Drugs affect the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and how they look. But substance use disorders are often accompanied by co-occuring mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. Some people may use drugs as a form of self-medication for these issues, while other people may develop a mental health disorder after taking substances. Either way, it’s important to look out for psychological and behavioral changes in friends or loved ones who might be struggling with addiction:
According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, of the estimated 22.5 million Americans classified as having a drug abuse or addiction problem, only about 4 million will receive the care they need to heal.1 If you or someone you care about struggles with drug dependence, don’t wait any longer to get help. Instead, contact us at Michael’s House today. We can discuss your options in rehabilitation and help you to choose the program that will be most effective for you. Call now.

What happens in the brain during alcohol withdrawal? GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is the main calming neurotransmitter of the brain. GABA and adrenaline are supposed to be in balance during normal brain functioning. Frequent drinking causes the brain to produce less GABA, because the brain begins to rely on alcohol for part of its calming. So, frequent drinking causes your brain chemistry to be out of balance with an excess of adrenaline. When you suddenly stop drinking, your brain doesn’t have enough GABA neurotransmitter to balance the excess of adrenaline, which causes withdrawal symptoms.


Psychological dependency is addressed in many drug rehabilitation programs by attempting to teach the patient new methods of interacting in a drug-free environment. In particular, patients are generally encouraged, or possibly even required, to not associate with peers who still use the addictive substance. Twelve-step programs encourage addicts not only to stop using alcohol or other drugs, but to examine and change habits related to their addictions. Many programs emphasize that recovery is a permanent process without culmination. For legal drugs such as alcohol, complete abstention—rather than attempts at moderation, which may lead to relapse—is also emphasized ("One is too many, and a thousand is never enough.") Whether moderation is achievable by those with a history of abuse remains a controversial point, but is generally considered unsustainable.[2]
One of the brain areas still maturing during adolescence is the prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain that allows people to assess situations, make sound decisions, and keep emotions and desires under control. The fact that this critical part of a teen's brain is still a work in progress puts them at increased risk for making poor decisions, such as trying drugs or continuing to take them. Introducing drugs during this period of development may cause brain changes that have profound and long-lasting consequences. Transformations Drug & Alcohol Treatment Centers
While casual or moderate drinking has some potential advantages – relaxation, heightened enjoyment of stimuli, etc. – problem drinkers are unable to enjoy these advantages without alcohol. In other words, casual or moderate drinkers will be able to find other ways to relax or enjoy themselves even if alcohol is not present, or they make the choice to abstain. But if someone is completely unable to function for pleasurable reasons without alcohol, they cannot conceive of having a good time without getting drunk, or reaching for the bottle is their first response to any kind of trigger (either stressful or pleasurable), then this is a sign that they are abusing alcohol and need help to stop. A day in the life of a heroin addict

If you feel like you are ready to begin the transition process back into your “normal” routine but think that you might require further support, sober living is an option. It provides 24/7 accountability with check-ins, house meetings, regular meal times, therapy sessions and more but also provides the freedom to go out into the world and find positive employment and a supportive new home.

Many substance abuse treatment centers are affordable, or even free, for some clients. Many communities offer free counseling or rehab drug treatment. These types of programs usually take place at outpatient drug rehab centers. For affordable inpatient and outpatient care, utilizing an insurance provider can help you cover the cost of rehab. Many insurance plans cover substance abuse treatment completely. Speak with your insurance provider, or a representative from a potential program to find more details. The Recovery Village accepts a variety of insurance plans and works with clients to develop payment plans so they can make healing a priority. The Recovery Village’s insurance verification tool can help you narrow down your options.

As you discharge from inpatient treatment, you will receive recommendations for follow-up care and ongoing recovery support to strengthen your sobriety and reduce the risk of relapse. Like diabetes or hypertension, addiction is a chronic disease. Regaining your health means learning to manage your symptoms, first within the structure of an inpatient rehab program and eventually in your home environment where you are in charge of maintaining and strengthening your recovery.
Biological factors that can affect a person's risk of addiction include their genes, stage of development, and even gender or ethnicity. Scientists estimate that genes, including the effects environmental factors have on a person's gene expression, called epigenetics, account for between 40 and 60 percent of a person's risk of addiction.27 Also, teens and people with mental disorders are at greater risk of drug use and addiction than others.28
“There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs,” states the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine. The Institute goes on to assert that underage smoking and alcohol use seem to better fit the profile of gateway drugs. The Institute points out that nicotine and alcohol typically precede marijuana use. This may be true by virtue of the fact that cigarettes and beer are often easier to obtain than marijuana.
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.
Ask for friends and family to support you in the recovery process; chances are, they’ll be proud of you for taking control of your life again. External support groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which originated the 12-step program and now has approximately 2 million members. The 12 steps emphasize the participant’s ability to submit to a “higher power” to ask for help. The higher power doesn’t have to be rooted in religion, though that is the case for many. Others look for a “higher power” within.
One of the most common forms of aftercare is mutual-support groups, such as AA. Since AA’s approach faith-based, 12-step approach isn’t right for everyone, other types of support groups are also available. Whatever option you choose, regularly attending groups can help you maintain abstinence by providing a support system with positive relationships from which to draw encouragement.
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
Addiction treatment at Priory is based on the world-renowned 12-Step approach, which is an abstinence-based addiction treatment model that was first pioneered by the organisation Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The 12-Step philosophy provides a set of guiding principles for the addiction treatment and rehabilitation process, and focuses on your motivation to change your unhealthy behaviours and thought patterns, whilst also drawing upon elements of spirituality within the treatment and recovery process.
“Most drugs start off being rewarding,” former National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Dr. Glen Hanson told DrugRehab.com. “That gets the person interested in them… As the addiction proceeds, then some of that shifts. It goes from the reward being the attraction to a compulsive behavior. Compulsive behaviors aren’t necessarily rewarding behaviors.”
According to the Addiction Center, moving into a sober living home after treatment is often the difference between going back to old habits or continuing on the path of sobriety. Sober living homes are not as rigorous as inpatient facilities. They are often secondary treatments used in conjunction with other programs, as opposed to primary options.

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. What happens in rehab?
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