It’s rare for people with alcoholism to strive for that diagnosis. No one grows up wanting to struggle with alcohol for the rest of life. But alcoholism can be sneaky, creeping into life in ways that are subtle and that can pass by unnoticed. For some, alcoholism begins with peer pressure. These people just don’t intend to start drinking, and they may not begin life even enjoying alcohol, but their peers prompt and poke them to drink alcohol. In time, as they comply with these requests from peers, they lose the ability to control how and when they drink.
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. Be Recovered: Breaking free from the Disease of Addiction | Dean Taraborelli | TEDxSedona

Patient-centered, collaborative therapies like motivational interviewing (MI) have proven to be more effective at retaining patients in alcohol treatment than older, more confrontational styles. In a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, alcoholics who received this encouraging, patient-centered form of therapy during the intake process were more likely to remain in treatment than those who were approached using traditional therapeutic styles.


Drug abuse takes a financial toll on all Americans. The use of illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine, meth and ecstasy costs the U.S. $11 billion in health care. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, total yearly costs in terms of hospitalization, emergency medical care, lost work productivity, premature death and criminal behavior surpassed $193 billion in 2007.

Medical detox in an addiction treatment center takes place in a fully-staffed medical facility where patients are monitored around the clock, and treatment for the side effects of withdrawal is provided as needed. Medications to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms may be administered, and patients will not be released from detox until they are symptom-free and physically and mentally well enough to handle the daily routine of an addiction treatment regimen. How to Detox from Alcohol - How to stop drinking - Part 1


Completing a residential drug rehab program can be rewarding and healing, but without effective aftercare in place returning home presents the risk of falling into old habits. Aftercare provides the security and support needed to renew and reinforce the tools and techniques implemented at Searidge Drug Rehab. While the journey into the real world can be overwhelming; addiction recovery is a lifestyle change and commitment that simply does not end a month’s time or so away at a residential drug rehab.
Drug addiction recovery is a long-term process, and those who attempt to overcome their drug problems must be prepared for a challenging struggle. In the end, persistence and determination will make all the difference, and if people recovering from substance use disorders are strong enough to stay the course, a happy, healthy, drug-free future will be within their grasp.
As the brain matures, experiences prune excess neural connections while strengthening those that are used more often. Many scientists think that this process contributes to the steady reduction in gray matter volume seen during adolescence (depicted as the yellow to blue transition in the figure). As environmental forces help determine which connections will wither and which will thrive, the brain circuits that emerge become more efficient. However, this is a process that can cut both ways because not all tasks are desirable. The environment is like an artist who creates a sculpture by chipping away excess marble; and just like bad artists can produce bad art, environments with negative factors (like drugs, malnutrition, bullying, or sleep deprivation) can lead to efficient but potentially harmful circuits that conspire against a person's well-being. Coming KLEAN: Stories of Overcoming Addiction, The Documentary (Rated R)

Alcohol rehabilitation is the process of combining medical and psychotherapeutic treatments to address dependency on alcohol. The goal of both, drug and alcohol rehabilitation (inpatient or outpatient) is for the patient to remain permanently abstinent and gain the psychological tools for long-term sobriety. Who should attend rehab treatment? Anyone who’s life, health, work or relationships are affected by chronic alcohol or drugs use. The intent of rehabilitation is to enable a patient to be successful in life and avoid the drastic consequences that alcohol abuse can cause.


This guide is written for individuals, and their family and friends, who are looking for options to address alcohol problems. It is intended as a resource to understand what treatment choices are available and what to consider when selecting among them. Please note: NIAAA recently launched the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator. This online tool helps you find the right treatment for you — and near you. It guides you through a step-by-step process to finding a highly qualified professional treatment provider. Learn more at https://alcoholtreatment.niaaa.nih.gov. Rehab: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Opioids: Methadone (Dolophine®, Methadose®), buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®, Probuphine® , Sublocade™), and naltrexone (Vivitrol®) are used to treat opioid addiction. Acting on the same targets in the brain as heroin and morphine, methadone and buprenorphine suppress withdrawal symptoms and relieve cravings. Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids at their receptor sites in the brain and should be used only in patients who have already been detoxified. All medications help patients reduce drug seeking and related criminal behavior and help them become more open to behavioral treatments. A NIDA study found that once treatment is initiated, both a buprenorphine/naloxone combination and an extended release naltrexone formulation are similarly effective in treating opioid addiction. Because full detoxification is necessary for treatment with naloxone, initiating treatment among active users was difficult, but once detoxification was complete, both medications had similar effectiveness.

