When a person is struggling with both a mental illness and substance use disorder, it can be difficult to identify the issues and treat them both. Many treatment facilities focus solely on the symptoms of substance use, without treating the mental health issues that may contribute to addiction. Finding a center that specializes in co-occurring disorder treatment can help identify the roots of a substance use disorder and equip patients with the tools they need for lifelong recovery.
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. Be Recovered: Breaking free from the Disease of Addiction | Dean Taraborelli | TEDxSedona
Opioids: Methadone (Dolophine®, Methadose®), buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®, Probuphine® , Sublocade™), and naltrexone (Vivitrol®) are used to treat opioid addiction. Acting on the same targets in the brain as heroin and morphine, methadone and buprenorphine suppress withdrawal symptoms and relieve cravings. Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids at their receptor sites in the brain and should be used only in patients who have already been detoxified. All medications help patients reduce drug seeking and related criminal behavior and help them become more open to behavioral treatments. A NIDA study found that once treatment is initiated, both a buprenorphine/naloxone combination and an extended release naltrexone formulation are similarly effective in treating opioid addiction. Because full detoxification is necessary for treatment with naloxone, initiating treatment among active users was difficult, but once detoxification was complete, both medications had similar effectiveness.
When you stop using alcohol altogether, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. The detoxification stage is the first step in the recovery process. It involves eliminating alcohol from your body completely. The most severe withdrawal symptoms generally surface within the first 24 to 48 hours after your last drink. While some symptoms are minor, others can be more serious. Your treatment specialist will be able to give you medications in order to help alleviate some of the pain.
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.
Depressants, also known as CNS depressants, slow down brain activity to put the body in a state of extreme relaxation. Misuse occurs when people take high doses to achieve euphoria or use the drugs with alcohol or other drugs to enhance their effects. Sexual predators also use depressants such as GHB and Rohypnol to take advantage of their victims.
One of the most common forms of aftercare is mutual-support groups, such as AA. Since AA’s approach faith-based, 12-step approach isn’t right for everyone, other types of support groups are also available. Whatever option you choose, regularly attending groups can help you maintain abstinence by providing a support system with positive relationships from which to draw encouragement.