Changes in the brain that support physical and psychological dependency on mind-altering substances are the direct cause of addiction, but those changes do not occur at random. Addiction experts believe drug addiction emerges from an interplay of genetic and environmental factors, although one factor or the other may be strong enough to make a person vulnerable to addiction in some instances. Overcome Any Addiction: Dopamine Receptor Repair & Addiction Healing (sound therapy)
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Addiction medications make the recovery process easier by easing the cravings and side effects associated with withdrawal. In the advanced stages of recovery, some people continue to take these medications in order to maintain their sobriety. Addiction medication should be taken only under a doctor’s supervision. These drugs can have serious side effects, including physical dependence and tolerance. Ironically, the medications used to treat opiate addiction have addictive properties themselves.
While a trial period of controlled drinking with careful follow-up might be appropriate for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse, this approach increases a physician's professional liability. Complete abstinence is the only treatment for alcohol dependence. Emphasize that the most common error is underestimating the amount of help that will be needed to stop drinking. The differential diagnosis between alcohol abuse and dependence can be a difficult judgment call. Dr. Gabor Mate Shares Insights on Addiction Treatment
Anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts are all common results of alcohol dependency. This is because prolonged heavy drinking effects the neurotransmitters in the brain which regulate mood. Two of the most important neurotransmitters for mood are dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for creating the positive feelings vital for a healthy mind. Research shows that the levels of both serotonin and dopamine are often heavily altered in the brains of alcoholics, leading to deteriorating mental health and, often, a negative spiral of alcohol use.
Hallucinogens are mind-altering, psychoactive substances with a high potential for abuse. These substances are often taken by people looking to distort their perception of reality. Hallucinogens are also sometimes used to self-medicate a mental disorder, such as depression. However, taking hallucinogens for self-medication purposes can make an underlying condition even worse.
It is not just the addict who suffers from addiction: those around them, especially family members, can be profoundly affected too. Some good rehabs have a strong focus on the family, in terms both of the role the family can play in an addict’s recovery, and of the recovery of the family members themselves who may have experienced great distress and even trauma as a result of their loved one’s addiction.
More good news is that drug use and addiction are preventable. Results from NIDA-funded research have shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction. Although personal events and cultural factors affect drug use trends, when young people view drug use as harmful, they tend to decrease their drug taking. Therefore, education and outreach are key in helping people understand the possible risks of drug use. Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction. Three Approaches to Treating Addiction by Dr. Bob Weathers
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.
The definition of recovery remains divided and subjective in drug rehabilitation, as there are no set standards for measuring recovery. The Betty Ford Institute defined recovery as achieving complete abstinence as well as personal well-being while other studies have considered "near abstinence" as a definition. The wide range of meanings has complicated the process of choosing rehabilitation programs. Alcoholic Starts Shaking On Stage | The Jeremy Kyle Show
Be upfront about your history of drug use when seeking medical treatment. If you need a medical or dental procedure done, be upfront and find a provider who will work with you in either prescribing alternatives or the absolute minimum medication necessary. You should never feel ashamed or humiliated about previous drug use or be denied medication for pain; if that happens, find another provider.
This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. Heroin Withdrawal | First Week In