Inpatient treatment: Inpatient or residential treatment provides intensive therapy, 24-hour monitoring and a full spectrum of rehab services for patients who need structure in the early stage of recovery. Inpatient facilities include hospitals, mental health facilities and residential treatment centers. Patients live full-time at the center so they can focus exclusively on the healing process without the stressors or distractions of everyday life.


Inpatient residential rehab involves an extended time period for treatment, regardless of the substance. Programs typically last 30–45 days, or longer, depending on each client’s needs. Clients are required to stay at the facility for the entirety of the program, including overnight. Although there is no single treatment that’s right for everyone, inpatient rehab is one of the most effective forms of care for drug and alcohol addiction.
Certain opioid medications such as methadone and more recently buprenorphine (In America, "Subutex" and "Suboxone") are widely used to treat addiction and dependence on other opioids such as heroin, morphine or oxycodone. Methadone and buprenorphine are maintenance therapies intended to reduce cravings for opiates, thereby reducing illegal drug use, and the risks associated with it, such as disease, arrest, incarceration, and death, in line with the philosophy of harm reduction. Both drugs may be used as maintenance medications (taken for an indefinite period of time), or used as detoxification aids.[9] All available studies collected in the 2005 Australian National Evaluation of Pharmacotherapies for Opioid Dependence suggest that maintenance treatment is preferable,[9] with very high rates (79–100%)[9] of relapse within three months of detoxification from LAAM, buprenorphine, and methadone.[9][10]
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:

Each customised drug addiction treatment program is guided by an individual treatment plan that addresses co-occurring psychological or psychiatric disorders. Most common mental health issues such as ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), anxiety disorders, and depression are often the cause of self-medication that leads to drug addiction and alcoholism. It would not make sense to treat only the addictive behaviour without addressing the psychological problems causing the drug addiction.

Holistic recovery programs focus not just on treating alcoholism as a physical or psychological disease, but on healing the body, mind and spirit. In addition to the core components of alcohol rehab — individual and group therapy, family counseling, 12-step meetings and behavioral modification — treatment addresses the patient’s spiritual and emotional needs through activities like art therapy, recreational therapy, guided meditation, yoga, acupuncture and massage. The goal of holistic therapy is to promote healing on all levels so the patient can build a meaningful, rewarding life.
Developing a drug addiction isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness, and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing illegal or certain prescription drugs can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that makes sobriety seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your situation seems. With the right treatment and support, change is possible. Don’t give up—even if you’ve tried and failed before. The road to recovery often involves bumps, pitfalls, and setbacks. But by examining the problem and thinking about change, you’re already well on your way.
Group counseling sessions– These involve meeting with other recovering addicts in the program. They provide opportunity for sharing life experiences and lessons learned.In so doing, a peer support network develops. Erroneous thinking and walls of isolation are exposed and addressed.3Aftercare– When individuals “graduate” from formal alcohol rehab, they return to the outside world. Oftentimes, it isn’t easy to make this switch. Treatment-energized hope may fade away over time. Day-to-day stresses can take their toll.Ongoing support through 12-Step meetings, personal and group therapies, holistic treatments and other supports are vital. They help to maintain what was learned and practiced in formal treatment.4
For many people struggling with addiction, the toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: recognizing that you have a problem and deciding to make a change. It’s normal to feel uncertain about whether you’re ready to make a change, or if you have what it takes to quit. If you’re addicted to a prescription drug, you may be concerned about how you’re going to find an alternate way to treat a medical condition. It’s okay to feel torn. Committing to sobriety involves changing many things, including:

Integrated alcohol treatment programs are designed for patients who meet the criteria for a substance use disorder and a form of mental illness. In a national study of co-occurring disorders, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 37 percent of individuals with alcohol dependence also suffered from a mental health disorder, while over 50 percent of individuals who abused drugs also had a psychiatric illness. These patients face unique obstacles in recovery, such as low motivation, anxiety about new situations, poor concentration and delusional thinking. Integrated treatment, which targets both the patient’s mental illness and substance use disorder within the same program, is the most effective way to achieve a full recovery. Services for both issues are provided at a single facility, and delivered by staff members who are cross-trained in substance abuse treatment and mental health.
The methamphetamine binge is followed by a phase called “tweaking,” a state characterized by restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, agitation, sleeplessness, and intense cravings. “Tweakers” may experience delusional thinking, psychotic episodes, hallucinations, and violent impulses. Severe itching and the urge to harm oneself are common at this point. Methamphetamine withdrawal is complicated by the fact that many heavy users are malnourished, dehydrated, and sleep deprived. Meth-induced psychosis can continue for weeks or months after the addict stops using. In a case study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one methamphetamine addict continued to have auditory hallucinations, fears of persecution, and paranoid delusions for a year after treatment. A rehab jail for heroin addicts
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