Drug addiction is a complex neurobiological disease that requires integrated treatment of the mind, body, and spirit. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain — they change its structure and how it works. Without treatment, these brain changes can be long-lasting. Addiction is chronic, it is progressive, and if left untreated, it can be fatal.
As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.
Drug addiction and drug abuse are often used as interchangeable terms, but the fact is that they are two very different things. Drug abuse occurs when a person abuses illegal substances or prescription drugs; the person may enjoy the effect provided by the use of the substance and use it regularly, but unless the drug abuse is accompanied by certain symptoms or issues and a physical dependence on the drug, it is not drug addiction.

Support groups are most useful as a long-term drug rehab program in that they can help hold former addicts accountable years after their treatment is complete. Patients find themselves surrounded by like-minded individuals who are in similar situations like the ones with which the patient is struggling. Many find it easier to discuss issues like temptation and family problems with others who understand.

Therapeutic communities, which are highly structured programs in which patients remain at a residence, typically for 6 to 12 months. The entire community, including treatment staff and those in recovery, act as key agents of change, influencing the patient’s attitudes, understanding, and behaviors associated with drug use. Read more about therapeutic communities in the Therapeutic Communities Research Report at https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/therapeutic-communities.
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.
Research from NIAAA also suggests that alcoholism can stem from genes. While the specific “alcoholism gene” hasn’t yet been identified, there are known genes that can boost the power of alcohol and reduce the impact of a hangover. People with these gene combinations may get a bigger high from drinking, and they may not feel ill or sick after a long day of drinking. Their bodies just seem primed for alcohol abuse, and that can make them more likely to develop alcoholism.
This subtype represents only 9 percent of U.S. alcoholics, yet more members of this group seek treatment (almost two-thirds) than any other category. Chronic, severe alcoholics have fought a long battle with this disease, and most are now middle-aged. The majority of people in this group have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorders. Many also abuse other drugs, like cocaine or opiates.
Thanks to years of research, doctors and health professionals now have a full menu of options to treat alcohol use disorders. Building on this progress, scientists continue to work on new medications and discover new ways to improve the effectiveness, accessibility, quality, and cost-­effectiveness of treatment for people who have alcohol use disorders.
Withdrawal. Medications and devices can help suppress withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Detoxification is not in itself "treatment," but only the first step in the process. Patients who do not receive any further treatment after detoxification usually resume their drug use. One study of treatment facilities found that medications were used in almost 80 percent of detoxifications (SAMHSA, 2014). In November 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted a new indication to an electronic stimulation device, NSS-2 Bridge, for use in helping reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. This device is placed behind the ear and sends electrical pulses to stimulate certain brain nerves. Also, in May 2018, the FDA approved lofexidine, a non-opioid medicine designed to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.

You have a lot of choices in rehab clinics. The biggest benefit of residential treatment at a UKAT facility is one of not having to worry about outside distractions or temptations. Our residential programmes are designed to help you concentrate wholly on your recovery and nothing else. This will give you the best chances of achieving sobriety and long-term success. Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms: How To Treat Naturally
In the past decade, there have been growing efforts through state and local legislations to shift from criminalizing drug abuse to treating it as a health condition requiring medical intervention. 9 states have legislations for safe syringe use like exchange programs or purchasing at pharmacy. In addition, AB-186 Controlled substances: overdose prevention program was introduced to operate safe injection sites in the City and County of San Francisco. The bill was vetoed on September 30, 2018 by California Governor Jerry Brown.[48] The legality of these sites are still in discussion, so there are no such sites in the United States yet. However, there is growing international evidence for successful safe injection facilities.

If you or a loved one is suffering from drug addiction, you may be looking for help curing the disease. One of the most well-known methods is drug rehab. However, many people don’t realize that “drug rehab” is a broad-encompassing term that represents various treatment methods. The type of drug rehab that you choose could depend on an array of factors.
Use caution with prescription drugs. If you were addicted to a prescription drug, such as an opioid painkiller, you may need to talk to your doctor about finding alternate ways to manage pain. Regardless of the drug you experienced problems with, it’s important to stay away from prescription drugs with the potential for abuse or use only when necessary and with extreme caution. Drugs with a high abuse potential include painkillers, sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety medication.

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
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