Developing a drug addiction isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness, and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing illegal or certain prescription drugs can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that makes sobriety seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your situation seems. With the right treatment and support, change is possible. Don’t give up—even if you’ve tried and failed before. The road to recovery often involves bumps, pitfalls, and setbacks. But by examining the problem and thinking about change, you’re already well on your way.
Addiction is a complex but treatable condition. It is characterized by compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even if the user is aware of severe adverse consequences. For some people, addiction becomes chronic, with periodic relapses even after long periods of abstinence. As a chronic, relapsing disease, addiction may require continued treatments to increase the intervals between relapses and diminish their intensity. While some with substance issues recover and lead fulfilling lives, others require ongoing additional support. The ultimate goal of addiction treatment is to enable an individual to manage their substance misuse; for some this may mean abstinence. Immediate goals are often to reduce substance abuse, improve the patient's ability to function, and minimize the medical and social complications of substance abuse and their addiction; this is called "harm reduction".

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.
Drug addiction causes sufferers to experience physical and psychological dependency on illicit, mind-altering substances. Habitual drug use causes changes in the structure and operation of the brain that deepen and reinforce drug addiction, to the point where a desire to stop using drugs is not enough to make it happen. Drug addiction is a destroyer of hopes, dreams, and lives, but with inpatient treatment plus a comprehensive aftercare program drug addicts can find lasting relief from the ravages of chemical dependency, regardless of how long they’ve been addicted.

Addiction is a complex but treatable condition. It is characterized by compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even if the user is aware of severe adverse consequences. For some people, addiction becomes chronic, with periodic relapses even after long periods of abstinence. As a chronic, relapsing disease, addiction may require continued treatments to increase the intervals between relapses and diminish their intensity. While some with substance issues recover and lead fulfilling lives, others require ongoing additional support. The ultimate goal of addiction treatment is to enable an individual to manage their substance misuse; for some this may mean abstinence. Immediate goals are often to reduce substance abuse, improve the patient's ability to function, and minimize the medical and social complications of substance abuse and their addiction; this is called "harm reduction".
Like cocaine, crystal meth acts on the dopamine level in the brain but provides an additional touch of mimicking norepinephrine. The result? Neurons release more of both, while training your brain to need more in order to survive. The hangover and withdrawals last days and can break down a person mentally and physically. Addicts suffer psychosis, hallucinations, memory loss, severe depression and sometimes suicide.12
Ongoing support and aftercare are essential to this type of sustained, long-term recovery. Many drug abuse rehab centers feature robust aftercare programs, including ongoing individual therapy sessions on a periodic basis, group therapy meetings, and alumni events. Oftentimes, alumni are also encouraged to get involved in their own recovery community by participating in 12-step meetings or residing in a sober living home. If recovering addicts have people they can turn to for support when they are tempted to relapse, they are more likely to stand strong and resist the urge to use again.
The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago reported an analysis on disparities within admissions for substance abuse treatment in the Appalachian region, which comprises 13 states and 410 counties in the Eastern part of the U.S. While their findings for most demographic categories were similar to the national findings by NSDUH, they had different results for racial/ethnic groups which varied by sub-regions. Overall, Whites were the demographic with the largest admission rate (83%), while Alaskan Native, American Indian, Pacific Islander, and Asian populations had the lowest admissions (1.8%).[45]

Remember though, overcoming alcoholism is a process. Less than half of individuals relapse after achieving one year of sobriety. That number reduces to less than 15 percent who relapse after five years of sobriety. For the greatest chance of long-term sobriety after completing an inpatient or outpatient program, you should participate in local support groups and continue with counseling. Treating alcoholism is an investment in your future. It will not only make a huge difference in your life, but also the lives of those around you such as family members and friends. Rehab Nightmare: Drugs, Chains and Canes - Full Documentary - BBC Africa Eye

The most common outpatient treatment is counselling (group or individual talking therapy, typically occurring once a week for an hour at a time, for six to 12 weeks). It may also include case management (help with accessing other services such as housing, medical or mental health services) or pharmacotherapy (prescribed medicine, such as methadone for opiate dependence).
Alcohol dependency is different for different people. Although many sufferers share things in common, their relationships with alcohol might at first seem to be nothing alike. This can make it difficult for people to identify themselves as alcohol dependent, even as drinking has an increasingly more damaging effect on their relationships, health, and enjoyment of life.
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for adults and youth, the Foundation has 17 locations nationwide and collaborates with an expansive network throughout health care. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.

Alcohol issues are not limited to a certain demographic or race of people. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in the category of heavy drinking, men outdrank women by 10.9 percent to 3.6 percent. Racial demographics of respondents in the same category were led by Native Americans at 9.3 percent, followed by Caucasians at 8.1 percent, and African-Americans coming in third at 5.1 percent.

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.


Addiction is an all-consuming disease, using much of an individual’s time, energy and resources. There are many physical, mental and emotional signs of addiction. If you or a loved one are experiencing a combination of these signs, treatment may be a stepping stone for long-term recovery. Looking for signs and symptoms of drug abuse can be the first step toward identifying an addiction: Inside NHS detox centre - Victoria Derbyshire
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