functioningcontribute to developing one of several different kinds of cancerincrease your chances of developing heart diseaseincrease your chances of using other drugscontribute to developing chronic hypertensionlead to the loss of your job and, as a result, financial instabilitydo irreparable harm to your marriage/family relationshipslead you to a life controlled by addictionlead you to a life of crime as you seek to support your addiction.
Under the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity Act, rehabilitation centers are able to bill insurance companies for substance abuse treatment. With long wait lists in limited state-funded rehabilitation centers, controversial private centers rapidly emerged. One popular model, known as the Florida Model for rehabilitation centers, is often criticized for fraudulent billing to insurance companies. Under the guise of helping patients with opioid addiction, these centers would offer addicts free rent or up to $500 per month to stay in their "sober homes", then charge insurance companies as high as $5,000 to $10,000 per test for simple urine tests. Little attention is paid to patients in terms of addiction intervention as these patients have often been known to continue drug use during their stay in these centers. Since 2015, these centers have been under federal and state criminal investigation. As of 2017 in California, there are only 16 investigators in the CA Department of Health Care Services investigating over 2,000 licensed rehab centers.
This group of potent pain-relieving substances includes all drugs that are derived from opium, a compound found in the opium poppy. Some of these drugs, like morphine and codeine, are classified as non-synthetic opiates, while others, like heroin, hydrocodone, methadone, and oxycodone, are produced synthetically in laboratories. Until recently, heroin was considered to be the most addictive of the opiates. Today, however, opiate pain medications have surpassed heroin and cocaine in their popularity as drugs of abuse. According to Harvard University, the number of opiate addicts in the US increased threefold between 1991 and 2001, largely because of the increase in nonmedical use of drugs like hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). Harvard estimates that as of 2007, approximately 2 million people in the US were dependent on opiates, a number that continues to increase.
It’s commonly known that even after the completion of a treatment program, the temptation to drink again is a lifelong challenge. However, in addition to coping skills and medication, treatment also gives the patient a vast network of contacts – a therapist, a sponsor from a support group, etc. – who make it their priority to talk the addict out of a potential relapse. Being accountable to someone who understands the challenge of trying to remain sober after treatment helps counter the fear and frustration that can be a part of that challenge.
Some people are able to stop drinking on their own or with the help of a 12-step program or other support group, while others need medical supervision in order to withdraw from alcohol safely and comfortably. Which option is best for you depends on how much you’ve been drinking, how long you’ve had a problem, the stability of your living situation, and other health issues you may have.
Usually, however, drug classification under such legislation is not related simply to addictiveness. The substances covered often have very different addictive properties. Some are highly prone to cause physical dependency, while others rarely cause any form of compulsive need whatsoever. Also, under legislation specifically about drugs, alcohol and nicotine are not usually included.
Just because your system has been cleansed of substances of abuse during detox, and you have gone through productive therapy and equipped yourself with defence mechanisms against relapse, does not mean that you can let your guard down and consider yourself “cured”: that mindset is asking for trouble as it encourages you to become too casual and overconfident about your position in relation to substance abuse.
Behavioral programming is considered critical in helping those with addictions achieve abstinence. From the applied behavior analysis literature and the behavioral psychology literature, several evidence based intervention programs have emerged: (1) behavioral marital therapy; (2) community reinforcement approach; (3) cue exposure therapy; and (4) contingency management strategies. In addition, the same author suggest that Social skills training adjunctive to inpatient treatment of alcohol dependence is probably efficacious. Community reinforcement has both efficacy and effectiveness data. In addition, behavioral treatment such as community reinforcement and family training (CRAFT) have helped family members to get their loved ones into treatment. Motivational Intervention has also shown to be an effective treatment for substance dependence.
In order to effectively address drug addiction as well as the co-occurring issues that may be underlying the problem, most patients will require residential or inpatient care. At a residential treatment program, the addicted patient will live at the treatment facility with access to 24-hour care and support that can be critical in helping them to avoid relapse in the early stages of recovery.
