Understanding and Overcoming Chemical Dependency
Chemical Dependency as a Component of Addiction
Addiction is a complex disorder, restructuring everything from how the brain processes dopamine to how the body functions on a daily basis. There are a number of components to addiction, one of the most important of which can be described as chemical dependency.
Chemical dependency makes it particularly difficult for addicts to quit on their own, which is why chemical dependency rehabilitation centers are specially outfitted with the highly trained staff and resources necessary to safely treat dependency. Recovery is not an easy road to walk, but with the right support and care, it’s one that can lead you to a healthy, bright future.
What Is Chemical Dependency?
When the body becomes accustomed to the presence of a specific substance, like alcohol, changes in the brain occur that alter the chemical makeup of the brain and body. Eventually, the body becomes so accustomed to the presence of the substance that it will not function “properly” when the substance is no longer present.
In many cases, someone will experience what are known as withdrawal symptoms when they cease taking or reduce how much they consume of a substance. If a person experiences withdrawal symptoms, they are said to have a chemical dependency, or be dependent on that substance.
Chemical Dependency and Addiction
Chemical dependency can create a cycle in which the drug must be continuously consumed as a way to stave off these effects. Tragically, greater usage of the substance increases tolerance and dependence, which in turn leads to greater use.
Eventually, the individual’s life and motivation may be solely focused on acquiring more of the drug and they may continue using despite being fully aware of the consequences. They may begin to experience severely negative impacts on their lives as a result of substance abuse. At this point, a full-blown addiction has likely developed
Professional treatment may be needed to help an addiction sufferer transition back into sobriety in a comfortable and safe way.
Chemical Dependency Statistics
Due to the often multi-faceted nature of addiction and chemical dependency, statistics can be a good way to get a look at the issue as a whole in a clear and concise manner.
The sad fact of the matter is that thousands of people die every year as a result of their chemical dependency and drug addiction. By learning more about chemical dependency and how it develops, we as a society can begin to develop better strategies for helping people find the treatment they need.
- Chemical dependency affects people of all ages. An estimated 2.5 million older adults struggle with substance abuse.
- Not everyone who needs help can be easily seen. According to a 2003 estimation by SAMHSA, 38% of homeless individuals were chemically dependent on alcohol.
- In 2013, around 21.6 million people were chemically dependent on drugs or alcohol.
- According to a 2012 report from the United Nations, 200,000 people die every year from drug abuse.
Treatment at Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Centers
Chemical dependency can drastically alter the personality and priorities of an individual, creating a situation in which an addiction sufferer may logically recognize that they need help, but may be unable or unwilling to seek it out.
Friends and loved ones can help by taking the time to look into nearby chemical dependency rehabilitation centers and learning what each facility offers. When the addicted individual is ready to get sober, having a cost-effective treatment facility already in mind can reduce the time it takes for them to enter rehab and start healing.
If trying to find the right rehab center proves to be a more difficult task than expected, consider using BetterAddictionCare’s customized pre-screening assessment. The assessment is a quick and easy way to search through our nationwide recovery network of outpatient, inpatient, and alternative rehab programs across the country. Our services are 100% confidential, and the facilities in our network are always accepting new patients.
Call today or fill out our contact form for more information on chemical dependency and how we can help find the best rehab program for you or a loved one.