Alcoholism can creep up on you, working its way into your life almost unnoticed, and by the time it is recognised the original catalysts might seem irrelevant. Though there are many different elements that can lead to alcohol dependency, there are common risk factors shared by almost all alcoholics, and it is worthwhile considering them as understanding paves the way for recovery.

At Hazelden Betty Ford, inpatient treatment for substance abuse begins with our clinicians getting a good understanding of your specific situation. Our treatment team will evaluate your medical health, mental health and chemical use history in order to design an individualized drug and alcohol rehab plan for you. With your permission, our rehab staff may also talk with your family members and other professionals you might already be working with to address your needs and challenges.
Work with an intervention specialist. If your loved one is in strong denial about the problem, he or she will probably refuse to get treatment or even to listen to you. A substance abuse counselor or therapist who specializes in intervention can help you plan a formal meeting to confront your loved one with the consequences of their behavior and propose a treatment plan. Best Alcohol Detox Drug Program Treatment Addiction Alcohol

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.
When a person is struggling with both a mental illness and substance use disorder, it can be difficult to identify the issues and treat them both. Many treatment facilities focus solely on the symptoms of substance use, without treating the mental health issues that may contribute to addiction. Finding a center that specializes in co-occurring disorder treatment can help identify the roots of a substance use disorder and equip patients with the tools they need for lifelong recovery.
However, your participation can make a big difference. Based on clinical experience, many health providers believe that support from friends and family members is important in overcoming alcohol problems. But friends and family may feel unsure about how best to provide the support needed. The groups for family and friends listed below under Resources may be a good starting point.
Some people are more vulnerable to drug addiction than others, just as some people are more vulnerable to cancer or diabetes than others. There is no single factor that controls whether you will become addicted. Overall, though, the more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of drug addiction is; on the other hand, the more protective factors you have the less risk of addiction you face.

There are two routes typically applied to a cognitive approach to substance abuse: tracking the thoughts that pull patients to addiction and tracking the thoughts that prevent them from relapsing. Behavioral techniques have the widest application in treating substance related disorders. Behavioral psychologists can use the techniques of “aversion therapy,” based on the findings of Pavlov's classical conditioning. It uses the principle of pairing abused substances with unpleasant stimuli or conditions; for example, pairing pain, electrical shock, or nausea with alcohol consumption.[37] The use of medications may also be used in this approach, such as using disulfiram to pair unpleasant effects with the thought of alcohol use. Psychologists tend to use an integration of all these approaches to produce reliable and effective treatment. With the advanced clinical use of medications, biological treatment is now considered to be one of the most efficient interventions that psychologists may use as treatment for those with substance dependence.[37]

It can be heartbreaking to realize that your loved one has a problem with alcohol. You want to do anything you can to help — but you’re afraid that if you speak up, you could destroy your relationship, or even drive your loved one deeper into addiction. At first, it’s much easier to deny the problem. But as time goes on and personal, financial, or legal problems increase, you’ll have to face the possibility that your loved one could have a substance use disorder. Learning to recognize the red flags of alcoholism could not only save your relationship, it could help you avoid a tragedy.
Since those with moderate to severe alcohol addiction can benefit from medication that must be prescribed by a medical professional, start with your primary care physician. He or she can start the assessment process, work with an addiction counselor to provide the right prescriptions, and monitor your overall health during the recovery process. Alternatively, you can contact a counselor or rehab facility directly to schedule an assessment and begin the rehabilitation process.
Support groups provide people with understanding peers and ongoing support, in church basements, community centers, and public facilities scattered all across the country. Here, people can come together to discuss addiction’s difficulties, and they can meet with other addicted people to gain support and insight. Alumni groups are similar, in that they link peers together to discuss addiction, but these groups contain people who all worked within the same facility for help.
Alcohol is often mixed with other illegal drugs, which can have serious implications for your health. In extreme cases, mixing two chemical substances can have fatal consequences. For example, when combining alcohol with a stimulant drug such as cocaine or amphetamine, the two substances will fight against each other as one has a sedative effect while the other is a stimulant. The result is a huge amount of pressure on the brain and central nervous system. 3 Tips About How to Go to Rehab Without Insurance - Drug and Alcohol Addiction Help
Drug rehabilitation services can be a source of strength for people who have fought addiction for months or years. Drug centers typically employ a variety of methods to overcome substance use disorder, including programs that range from medical detox to inpatient and outpatient programs. By understanding the drug rehab process, you can choose the best fit for you or a loved one. Spiritual and Emotional Roots and Treatment of Addiction - Dr. John Townsend
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. Alcohol/Drug Addiction, Treatment & Recovery | David Streem, MD
Inside the magnificent grounds at Passages, you'll find the most comprehensive and sophisticated treatment program in the world. When founders Chris and Pax Prentiss created this program in 2001, they began with one goal in mind — to create the world’s finest team of treatment professionals. Your team will be comprised of nurses, psychologists, family therapists, trainers, acupuncturists, hypnotherapists, spiritual counselors, and many others, ensuring your complete satisfaction from the day you check in until the day you graduate from our world-class drug rehab center.

