Tobacco: Nicotine replacement therapies have several forms, including the patch, spray, gum, and lozenges. These products are available over the counter. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two prescription medications for nicotine addiction: bupropion (Zyban®) and varenicline (Chantix®). They work differently in the brain, but both help prevent relapse in people trying to quit. The medications are more effective when combined with behavioral treatments, such as group and individual therapy as well as telephone quitlines.
Historically, drug addiction and those suffering with it were maligned as morally weak people who made bad choices. This pure behavioral model, however, fails to account for the biological changes that addiction triggers in the body and brain. Furthermore, it overlooks the issue of comorbidity; many people who are addicted to drugs also suffer from mental health problems and use drugs to self-medicate for those problems.
Physical dependence on a drug can cause serious withdrawal symptoms if a person suddenly stops using the substance or severely reduces the dose. The withdrawal process itself can be uncomfortable and dangerous. Some of the classic signs of withdrawal include tremors, cold sweats, involuntary movements (e.g., jerking, twitching, or shaking), nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps and bone pain. Because withdrawal can be dangerous, proper medical detox can be a life-saving step in recovery.
Addiction can be either behavioral or substance related. An intense feeling of emotional need or physical craving characterizes them both. Both types of addiction carry a number of other similarities, but behavioral addiction does not possess the same physical symptoms that accompany drug addiction. Experts disagree on the similarities and differences between the symptoms and consequences of the types of addictions.
Methamphetamine, or meth, is a chemical stimulant with effects that are similar to cocaine. Like cocaine, meth speeds up all of the body’s vital activities, including heart rate, breathing, and metabolism. But the rush of a meth high can last longer than the high of cocaine — up to half an hour, compared with several minutes for crack. Meth is sold as a white or crystalline powder that can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Powerfully addictive, meth can quickly lead the user into dependence and addiction. Meth users have been known to go on extended binges, using the drug for days or even weeks without stopping to sleep or eat.
Stepping out of Searidge Alcohol Rehab after successfully completing our residential alcohol recovery program, you are well equipped with a number of tools to aid you in your journey forward. However, you want to avoid the risk of falling into old habits. Aftercare gives you the strength and security to avoid relapse. Most importantly, it is an efficient and effective program that renews and reinforces the tools you developed at Searidge Alcohol Rehab.
As the brain matures, experiences prune excess neural connections while strengthening those that are used more often. Many scientists think that this process contributes to the steady reduction in gray matter volume seen during adolescence (depicted as the yellow to blue transition in the figure). As environmental forces help determine which connections will wither and which will thrive, the brain circuits that emerge become more efficient. However, this is a process that can cut both ways because not all tasks are desirable. The environment is like an artist who creates a sculpture by chipping away excess marble; and just like bad artists can produce bad art, environments with negative factors (like drugs, malnutrition, bullying, or sleep deprivation) can lead to efficient but potentially harmful circuits that conspire against a person's well-being.
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Alcohol detox– In most cases of long-term alcohol addiction, detox must occur prior to formal treatment. This part of the healing process involves stopping the consumption of alcohol and all other drugs. This gives the body time to cleanse itself of all harmful toxins. Withdrawal symptoms may be an issue (e.g., depression and anxiety, mood swings, sweats, chills and irritability). They all depend upon the specifics of the addiction. Physical and mental health care and support is provided, as needed.1Therapeutic medication– The need for therapeutic medication depends on the individual patient’s needs, experiences and circumstances. If a drug is used, it should be medically-managed by a physician.
Anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts are all common results of alcohol dependency. This is because prolonged heavy drinking effects the neurotransmitters in the brain which regulate mood. Two of the most important neurotransmitters for mood are dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for creating the positive feelings vital for a healthy mind. Research shows that the levels of both serotonin and dopamine are often heavily altered in the brains of alcoholics, leading to deteriorating mental health and, often, a negative spiral of alcohol use.
With a U.S. economy inching laboriously back from recession with a flagging job market in tow, we should be sensitive to hidden costs of this “lifestyle choice.” In a perfect world, we would weigh the right to drink excessively against the $94.2 billion in tax dollars that we spend every year to pay the costs of alcoholism. We should weigh the collective choice against the 1.9 million public school teachers we could hire with that $94.2 billion — or the million public parks that money could build for communities across the country, or the million students we could put through school. And we’d think hard about what cultural shift could moderate this “lifestyle choice” before it becomes disease.
An average of about three months of residential treatment seems to be effective. The optimal treatment time seems to be similar in non-residential treatment, suggesting a combination of residential and non-residential treatment might be effective over that time. But completing the treatment program and actively participating seem to be more important than treatment setting or length.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) established that benzodiazepines have a short half-life, causing abusers to develop a quick and dangerous tolerance – often in as little as six weeks.3 Once a person becomes addicted, the drug causes rebound symptoms of the disorder it was originally prescribed for. Weaning off benzos is a very long and detailed process.
Withdrawal is medically supervised and supported by our on-site nurses. For certain cases, we make use of medical aids to render the process much easier and safer. For opiate withdrawals we use suboxone, and for Benzodiazepine withdrawal we follow a modified version of the Ashton protocol. Alcohol withdrawal is medically supervised and medication is given to eliminate the risk of seizure and stroke. We take every measure to ensure that this first, important stage towards drug addiction recovery is a comfortable and safe one. To find out more about the detox program at Searidge please call us at 1-866-777-9614. So... What is Rehab Like?