Drug addiction is a complex, and often chronic, brain disease. It is characterized by drug craving, seeking, and use that can persist even in the face of devastating life consequences. Addiction results largely from brain changes that stem from prolonged drug use—changes that involve multiple brain circuits, including those responsible for governing self-control and other behaviors. Drug addiction is treatable, often with medications (for some addictions) combined with behavioral therapies. However, relapse is common and can happen even after long periods of abstinence, underscoring the need for long-term support and care. Relapse does not signify treatment failure, but rather should prompt treatment re-engagement or modification.
There is no easy answer to this common question. If and how quickly you become addicted to a drug depends on many factors, including your biology (your genes, for example), age, gender, environment, and interactions among these factors. Vast differences characterize individual sensitivity to various drugs and to addiction vulnerability. While one person may use a drug one or many times and suffer no ill effects, another person may overdose with first use, or become addicted after a few uses. There is no way of knowing in advance how quickly you will become addicted—but there are some clues, one important one being whether you have a family history of addiction.
Rehab, or “rehabilitation,” is any form of treatment or therapy for people who abuse substances, rehab can refer to a broad range of approaches used to treat a variety of emotional and physical problems. At The Palms, our rehabilitation programs help people cope with their problems and address the issues behind their addictions. We work to resolve root problems and end the resulting behaviors. In addition to treating addictions, we also have programs to treat depression, anxiety, mood disorders or any other behavioral problem.
If you cannot manage or control your life because of an addiction or compulsive behavior, you need rehab or treatment. Problem behaviors persist even when addicts are aware of the negative effects of their addiction on their jobs, relationships and health. When a person starts to show signs of addiction, it is best to contact a professional counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist or addiction specialist who can better assess the situation.
If you aren’t showing any progress in an outpatient program, or if it becomes unsafe to be in outpatient, you should be admitted to an inpatient facility. If your addiction or issue is more severe, or if you need to undergo detox, it is recommended that you be admitted in an inpatient program.
The following are common symptoms of addiction:
Withdrawal describes the various symptoms that occur after long-term use of a drug is reduced or stopped abruptly. Length of withdrawal and symptoms vary with the type of drug. For example, physical symptoms of heroin withdrawal may include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes. These physical symptoms may last for several days, but the general depression, or dysphoria (opposite of euphoria), that often accompanies heroin withdrawal may last for weeks. In many cases, withdrawal can be easily treated with medications to ease the symptoms, but treating withdrawal is not the same as treating addiction.
Family involvement is crucial for the recovery process. Most treatment facilities have a set period of time for the family to come visit and take part in workshops or lectures. Many times, addiction stems from issues within the family, so it’s essential to understand family dynamics and provide a space for the family to communicate and heal. Not only does this heal the patient, but it brings freedom and peace for the rest of the family.
Drug addiction can be effectively treated with behavioral therapies and, for addiction to some drugs such as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol, medications. Treatment will vary for each person depending on the type of drug(s) being used. Multiple courses of treatment may be needed to achieve success. Please contact The Palms Recovery today and a member of our Clinical team would be happy to answer any further questions.