Drug Addiction Resources & Treatment
Addiction is a complex condition that involves a number of factors. Addiction is attached to the stigma that only criminals or uneducated individuals are the majority who struggle. Yet, addiction can happen to anyone. When a person establishes a tolerance to a specific drug, the brain no longer functions properly since dopamine is activated through the substance.
Getting treatment for addiction is not easy for either the person suffering from it, or for their loved ones. However, once treatment is completed, those who suffer from addiction have a chance to return to healthy, meaningful, and productive lives again. Awareness, compassion, and commitment to responding quickly are all needed in the fight against substance abuse. Better Addiction care gives the drug addiction resources patients need to begin their recovery journey.
What Is Addiction?
Addiction is a condition that affects millions of Americans. Individuals who struggle with addiction are unable to stop themselves from engaging in potentially harmful activities, like drug or alcohol misuse.
While you can be addicted to a variety of substances (both legal and illegal), addiction manifests with some common signs. These include:
- Increased tolerance for a substance
- A loss of interest in people or things you used to enjoy
- An inability to stop using the substance, even if you want to
- Engaging in risky behavior (stealing, dangerous activity) to get more of the substance
- Physical side effects when the substance wears off (nausea, shaking, dizziness, irritability)
In addition to the symptoms and behavioral signs above, you may also be able to detect drug or alcohol abuse with the help of addiction resources. Signs of abuse include:
- Extreme changes to physical, mental, and emotional health
- Neglect of physical appearance (certain substances, such as methamphetamine, are infamous for extreme changes to the physical appearance like “meth mouth.”)
- Problems at work or school.
- Becoming increasingly at odds with their family, friends, or romantic partners.
- Financial issues.
Addiction is a complex issue that can develop from a variety of causes. In many cases, there are neurological factors at play. The American Psychiatry Association reports that brain imaging studies on people struggling with addiction reveal changes in their brains that affect judgment, decision-making, memory, learning, and self-control.
At its core, addiction or substance abuse disorder (SUD) is a chronic disease that stems from the alterations that happen in the brain. Better Addiction Care provides people with drug addiction resources to get them the appropriate treatment they need to reach their recovery goals. We understand addiction is experienced differently by everyone, so we prioritize designing a treatment plan that best fits the needs of the patients.
Common Drugs That Lead to Addiction
People can develop an addiction to anything like drugs, food, sex, or exercise and all these things have the potential for long-term health complications if the individual overindulges. A person can use a SUD self-assessment test which is beneficial but seeking a diagnosis from a professional increases the ability to maintain lifelong sobriety.
Which substances are among the most common culprits for drug or alcohol addiction? A majority of addicts become attached to socially accepted drugs as well as easily accessible substances. Here are two of the drugs that inflict physical dependency:
It can be easy for some people to ignore alcohol health-related issues because it is not an illegal substance. However, alcohol is one of the most common causes of addiction. According to The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, reports that nearly 15 million Americans age 12 or older had some kind of alcohol use disorder.
Drinking alcohol causes an overload in both the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, which makes a user want to repeat those experiences by drinking more. There are levels to alcoholism, from binge drinking episodes to long-term regular use. Understanding alcohol use disorder can help a person determine when the problem began and why treatment may be necessary.
Marijuana, THC, and Cannabis-Containing Substances
Cannabis (marijuana) can be smoked, inhaled in a vaporized form, or taken in edible form. Long-term chronic use of this drug can cause cognitive decline or permanent problems in performance at work or school. According to The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports, 30% of people who use marijuana have some kind of marijuana addiction. Unfortunately, synthetic marijuana (K2 or delta-8) is increasingly popular and easily accessible. Most of the synthetic drugs are not officially approved. Reports continue to show the severity of health issues that result from ingesting mixed chemicals.
Side Effects of Addiction
Though the particular complications of addiction depend on the substance, the person, and other factors, common complications include the following:
- Memory loss
- Brain damage
Moreover, if an addiction goes unaddressed for too long, it may result in the following issues:
- The person may make themselves and others around them more vulnerable to communicable diseases, such as HIV.
- There’s an increased chance of the person or the people around them getting gravely injured or dying in an accident because of their state.
- A person dealing with addiction may also have to deal with the consequences of breaking the law, such as paying fines or being incarcerated.
- The addiction may also leave lasting financial problems, like a buildup of debt.
- Those struggling with addiction are also at greater risk of death by suicide.
These side effects are harrowing to think about — especially if you or someone you love is currently struggling with addiction. Admittedly, addiction recovery is a massive challenge. But with the right support network of friends, loved ones, and addiction help from professionals, you can make lasting and life-saving changes.
