Mental health problems. If you suffer from a mental health problem, whether or not it has been diagnosed, and whether or not you take medication for it, you are at higher risk for addiction. Mental health problems include anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, bipolar personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to name a few.
The official diagnosis of drug addiction by the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (2000), which makes distinctions between drug use, abuse, and substance dependence, is flawed. First, diagnosis of drug use versus abuse can be arbitrary and reflect cultural norms, not medical phenomena. Second, the term substance dependence implies that dependence is the primary pharmacologic phenomenon underlying addiction, which is likely not true, as tolerance, sensitization, and learning and memory also play central roles. It is ironic and unfortunate that the Manual avoids use of the term addiction, which provides the best description of the clinical syndrome.

1. First, assessment – Upon entering alcohol rehabilitation, medical staff will screen you to assess your personal situation and create a program that is unique to you. This will likely include a physical exam, a urinalysis drug test, a psychological screening and an assessment of personal circumstances. The aim here is to understand the extent of alcohol abuse and to create a program that will allow you to succeed.


Immediately upon entering alcohol rehab, the first step is to undergo a complete diagnostic evaluation. Both physical and psychological, this process is an information-gathering period which will allow the medical team to better formulate a specific treatment plan that will address your individual needs. It is especially important to note acute medical issues brought on by alcohol abuse and co-occurring mental health issues that will require immediate attention.


Repeat on each part of your body that’s experiencing the craving. What changes occur in the sensations? Notice how the urge comes and goes. You’ll likely notice that after a few minutes the craving has gone. The purpose of urge surfing is not to make cravings disappear, but to experience them in a new way. However, with practice, you’ll learn how to ride your cravings out until they go away naturally.

Dependence is defined as an adaptive state that develops in response to repeated drug administration, and is unmasked during withdrawal, which occurs when drug taking stops. Dependence from long-term drug use may have both a somatic component, manifested by physical symptoms, and an emotional–motivation component, manifested by dysphoria. While physical dependence and withdrawal occur with some drugs of abuse (opiates, ethanol), these phenomena are not useful in the diagnosis of addiction because they do not occur with other drugs of abuse (cocaine, amphetamine) and can occur with many drugs that are not abused (propranolol, clonidine). Practice Demonstration - Substance Abuse Counseling
Over time, the patient often comes to believe that the drug betters them as a person and feels incapable of contemplating life without it. In short order, however, use of the drug will begin to cause problems for the user and to remove the good things in their life. All of the perceived “good” effects of using the drug will wear away, but the person will still continue to use, often becoming obsessed with the drug and doing anything they have to do to obtain the substance of choice.

Choosing an In-House Drug Rehab requires making a concerted effort to ask preliminary questions and receive straightforward answers from an Admissions (Intake) Specialist.  Does the Treatment Center provide a Detox Program?  Is detox a pre-requisite to receiving acceptance into the Treatment Center?  What is the standard application process and how long does it take to receive acceptance results?  Does the Center have an established treatment protocol that prospective clients can access and read? 


Stimulants, such as tobacco, cocaine or prescription amphetamines, stimulate the brain and nervous system, causing increased alertness. Depressants, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines, slow activity in the brain and nervous system, causing relaxation. Hallucinogens, such as LSD and PCP, drastically disrupt the way the brain and nervous system communicate, causing hallucinations. Rehab: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
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