The different types of rehab facilities fall into two categories or “settings.” The two settings are inpatient (full-time rehab) and outpatient (part-time rehab). Inpatient means the client lives at the facility, and each step of the rehab process is typically completed there. Patients who attend an outpatient facility return home after treatment each day and often complete the steps of rehab at different facilities. Below is a comparison of the most common program options within those two rehab settings. Alcohol Rehab Centers - Inspire Malibu Alcohol Rehab Center
But perhaps the biggest indicators of an alcohol problem are the withdrawal symptoms if a problem drinker goes without alcohol. A casual or moderate drinker can cut off their intake of alcohol with no adverse effects. If a problem drinker tries to do the same, they may feel some effects of withdrawal within eight hours of their last drink, such as the following:

Ecstasy, or MDMA, is classified as both a hallucinogenic drug and a stimulant. Like LSD, PCP, and other psychedelic substances, Ecstasy can alter your sensory perceptions and change the way you perceive time and space. This synthetic drug can also cause feelings of warmth, affection, and intimacy with others — properties that have inspired nicknames like “the Love Drug” and “the Hug Drug.” In addition, Ecstasy is a central nervous system stimulant, increasing energy and activity.
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
If you checked one to three boxes from each of the two checklists, there’s a strong chance that your loved one has an alcohol problem. However, some of these signs could also be red flags for a mental or physical illness. Encourage your loved one to be evaluated by a physician or therapist. Talk to him or her about alcohol abuse, and express your support for further treatment, such as therapy, counseling, or a 12-step program. You or your loved one can also call a free alcohol hotline for more information.

Cost may be a factor when selecting a treatment approach. Evaluate the coverage in your health insurance plan to determine how much of the costs your insurance will cover and how much you will have to pay. Ask different programs if they offer sliding scale fees — some programs may offer lower prices or payment plans for individuals without health insurance.
Though alcohol dependency may come in various guises, the chemistry at the heart of it is the same for everyone. When problematic drinking habits continue over a period of time, it leads to long-term electrical changes in the brain, which causes the compulsive attitude towards alcohol that characterises alcoholism. The brain is essentially being hijacked by chemicals, which steer the mind’s attention towards finding and consuming more alcohol.
The specific medicines prescribed will vary depending upon your own particular experience of withdrawal and the symptoms you are manifesting, and it may be that certain medications will not be appropriate depending on your substance of abuse or your own personal health history; an experienced medical professional will be able to make those decisions to ensure you go through withdrawal as safely as possible.
Drug abuse can apply to a wide variety of substances, from prescription medication to illicit street drugs. The term is often used to discuss the improper use of substances, especially substances that can be used for medical purposes. Drug abuse is not limited to those with a history of addiction, as many people develop a substance use disorder after taking prescription medications like opioids, benzodiazepines and more. Regular drug abuse can lead to serious patterns of behavior that result in a substance use disorder or addiction.

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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