Overcoming Alcohol & Drug Addiction

Addiction is a progressive illness. Over any given period of time, an individual will only get worse without proper addiction rehabilitation help, support, and treatment. Once trapped in the downward spiral of chronic alcohol and or drug abuse, addiction takes hold and becomes fully formed. Where an addiction grips its victim it becomes impossible to stop all on your own willpower. Most victims begin experiencing the steady deterioration of health, personal, and work relationships, as they all eventually fail.

For some people severely addicted to alcohol, If they are unable to escape their addiction by seeking proper help and getting professional addiction treatment, the consequences are life-threatening. They will eventually suffer from a condition called wet brain. This awful condition leads to eventual insanity (otherwise known as alcohol-induced dementia) and early death.

Addiction Treatment Process

We now know that treating the entirety of addiction is critical to long-term recovery success. Treatment for complex addiction may begin from medical detox to inpatient addiction treatment with dual diagnosis secondary mental illness. Through alumni, outpatient planning, and life-long recovery support to ensure continued relapse support is in place for continued sobriety.

In providing addiction treatment for more severe cases, specialists also focus on integrating group therapy models that focus on bringing our patients closer to their families and peers. Which can be as much needed for their families’ healing too. While addiction treatment should be highly personalized, it often requires the critical support of the individual’s community and family.

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Admitting You Need Addiction Treatment Help

An addiction becomes most obvious when it begins to cause problems and consequences for the individual and those who are close to them. The biggest hurdle any alcoholic or addict will face is admitting that they truly need help. Families and friends often encourage patients on the fence to honestly admit their addiction-driven behaviors are harmful to both themselves and their families. Addiction involves both physical and psychological dependence. However, there does not need to be physical dependence. In other words, the individual does not need to have a certain drug or behavior to stay alive. 

For some people with severe addictions, if they are unable to escape their illness by seeking proper help and getting professional addiction treatment, the consequences can become life-threatening. They will eventually suffer from life-threatening conditions. Treating addiction from alcohol and drugs with co-occurring dual diagnosis mental health illness can be vital for long-term rehabilitation success. Integration of dual diagnosis secondary mental health group therapy models focused on bringing our patients closer to their families can have added chief success metrics in treatment outcomes. Family involvement is not only helpful for the patient but is also needed for their families’ healing too. That’s why highly personalized addiction treatment, often benefits from and may even require the support of the individual’s community and family.

Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder Include:

  • Cravings intense enough to affect your ability to think about other things
  • A need to use more of the substance to experience the same effects
  • Unease or discomfort if you can’t easily access the substance
  • Risky substance use, like driving or working while using it
  • Trouble managing work, school, or household responsibilities because of substance use
  • Friendship or relationship difficulties related to substance use
  • Spending less time on activities you used to enjoy
  • An inability to stop using the substance
  • Withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit

Some of the More Common Addictive Substances Include:

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids, including both heroin as well as prescription pain medication like oxycodone and morphine
  • Cannabis
  • Nicotine
  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine

Physical dependence is defined if the individual needs the substance, whether it be alcohol, drugs, or prescription drugs, to function on a basic level. They have built a tolerance to it. Using the original amount will not have the same effect as it once did, so they increase the amount of the substance to gain the desired effect.

Psychological Dependence, where the addict is compelled to use a substance or activity to change the way that they feel inside; to manage emotions, or just live everyday life. They have no control over the psychological aspect of addiction, which compels them to continue in their addiction regardless of the mounting consequences and danger to themselves and to others. The compulsion is overwhelming and manifests in an obsession that overrides any rational thought process; it is only relieved once the addict has drunk, used, or acted out.

Types of Addiction

There are many different substances and maladaptive behaviors that people can become addicted to including:

Elements of Addiction

It’s helpful to understand a few general elements of addiction.

First, the reward system. Addiction interferes with normal brain function, particularly in the reward system. When you do something you find enjoyable, whether that’s hanging out with your best friend, drinking a bottle of wine, or using cocaine, this reward system releases the neurotransmitter dopamine along with other chemicals.

Contrary to popular belief, dopamine doesn’t appear to actually cause feelings of pleasure or euphoria. Instead, it seems to reinforce your brain’s association between certain things and feelings of pleasure, driving you to seek those things out again in the future.

Second, cravings and tolerance, the desire to experience this euphoria again that can trigger cravings for the substance or behavior, especially when you encounter the same cues as a party where people are drinking.

Third, disinterest in other activities. It’s common to lose interest in hobbies and other things you once enjoyed. This happens because your brain no longer produces much dopamine in response to natural triggers, like having sex or making art. Even when you want to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior, you might feel like you still need them in order to feel good about anything.

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Lastly, loss of control. Addiction usually involves an inability to control substance use or specific behaviors. This can result in job loss, health issues, and relationship concerns, among other things. In response, you might decide to quit the substance or behavior, only to find that you keep falling short, despite your best efforts.

Components of Addiction

Today, most experts recognize two components to addiction. First, chemical addiction refers to addiction that involves the use of substances. Chemical addiction can be tricky to talk about because there’s often confusion around what constitutes substance misuse, dependency, and addiction.

Second, behavioral addiction refers to addiction that involves compulsive behaviors. These are persistent, repeated behaviors that you carry out even if they don’t offer any real benefit.

Many experts also prefer it because it avoids terms like “abuse,” when discussing addiction treatment. Which can further stigmatize addiction and prevent people from seeking help.

Addiction Treatment Methods

Medicine advances and progress in diagnosis have helped the medical community develop various ways to manage and resolve the addiction.

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Some Addiction Treatment Methods include:

  • Medication-based treatment
  • Behavioral therapy and counseling
  • Medical devices to treat withdrawal
  • Treating related psychological factors, such as depression
  • Ongoing care to reduce the risk of relapse

Addiction treatment can occur in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for different lengths of time. Addiction is a chronic condition with a range of psychological and physical effects. Each substance or behavior may require different management techniques. Addiction treatment is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. 

At We Level Up Addiction Treatment Center, we provide world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals to help you cope. We all work as an integrated team providing Addiction Treatment for successful recovery. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our representatives know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions. Your call is private and confidential and there is never any obligation.