Addiction develops from substance abuse when the user needs more of the drug to achieve the same results. People develop tolerance to both alcohol and drugs. Over time tolerance leads to dependence, and painful withdrawal side effects appear when the substance is stopped abruptly. Different substances have different effects on the brain and body. Understanding the signs of addiction and how to get help can lead to a life free from substance abuse.
Alcohol Substance Abuse
Although most adults use alcohol socially without problems, there are over 17.6 million Americans who are alcoholics or have an alcohol problem. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines alcoholism as a disease characterized by four things:
- Craving- a strong need to drink
- Loss of control- not being able to stop drinking once starting
- Physical dependence- withdrawal symptoms appear after drinking stops
- Tolerance- the need for more alcohol to reach the same level of intoxication
The risk for developing alcoholism tends to run in families, but lifestyle and environment also play a big role in becoming an alcoholic. Treatment for alcoholism includes counseling, time spent in rehab and in some cases, medication. Alcoholism cannot be cured, but rehabilitation, individual and group therapy and complete abstinence from alcohol can help the person suffering from the disease live an alcohol-free life.
Recreational Substance Abuse
Illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, LSD and heroin work in the brain and central nervous system producing feelings of euphoria, hallucinations, increased energy, appetite suppression and other effects. Users become both physically and psychologically dependent on the drugs in a short amount of time. Addiction to these drugs is dangerous and can be life threatening.
Drug addiction treatment involves time spent in rehab and in an ongoing support group. Rehab programs can be outpatient or inpatient and begin with a period of medically supervised detox. After detox, doctors and therapists will work to diagnose any underlying mental illness contributing to or causing the addiction. In cases of a dual diagnosis, both medications and counseling are used to control the mental illness and treat the addiction simultaneously. Once rehab is over people recovering from drug addiction continue in addiction support groups. These support groups provide accountability, friendship and social interaction for those in recovery.
Prescription Drug Addiction
One of the fastest growing areas of substance abuse is the abuse of prescription drugs. Drugs used to manage pain and treat anxiety and panic disorders can cause addiction. When combined with other drugs or alcohol prescription drugs can lead to dangerous overdose and even death. The increase in prescription drug abuse is directly related to the availability of the drugs. Doctor shopping, sharing another person’s prescription and buying drugs on the Internet all make these drugs easily accessible.
Treatment for prescription drug addiction is much the same as with other drug addiction. Detox, diagnosis, therapy and ongoing support are all a part of recovery. If the condition that caused the need for the prescription drug is not resolved, working with a doctor to find drug alternatives is an important part of the process.
Help for Substance Abuse
If you are searching for the right treatment please contact us today. We are professionals in this industry and we want to help you find the perfect addiction rehabilitation for you or your loved one. Please call addictionwatch.com at our toll-free number. If calling isn’t as appealing as email, please fill out our simple form in the right column of the page and one of our counselors with contact you. Find hope and purpose in recovery.