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
When a person who is dependent on sleeping pills tries to quit cold turkey, their body may experience withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal can be uncomfortable, so it is best to go through the process at a medical detox center. Further treatment at an inpatient rehab center or outpatient program can address the psychological impact of an addiction to sleeping pills.
Once a person is addicted to alcohol, to stop it may take hospitalizations, rehabilitations, and re-rehabilitations all of which hemorrhage expenses — not to mention destroy relationships and property. The estimated cost to the system of this specialized addiction care is $24.6 billion. Since addiction is a disease that rewires the brain, the individual is unlikely to quit through “willpower” alone, and it often takes something dramatic (or “hitting rock bottom”) before they will make changes. There are costs associated with these dramatic scenarios. In the case of car accidents caused by driving drunk, costs include not just hospitalization, but the cost to insurance companies, car owners, municipal employees responding to the accident, and a continued chain reaction of costs that could ultimately include vehicular homicides and funeral expenses.
Nalmefene, an opiate antagonist that is similar in its chemical structure to naltrexone, is one of the most recent drugs being investigated for the treatment of alcoholism. Like naltrexone (sold as ReVia, Depade, or Vivitrol), nalmefene deprives the person struggling with substance use of the pleasurable feelings associated with drinking. But nalmefene is less toxic to the liver than naltrexone. As of 2013, nalmefene was still undergoing clinical trials through the U.S. National Institutes of Health before receiving FDA approval. From Rehab to a Body Bag | Dying for Treatment: VICE Reports (Full Length)
Patients who have tried AA may have had a bad past experience. Patients should try at least 5-10 different meetings before giving up on the AA approach because each meeting is different. For example, women often do better at meetings for women only because the issues for female patients with alcoholism are different from the issues for male patients with alcoholism. A meeting in the suburbs might not be appropriate for someone from the inner city and vice versa.
Certain opioid medications such as methadone and more recently buprenorphine (In America, "Subutex" and "Suboxone") are widely used to treat addiction and dependence on other opioids such as heroin, morphine or oxycodone. Methadone and buprenorphine are maintenance therapies intended to reduce cravings for opiates, thereby reducing illegal drug use, and the risks associated with it, such as disease, arrest, incarceration, and death, in line with the philosophy of harm reduction. Both drugs may be used as maintenance medications (taken for an indefinite period of time), or used as detoxification aids. All available studies collected in the 2005 Australian National Evaluation of Pharmacotherapies for Opioid Dependence suggest that maintenance treatment is preferable, with very high rates (79–100%) of relapse within three months of detoxification from LAAM, buprenorphine, and methadone.
Most countries have legislation which brings various drugs and drug-like substances under the control of licensing systems. Typically this legislation covers any or all of the opiates, amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, anesthetics, hallucinogenics, derivatives and a variety of more modern synthetic drugs. Unlicensed production, supply or possession is a criminal offence.
Stimulants like cocaine and meth can cause long-lasting damage to the brain, altering the way you think, feel and experience reality. Drug addiction facts from the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry highlight that chronic cocaine use can cause the brain to shrink, a condition called cerebral atrophy. Long-term cocaine use can cause cognitive impairment even after the drug is no longer used, while those who have used methamphetamine may continue to experience hallucinations and psychotic episodes after quitting.
Outpatient treatment programs give you the flexibility to continue to live at home and work or attend school while participating in a program. There are varying levels of outpatient treatment depending on the level of care the patient needs. Some outpatient programs may involve several hours of therapy per day while others might require varying amounts of time throughout the week.5 Program requirements vary, and you can research the various programs to find what works best for you.
“Most drugs start off being rewarding,” former National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Dr. Glen Hanson told DrugRehab.com. “That gets the person interested in them… As the addiction proceeds, then some of that shifts. It goes from the reward being the attraction to a compulsive behavior. Compulsive behaviors aren’t necessarily rewarding behaviors.”
Living on a limited income is challenging enough; having to deal with recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction on a limited income is even more so. Finding help with treatment can make ease some of this burden, and it can help those struggling with addiction to get their lives back. Once recovery is in progress, it can help to be surrounded by others who understand and who can help the recovering individual through the process, such as by participating in self-help groups and other counseling programs. Alcoholism - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology