Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a "relapsing" disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug. Kevin's Struggle with Alcohol | True Stories of Addiction | Detox to Rehab
1. First, assessment – Upon entering alcohol rehabilitation, medical staff will screen you to assess your personal situation and create a program that is unique to you. This will likely include a physical exam, a urinalysis drug test, a psychological screening and an assessment of personal circumstances. The aim here is to understand the extent of alcohol abuse and to create a program that will allow you to succeed.

Getting alcohol out of the addicted person’s system is the first part of recovery. People with a severe alcohol addiction can experience intense withdrawal symptoms. A supervised alcohol detox is usually necessary for people addicted to alcohol to prevent potentially fatal complications. Shaking, sweating, seizures, and hallucinations are possible alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers - What is it like going to in Rehab
When you choose a complete alcohol rehab programme, you are choosing to be treated holistically. That is, you are choosing to address your alcohol problem physically, mentally, and spiritually. We firmly believe this is the best way to go. Treating the whole person constitutes a comprehensive treatment. Treating just one aspect is equal to treating just one part of the problem.
Mental health disorder. If you have a mental health disorder such as depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or post-traumatic stress disorder, you're more likely to become addicted to drugs. Using drugs can become a way of coping with painful feelings, such as anxiety, depression and loneliness, and can make these problems even worse.
Most severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur in the first three to four days after stopping drinking. Detoxification involves taking a short course of medication to help reduce or prevent withdrawal symptoms. Medications such as Valium (diazepam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), or Ativan (lorazepam), members of the benzodiazepine family, are usually used for detox.

Alcohol detox– In most cases of long-term alcohol addiction, detox must occur prior to formal treatment. This part of the healing process involves stopping the consumption of alcohol and all other drugs. This gives the body time to cleanse itself of all harmful toxins. Withdrawal symptoms may be an issue (e.g., depression and anxiety, mood swings, sweats, chills and irritability). They all depend upon the specifics of the addiction. Physical and mental health care and support is provided, as needed.1Therapeutic medication– The need for therapeutic medication depends on the individual patient’s needs, experiences and circumstances. If a drug is used, it should be medically-managed by a physician.


^ Dutcher LW, Anderson R, Moore M, Luna-Anderson C, Meyers RJ, Delaney HD, Smith JE (Spring 2009). "Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT): An Effectiveness Study" (PDF). Journal of Behavior Analysis of Sports, Health Fitness and Behavioral Medicine. 2 (1): 82–93. ISSN 1946-7079. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 December 2010.[unreliable source?]
For example: As a result of heavy traffic, a recovering alcoholic may decide one afternoon to exit the highway and travel on side roads. This will result in the creation of a high-risk situation when he realizes he is inadvertently driving by his old favorite bar. If this individual is able to employ successful coping strategies, such as distracting himself from his cravings by turning on his favorite music, then he will avoid the relapse risk (PATH 1) and heighten his efficacy for future abstinence. If, however, he lacks coping mechanisms—for instance, he may begin ruminating on his cravings (PATH 2)—then his efficacy for abstinence will decrease, his expectations of positive outcomes will increase, and he may experience a lapse—an isolated return to substance intoxication. So doing results in what Marlatt refers to as the Abstinence Violation Effect, characterized by guilt for having gotten intoxicated and low efficacy for future abstinence in similar tempting situations. This is a dangerous pathway, Marlatt proposes, to full-blown relapse.

