If you checked off four to six boxes from each list, your loved one meets the criteria for alcohol addiction. Although he or she may still appear to be functioning normally at work, school, or home, there is a strong risk that the disease will progress to more serious consequences, such as illness, legal problems, or an accident, if left untreated. If you haven’t confronted your loved about their problem, it’s time to have that talk. Meanwhile, seek advice from a substance abuse counselor or family therapist about how to get your loved one into a residential alcohol treatment facility or an intensive outpatient program.
For individuals addicted to prescription drugs, treatments tend to be similar to those who are addicted to drugs affecting the same brain systems. Medication like methadone and buprenorphine can be used to treat addiction to prescription opiates, and behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to prescription stimulants, benzodiazepines, and other drugs.
Some people are able to stop drinking on their own or with the help of a 12-step program or other support group, while others need medical supervision in order to withdraw from alcohol safely and comfortably. Which option is best for you depends on how much you’ve been drinking, how long you’ve had a problem, the stability of your living situation, and other health issues you may have.
Drug addiction often causes actual physical changes in the brain. Specifically, addiction alters the way the brain experiences pleasure, modifying certain nerve cells (neurons). Neurons communicate with each other and create moods and other sensations using chemicals called neurotransmitters, and drug addiction can change the way neurotransmitters work in the brain. The best confidential addiction rehab treatments in the world