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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.
Pharmaceutical opiates are now considered to be a more serious threat to public health than illicit drugs like heroin or cocaine. The widespread popularity of prescription analgesics like Vicodin (a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen), oxycodone (OxyContin), and Percocet (a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen) has made these drugs much more accessible to Americans, many of whom obtain the drugs without a prescription. The journal Pain Physician reports that out of the 5 million Americans who admitted to abusing pain relievers in 2010, only 17 percent obtained the drugs through a legitimate prescription.
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
For many people struggling with addiction, the toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: recognizing that you have a problem and deciding to make a change. It’s normal to feel uncertain about whether you’re ready to make a change, or if you have what it takes to quit. If you’re addicted to a prescription drug, you may be concerned about how you’re going to find an alternate way to treat a medical condition. It’s okay to feel torn. Committing to sobriety involves changing many things, including:

However, your participation can make a big difference. Based on clinical experience, many health providers believe that support from friends and family members is important in overcoming alcohol problems. But friends and family may feel unsure about how best to provide the support needed. The groups for family and friends listed below under Resources may be a good starting point. Alcohol withdrawal at its worst .
With non-medical inpatient treatment, clients are still monitored throughout detoxification, and transition to addiction rehab — but with a reduced level of medical supervision and the absence of medication therapy. To find an outpatient program that works for you or your loved one, visit The Recovery Village’s substance abuse and recovery list, or use a search engine to find “outpatient drug rehab near me.”
For others, dependency comes after a prolonged period of difficulty in their life. Drinking might appear to be a good method of coping in these situations, and sufferers will often start as a ‘stop-gap’, just to tide them over until conditions improve. Nevertheless, as drinking begins to impact relationships and responsibilities, and hangovers exacerbate the very stress the drinking sought to avoid, the difficulties can increase, encouraging yet more drinking and leading to a vicious cycle.
Addiction is an all-consuming disease, using much of an individual’s time, energy and resources. There are many physical, mental and emotional signs of addiction. If you or a loved one are experiencing a combination of these signs, treatment may be a stepping stone for long-term recovery. Looking for signs and symptoms of drug abuse can be the first step toward identifying an addiction: Inside NHS detox centre - Victoria Derbyshire
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