The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) once referred to substance abuse and substance dependence as diagnostic terms. However, in the updated fifth edition (DSM-5), these terms are replaced by the singular substance use disorder, which is broken into mild, moderate and severe to refer to the physical and mental impairments through recurrent substance use. AToN Center Drug & Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center Tour & Interviews
When they first use a drug, people may perceive what seem to be positive effects. They also may believe they can control their use. But drugs can quickly take over a person's life. Over time, if drug use continues, other pleasurable activities become less pleasurable, and the person has to take the drug just to feel “normal.” They have a hard time controlling their need to take drugs even though it causes many problems for themselves and their loved ones. Some people may start to feel the need to take more of a drug or take it more often, even in the early stages of their drug use. These are the telltale signs of an addiction.
Pharmaceutical drugs. When it comes to prescription drug abuse and drug addiction, opiate pain medications are the most widely abused. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that in 2012, over 250 million prescriptions were written for analgesics like Vicodin, Norco, and Percocet. At the same time, the CDC estimates that 46 Americans die every day from overdoses on narcotic pain relievers, and that addiction to prescription drugs now surpasses both heroin and cocaine. However, opiates aren’t the only prescription medications that can cause dependence and addiction. Other commonly abused prescription drugs include sedatives in the benzodiazepine family (Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax), stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta), and prescription sleeping pills (Ambien, Lunesta).
More than 7 percent of all American adults have an alcohol use disorder. These adults drink too much, too often, and in ways that harm their health, their happiness, and their relationships. An intervention, in which the family outlines alcohol’s consequences, can push these people to enter treatment programs. Once there, counseling sessions, relapse prevention coaching, and support group work can help to support recovery. Relapse rates for alcohol fall within the 40-60 percent range, so people often need to stick with aftercare for the rest of life.
Drug addiction causes sufferers to experience physical and psychological dependency on illicit, mind-altering substances. Habitual drug use causes changes in the structure and operation of the brain that deepen and reinforce drug addiction, to the point where a desire to stop using drugs is not enough to make it happen. Drug addiction is a destroyer of hopes, dreams, and lives, but with inpatient treatment plus a comprehensive aftercare program drug addicts can find lasting relief from the ravages of chemical dependency, regardless of how long they’ve been addicted.
People who may benefit especially from secondary care include those who have completed treatment at rehab but do not yet feel physically or mentally prepared to reintegrate fully into day-to-day life with all its attendant stresses and pressures. Secondary care facilities are not typically as strictly monitored and secure as rehab itself, but those living on site at such a facility need to abide by certain rules – most importantly, staying clean and sober for the duration of their stay.
There are many places to turn for help. Not everybody requires medically supervised detox or an extended stint in rehab. The care you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, drug-use history, medical or psychiatric conditions. In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers, and counselors offer addiction treatment services.
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.
As alcohol abuse progresses from dependency to addiction, your need for alcohol will become increasingly overwhelming. You may start to spend more and more of your time drinking or thinking about drinking, leaving little time for anyone or anything else. This can affect your ability to take care of responsibilities at home and work, and can have a negative impact on your relationships with family members, friends, and work colleagues.

The way it works is when people normally drink alcohol, endorphins are released into the brain, and this reinforces the behavior of drinking alcohol. Revia and Vivitrol block the feel-good endorphins. Much like when Pavlov's dogs were presented with food when a bell was rung, these dogs became conditioned to salivate at the sound of the bell alone. However, when these dogs continued to be presented with the ringing bell and no food, the salivating stopped.
^ Robison AJ, Nestler EJ (October 2011). "Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of addiction". Nature Reviews. Neuroscience. 12 (11): 623–37. doi:10.1038/nrn3111. PMC 3272277. PMID 21989194. ΔFosB has been linked directly to several addiction-related behaviors ... Importantly, genetic or viral overexpression of ΔJunD, a dominant negative mutant of JunD which antagonizes ΔFosB- and other AP-1-mediated transcriptional activity, in the NAc or OFC blocks these key effects of drug exposure14,22–24. This indicates that ΔFosB is both necessary and sufficient for many of the changes wrought in the brain by chronic drug exposure. ΔFosB is also induced in D1-type NAc MSNs by chronic consumption of several natural rewards, including sucrose, high fat food, sex, wheel running, where it promotes that consumption14,26–30. This implicates ΔFosB in the regulation of natural rewards under normal conditions and perhaps during pathological addictive-like states.
Research the history of the Treatment Center or facility.  What is their success rate?  Can you find any medical recommendations for them online from members of the established rehab or medical community?  How long has the Center been in operation?  Is their leadership on solid ground?  Are there any signs of financial corruption associated with the Center that is readily visible on the Internet?  It is your responsibility to dig for this information.  If you cannot find any information about a given Treatment Center online or at your local library, move on to the next Center on your list!

Inpatient treatment is a good choice for anyone who wants to focus completely on recovery without the stress or distractions of work, school, or social obligations. It allows for a thorough immersion in the recovery process and may be a good choice for people who have tried other treatments unsuccessfully. Inpatient treatment for alcohol rehabilitation may last anywhere from 30 days to six months or longer — recovery times depend on the needs of the individual.


A few people are very sensitive to Antabuse and get a stronger reaction. A quick test of whether you're sensitive to Antabuse is to see if your skin flushes when you put alcohol on your skin. If you're sensitive you may still decide to use Antabuse, but you'll have to be a little more careful about avoiding alcohol. Most people just need to show some common sense when they're on Antabuse.
Urge surf. Many people try to cope with their urges by toughing it out. But some cravings are too strong to ignore. When this happens, it can be useful to stay with the urge until it passes. This technique is called urge surfing. Imagine yourself as a surfer who will ride the wave of your drug craving, staying on top of it until it crests, breaks, and turns into less powerful, foamy surf. When you ride out the craving, without trying to battle, judge, or ignore it, you’ll see that it passes more quickly than you’d think. Alabama rehab
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