According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a "chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences."7 There is no simple cure for addiction; however, effective treatment can help you become and stay sober.7 You will have to manage your addiction throughout your life, the same way a diabetic has to manage their condition with ongoing efforts like a proper diet and exercise.8
Substance abuse therapy: Used as a part of many inpatient and outpatient programs, therapy is one of the cornerstones of drug addiction treatment. Individual, group and family therapy help patients and their loved ones understand the nature and causes of addiction. Therapy teaches coping strategies and life skills needed to live a productive, sober life in the community. For individuals with a co-occurring mental illness, intensive psychotherapy can also address psychiatric symptoms and find the underlying issues that contribute to addiction.
If you have any of these symptoms, your drinking may already be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you have, the more urgent the need for change. A health professional can conduct a formal assessment of your symptoms to see if an alcohol use disorder is present. For an online assessment of your drinking pattern, go to RethinkingDrinking.niaaa.nih.gov.
For example, you may need a treatment programme that accommodates a dual diagnosis. We will discuss dual diagnosis more in the next section, but the fact remains that UKAT has access to the specialised treatment programmes dual diagnosis patients need. We do not believe it is helpful to put such patients through treatment programmes that don’t effectively address both problems they are dealing with.
As with most other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, treatment for drug addiction generally isn’t a cure. However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed. People who are recovering from an addiction will be at risk for relapse for years and possibly for their whole lives. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medicines with behavioral therapy ensures the best chance of success for most patients. Treatment approaches tailored to each patient’s drug use patterns and any co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems can lead to continued recovery.
Before starting the treatment process, a person must first recognize their condition and have a desire to quit drinking. Sometimes, an individual may acknowledge they have a drinking problem on their own. Other times, family members or friends may stage an alcohol intervention. This involves loved ones expressing their concerns about the person’s excessive drinking patterns. An intervention also helps to start the discussion about treatment and support options that are available.
Immediately upon entering alcohol rehab, the first step is to undergo a complete diagnostic evaluation. Both physical and psychological, this process is an information-gathering period which will allow the medical team to better formulate a specific treatment plan that will address your individual needs. It is especially important to note acute medical issues brought on by alcohol abuse and co-occurring mental health issues that will require immediate attention.
Medication may also be prescribed which can act as a substitute for your substance of abuse in the case of certain drugs where less addictive and damaging alternatives may be provided in the short term. Heroin addicts may be given methadone temporarily to replace heroin, from which they can then be weaned off with withdrawal symptoms that are much less unpleasant than those associated with heroin itself.
As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.
Your doctor. Primary care and mental health practitioners can provide effective alcoholism treatment by combining new medications with brief counseling visits. To aid clinicians, NIAAA has developed two guides: Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much, and for younger patients, Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide. Both are available at www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/clinical-guides-and-manuals
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Drug addiction starts with drug use. Experimental use, recreational use, social use, occasional use, medical use – any use of an addictive substance for any purpose can and often does lead to a dependence upon that drug. While any and all drug use has the potential for harm, the most dangerous type of drug use in terms of the likelihood that it will lead to addiction, is the type that stems from a desire to numb pain or negative feelings or to cope with problems in one’s life.
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.
The first step in addiction recovery is detox. The physical symptoms and withdrawal period varies depending on the drug abused, the length and the severity of drug addiction. Detoxing is not only about ridding the body of these “toxins” but also re-setting the neuro-chemistry of the brain that has been altered due to drug abuse. At Searidge Drug Rehab and Detox Centre, we work closely with our team of addiction treatment professionals to provide you with compassionate care by customising a detox program that works best for you.
Our alcohol treatment center is located in beautiful Malibu, California overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Our accommodations, treatment program, and renowned philosophy are simply the best. If you are ready to take control of your life, and overcome your alcohol addiction, pick up the phone and call us toll free (888) 920-8849. We look forward to helping you take proactive steps towards getting your life back. Our doors are open and we honor the opportunity to work with you.
Alcohol issues are not limited to a certain demographic or race of people. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in the category of heavy drinking, men outdrank women by 10.9 percent to 3.6 percent. Racial demographics of respondents in the same category were led by Native Americans at 9.3 percent, followed by Caucasians at 8.1 percent, and African-Americans coming in third at 5.1 percent.
Insurance: Many types of insurance cover the cost of addiction treatment and rehab; in particular, the Affordable Care Act requires that insurance policies issued under the state health exchanges and through Medicaid programs under the ACA expansion must provide coverage for addiction treatment. It’s important to note that insurance coverage often still requires that the individual provide a co-insurance payment, and some require a deductible be paid before treatment will be free. Specific plans may have different coverage levels, so it’s a good idea to check the specific policy or talk to the insurance provider.
Thankfully, there are numerous organisations here in the UK and abroad offering first-class treatment to those affected by alcoholism. UKAT is one of the UK’s leading treatment providers; we have already helped countless individuals overcome their alcohol problems. We offer a top-class service that offers you the greatest chances of a successful long-term recovery from alcoholism.
Research the history of the Treatment Center or facility. What is their success rate? Can you find any medical recommendations for them online from members of the established rehab or medical community? How long has the Center been in operation? Is their leadership on solid ground? Are there any signs of financial corruption associated with the Center that is readily visible on the Internet? It is your responsibility to dig for this information. If you cannot find any information about a given Treatment Center online or at your local library, move on to the next Center on your list! 3 Stages of Drug Alcohol Rehab-How It Works