What emerges from relationships with poorly defined boundaries is a survival mentality where family members assume roles to help cope with stress. Though these roles can temporarily lessen stress, they increase confusion and anxiety because the underlying issue of the substance use is never directly dealt with. Rehab can help you understand where these boundaries get tangled up and show you ways to keep them healthy.
Searidge Drug Rehab leads by inspiration. We stand among Canada’s best alcohol and drug rehab centers, recognized for excellence in evidence-based psychotherapy and a high rate of successful addiction recovery. As a premiere alcohol and drug treatment center, we stand for clinical excellence and groundbreaking treatments. As a proud part of our Nova Scotia community, we stand with our physicians, therapists and staff in providing expert, compassionate care. But above all we stand with our residents, who motivate and inspire us to heal people, every day.
While casual or moderate drinking has some potential advantages – relaxation, heightened enjoyment of stimuli, etc. – problem drinkers are unable to enjoy these advantages without alcohol. In other words, casual or moderate drinkers will be able to find other ways to relax or enjoy themselves even if alcohol is not present, or they make the choice to abstain. But if someone is completely unable to function for pleasurable reasons without alcohol, they cannot conceive of having a good time without getting drunk, or reaching for the bottle is their first response to any kind of trigger (either stressful or pleasurable), then this is a sign that they are abusing alcohol and need help to stop. A day in the life of a heroin addict
If a program doesn’t include these type of approaches, or claims to use “new” strategies, ask to see an independent evaluation of their program outcomes. An evaluation should measure whether the service has had a positive impact (on drug use, dependence or mental health) and what the completion rates are. It can be conducted by independent specialists, or sometimes by the service itself.
We respect that your time and energy is limited. You want to make up for lost time with your friends and family, and commit yourself to your responsibilities. You are more than your past addiction, and while it is important to maintain strong bonds with the recovery community, it should no longer take up your whole life. Searidge’s aftercare program offers a variety of options that will work with your specific daily responsibilities and needs.
Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a "relapsing" disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug. Kevin's Struggle with Alcohol | True Stories of Addiction | Detox to Rehab
These individuals may not know that there are options for them. Free rehab centers and public assistance for rehab do exist. Exploring treatment avenues such as these is a good idea as it may reveal detox programs and other recovery options available to you at little or no cost. There are also opportunities to defray the cost of treatment or to have it covered by another entity. Many of these options are outlined below.
^ "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5 (5th edition)2014 102 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5 (5th edition) Washington, DC American Psychiatric Association 2013 xliv+947 pp. 9780890425541(hbck);9780890425558(pbck) £175 $199 (hbck); £45 $69 (pbck)". Reference Reviews. 28 (3): 36–37. 2014-03-11. doi:10.1108/rr-10-2013-0256. ISSN 0950-4125.
The AA 12-step approach involves psychosocial techniques used in changing behavior (eg, rewards, social support networks, role models). Each new person is assigned an AA sponsor (a person recovering from alcoholism who supervises and supports the recovery of the new member). The sponsor should be older and should be of the same sex as the patient (opposite sex if the patient is homosexual).
If someone you love has a drinking problem, you may be struggling with how to help them and how to avoid being overwhelmed. You are probably feeling a combination of anger, fear, shame, and sometimes even guilt. At times, it may seem easier to ignore the problem. But denying it will only cause more damage to you, your family, and the person drinking. I hope some of these suggestions will help.
Ideally, health professionals would be able to identify which alcoholism treatment is most effective for each person. NIAAA and other organizations are conducting research to identify genes and other factors that can predict how well someone will respond to a particular treatment. These advances could optimize how treatment decisions are made in the future.
Nicole Lee works as a paid consultant in the alcohol and other drug sector. She has previously been awarded grants by state and federal governments, NHMRC and other public funding bodies for alcohol and other drug research. She is a member and past President of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy. She is a registered Psychologist who has previously worked in private practice.
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