Many people might be hesitant to get help. Entering a drug rehab program is a critical step on the road to recovery. First and foremost, drug rehab is beneficial because it can break a user’s addictive cycle. That’s because rehab places addicted individuals in a healthy environment that is free of substances. There are also trained staff in place that can hold addicts accountable to their goal of quitting drugs.
The legalization of marijuana in several states and the growing acceptance of this drug in the medical community correspond with a rise in use and abuse of this substance. Marijuana, or cannabis, is a plant-based substance that can be smoked, vaporized, or ingested in foods and liquids that contain the drug. When smoked or consumed, marijuana binds with receptor cells in the brain that respond to substances called cannabinoids. Many of these receptor cells are located in the same parts of the brain that control judgment, reasoning, motor coordination, and spatial perception.
Stimulants like cocaine and meth can cause long-lasting damage to the brain, altering the way you think, feel and experience reality. Drug addiction facts from the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry highlight that chronic cocaine use can cause the brain to shrink, a condition called cerebral atrophy. Long-term cocaine use can cause cognitive impairment even after the drug is no longer used, while those who have used methamphetamine may continue to experience hallucinations and psychotic episodes after quitting.
Like cocaine, crystal meth acts on the dopamine level in the brain but provides an additional touch of mimicking norepinephrine. The result? Neurons release more of both, while training your brain to need more in order to survive. The hangover and withdrawals last days and can break down a person mentally and physically. Addicts suffer psychosis, hallucinations, memory loss, severe depression and sometimes suicide.12 Addiction and Recovery: A How to Guide | Shawn Kingsbury | TEDxUIdaho
Genetics make up about 50% of the risk for alcohol dependence, but they by no means tell the whole story. Genetic history is often hard to distinguish, but if parents are regular heavy drinkers, or they drink to reduce stress and depression, it is likely that their children will grow up believing that these behaviours are normal and possibly harmless. But environmental influence doesn’t come only from the home; peer pressure from friends, colleagues and partners can also encourage new and difficult patterns of drinking which can lead to dependency or co-dependency.
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.
Many treatment plans begin with a detoxification program to help break your body’s physical addiction to alcohol. Detoxification is often performed in an inpatient therapy treatment center or hospital. It typically takes one week to complete. Because the symptoms of physical withdrawal can be dramatic, you may also be given medications to help prevent: Overview of Medical Detox from the Best Drug Rehab Centers (888) 598-0909
Changes in the brain that support physical and psychological dependency on mind-altering substances are the direct cause of addiction, but those changes do not occur at random. Addiction experts believe drug addiction emerges from an interplay of genetic and environmental factors, although one factor or the other may be strong enough to make a person vulnerable to addiction in some instances.
If the patient has an antisocial personality (ie, severe problems with family, peers, school, and police before age 15 y and before the onset of alcohol problems), recovery is less likely. If the patient has primary depression, anxiety disorder, or another potentially contributory disorder (the other disorder must antedate the problems with alcohol or it must be a significant problem during long periods of sobriety), treat this primary problem aggressively.
Counselors help individuals with identifying behaviors and problems related to their addiction. It can be done on an individual basis, but it's more common to find it in a group setting and can include crisis counseling, weekly or daily counseling, and drop-in counseling supports. Counselors are trained to develop recovery programs that help to reestablish healthy behaviors and provide coping strategies whenever a situation of risk happens. It's very common to see them also work with family members who are affected by the addictions of the individual, or in a community to prevent addiction and educate the public. Counselors should be able to recognize how addiction affects the whole person and those around him or her.[25] Counseling is also related to "Intervention"; a process in which the addict's family and loved ones request help from a professional to get an individual into drug treatment. This process begins with a professionals' first goal: breaking down denial of the person with the addiction. Denial implies lack of willingness from the patients or fear to confront the true nature of the addiction and to take any action to improve their lives, instead of continuing the destructive behavior. Once this has been achieved, the counselor coordinates with the addict's family to support them on getting the individual to drug rehabilitation immediately, with concern and care for this person. Otherwise, this person will be asked to leave and expect no support of any kind until going into drug rehabilitation or alcoholism treatment. An intervention can also be conducted in the workplace environment with colleagues instead of family.

Recovery housing, which provides supervised, short-term housing for patients, often following other types of inpatient or residential treatment. Recovery housing can help people make the transition to an independent life—for example, helping them learn how to manage finances or seek employment, as well as connecting them to support services in the community.


Marijuana has become one of the most widely used — and abused — drugs in the United States. The Journal of the American Medical Association notes that while the prevalence of marijuana use in the US hasn’t changed much since the 1990s, the prevalence of cannabis abuse and addiction has greatly increased. The 2012 Monitoring the Future survey, which tracks drug use among American teens, showed that marijuana use has increased among high school students in recent years, while disapproval of cannabis among teens has declined. At one time, marijuana was not considered to be addictive, but recent studies have shown that this drug can cause symptoms of dependence and addiction, including cravings, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and agitation. 12 Steps of Recovery
Stimulants, such as tobacco, cocaine or prescription amphetamines, stimulate the brain and nervous system, causing increased alertness. Depressants, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines, slow activity in the brain and nervous system, causing relaxation. Hallucinogens, such as LSD and PCP, drastically disrupt the way the brain and nervous system communicate, causing hallucinations.
Engaging with Searidge's extensive aftercare program works efficiently with your daily responsibilities and individual and therapeutic needs and offers proven and crucial support for maintaining sobriety. Our Aftercare program offers group therapy sessions over the phone from the comfort and convenience of your own home. No need to sacrifice an entire evening driving to some location when you can pick up the phone and be connected to a welcoming group therapy session of 5 to 6 others talking with a counsellor, all of whom you may already know through your time at Searidge. You can also get individual counselling over the phone, or communicate with our Aftercare community through our private in-house social network site. Our Twitter and message services send out inspirational funny and engaging tweets and messages several times a day to our Aftercare community. We also offer refresher weekend getaways to alumni who want to reconnect more intensively. We also run a Smart Recovery Aftercare program and are part of the Smart Recovery community that offers virtual Internet meetings across Canada, the USA, England, and Australia. The wide array of Aftercare services including more intensive Sober living facilities are reviewed with each resident as part of their "Exit Plan" which assures them of our ongoing support as they return to successfully stand up to the challenges of their daily lives.
Exposure to other demographic groups in treatment can be an equalizing experience, demonstrating the reality of alcoholism as a universal disease. On the other hand, some patients feel more comfortable and can express themselves more effectively in settings where they can associate with their peers. Patients who are also professionals have unique stressors and needs that can be more effectively addressed in specialized programs.

In most parts of the world, alcohol is legal for adults to both purchase and consume. As a result, beverages that contain alcohol are available almost everywhere, and clearly, many adults partake. Since use is so common, it might seem hard to determine who is drinking alcohol in an appropriate manner and who is drinking in a manner that could lead to alcohol abuse or alcoholism. Experts suggest there are key signs to look for.
Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy can take place one-on-one with a therapist or in small groups. This form of therapy is focused on identifying the feelings and situations (called “cues”) that lead to heavy drinking and managing stress that can lead to relapse. The goal is to change the thought processes that lead to excessive drinking and to develop the skills necessary to cope with everyday situations that might trigger problem drinking.
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