Addiction Rehab Treatment and Management
Because addiction is a disease, it is diagnosed and treated just like other illnesses — that is, with much care and much attention to the person’s individual circumstances. Treatment must be overseen by a health professional who is familiar with addiction, ideally in an addiction treatment center.
Going to rehab is often the best recourse to fight — and ultimately win — against addiction. Those struggling with addiction can undergo the rehabilitation process with medical professionals, licensed alcohol and drug counselors, and their peers. Drug addiction resources are provided while patients are guided through the process.
Rehab offers the following benefits and resources for addiction to those struggling:
- A safe, quiet, and controlled environment in which they can recover, as well as work on their health, diet, sleeping habits, and exercise habits.
- A way to safely undergo detoxification and mitigate withdrawal symptoms under medical supervision.
- An opportunity to learn about their condition, which can be hugely beneficial for the patient as well as their loved ones.
- Access to therapy and counseling, where patients can address personal issues that may have had a hand in the addiction, such as family or work problems.
A network for sustained recovery efforts, such as nearby sober living homes or local AA or NA groups.
What Is a Treatment Plan For Addiction?
Treating addiction is a multi-layered process that depends largely on the individual’s current state when he or she enters a treatment program. However, most people treating addiction go through the following steps during their time in rehab:
Drug Detox: When a person first enters an addiction rehab center, it’s likely that he or she has some drugs currently in their system. Before they can begin treatment in earnest, they must get all substances out of their system — but this can be a difficult and uncomfortable process. Therefore, many individuals start their rehab experience in a detox center. These facilities help patients safely through withdrawal, and may even prescribe medication like anti-nausea medication or anticonvulsants to treat withdrawal symptoms.
Inpatient Rehab: After the withdrawal period passes, a patient can enter an inpatient rehab facility. In these centers, they will work on learning more about their addiction. This can include understanding the harm they’re doing to their body, uncovering the emotional triggers that contribute to their addiction, and learning valuable skills that can help them fight their addiction in the long run. Most addiction treatment centers offer individual and group therapy sessions, as well as other classes like art or music therapy.
Outpatient Rehab/Addiction Management: After treatment, the person may be advised to live in a substance-free environment like a sober living home or a halfway house. They may also choose to enroll in 12-step self-help programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous if their community has a local chapter.
How Long Does Overcoming Addiction Take?
Most people who enter an addiction treatment center for inpatient care stay 90 to 120 days. However, it’s important to remember that addiction is a lifelong struggle. Even individuals who have been drug or alcohol-free for years will often still refer to themselves as “in recovery,” because they are still using the skills they learned in rehab to maintain their sobriety.
When Should You Seek Medical or Emergency Help?
One thing everyone should know about addiction is when the problem merits medical or emergency help. Medical intervention is needed in the following cases:
- When the person can’t stop using the substance and experiences withdrawal without it.
- Even as the substance causes the person harm, they continue to use it.
- Substance addiction can already be tied to unsafe and harmful behavior, such as unprotected sex and the sharing of drug paraphernalia.
These signs are your cue to seek out either primary care or the services of a doctor whose specialty is in addiction medicine.
On the other hand, the following signs merit emergency medical care. In these cases, you should call for an ambulance or drive the person straight to the emergency room.
- The person has had an overdose.
- The person is having trouble breathing.
- The person is experiencing seizures or convulsions.
- The person is exhibiting signs of a heart attack, such as chest pain or pressure.
Some Tips for Preventing Addiction
As with many other illnesses, the best approach to take with addiction is to work for their prevention. You can do so in the following ways.
- Advocate against the use of addictive substances. Encourage your loved ones to socialize, have fun, relax, and overcome their problems even without the use of drugs or alcohol.
- Set a good example. Be a sterling example, especially among your children, friends, family members, coworkers, and your community at large. Your actions can influence others, so make sure that you use your influence for the good.
- Treat everyone with compassion. It’s important not to dehumanize those who are undergoing addiction, as you often do not know of the hardships they have had to face.
Get Help Today With Better Addiction Care
If you or someone you love has fallen victim to this devastating disease, know that you are not alone — and that Better Addiction Care offers the drug addiction resources you need to find the proper treatment that will spark your recovery journey.
Our treatment advisors are available 24/7, and calls are always free and 100% confidential. We will help you find rehab locations near you, so you can help yourself or your loved one take the first steps toward lifelong recovery. Call (800) 429-7690 today to learn more.