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.
The behavior of people addicted to drugs is erratic, unpredictable, and secretive, and as their addiction deepens their health and physical appearance will inevitably begin to decline. They may lose their jobs, drop out of school, lose long-term relationships, experience financial difficulties, or be arrested for crimes directly related to their substance abuse.
Alcohol Health & Research World notes that outpatient alcohol detox programs can be as safe and effective as inpatient detox, as long as the patients have been professionally screened and matched to the right level of care. With outpatient treatment, the average length of stay in rehab is usually shorter, and the cost is generally less. However, for patients at risk of serious alcohol withdrawal symptoms, or for those with co-occurring medical or psychiatric disorders, inpatient alcohol detox is often more appropriate.
Alcohol is known for lowering inhibitions, but when alcohol is combined with risky activities, such as driving/operating machinery or taking drugs (either prescription or recreational), this may be an indication that alcohol is being taken in at abusive levels. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism warns that mixing alcohol with medication can cause internal bleeding and heart problems, as well as cause liver damage and make the medications toxic to the body.
Even now, many people assume that drug addiction is caused by a failure of willpower or by weak character. But the medical community now recognizes that addiction is a brain disease, not a character flaw. The repeated use of drugs like heroin, cocaine, meth, or prescription opiates causes profound changes in the structure and function of the brain. These substances interfere with the way your brain processes and responds to neurotransmitters, chemicals that control emotion, energy levels, pain response, judgment, sleep patterns, and metabolism.
Medical professionals need to apply many techniques and approaches to help patients with substance related disorders. Using a psychodynamic approach is one of the techniques that psychologists use to solve addiction problems. In psychodynamic therapy, psychologists need to understand the conflicts and the needs of the addicted person, and also need to locate the defects of their ego and defense mechanisms. Using this approach alone has proven to be ineffective in solving addiction problems. Cognitive and behavioral techniques should be integrated with psychodynamic approaches to achieve effective treatment for substance related disorders. Cognitive treatment requires psychologists to think deeply about what is happening in the brain of an addicted person. Cognitive psychologists should zoom in to neural functions of the brain and understand that drugs have been manipulating the dopamine reward center of the brain. From this particular state of thinking, cognitive psychologists need to find ways to change the thought process of the addicted person.
Detoxification is the initial step in treating alcoholism, and it can also be the most difficult. Within the first few days after you quit drinking, you may experience extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Because of this, the alcohol detox stage should only be completed under professional medical care. Treatment specialists will also be able to provide you with medication to help ease the pain. This allows you to focus on getting better. After detox, you will be able to move forward with other forms of treatment and therapy.
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. All available studies collected in the 2005 Australian National Evaluation of Pharmacotherapies for Opioid Dependence suggest that maintenance treatment is preferable, with very high rates (79–100%) of relapse within three months of detoxification from LAAM, buprenorphine, and methadone.
Some drug abuse facts and statistics show a significant and steady increase in American opioid use, contributing to the nation’s growing opioid crisis. The CDC reports a 29.7 percent increase in opioid-overdose emergency room visits from July 2016 to September 2017. Wisconsin and Delaware saw the largest rise in overdose emergency room visits, with an increase of 109 and 105 percent respectively.
In order to effectively address drug addiction as well as the co-occurring issues that may be underlying the problem, most patients will require residential or inpatient care. At a residential treatment program, the addicted patient will live at the treatment facility with access to 24-hour care and support that can be critical in helping them to avoid relapse in the early stages of recovery.
Our small size also gives us a flexibility no larger institutions can offer. We are able to work with your specific needs in order to make you feel at ease and ensure that your work towards sobriety is as successful and satisfying as possible. At Searidge our professional alcohol addiction treatment staff give residents the strength, support and hope necessary for a lifelong recovery.
Even if you have experienced therapy before, for reasons not necessarily associated with addiction, what worked for you then might not be particularly appropriate when it comes to treating addiction specifically; good rehabs will have a range of different therapy models on offer to give you the greatest possible chance of developing the recovery programme that is optimal for you.