Overcoming an alcohol addiction starts with a qualified treatment center that can help address underlying and co-occurring disorders. Because of alcohol’s prevalence throughout our culture, recovering alcoholics are constantly bombarded with triggers. Treatment centers must be equipped to help the recovering user find effective ways to manage triggers and cravings in order to be effective.
Most drugs affect the brain's "reward circuit," causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.
What happens in the brain during alcohol withdrawal? GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is the main calming neurotransmitter of the brain. GABA and adrenaline are supposed to be in balance during normal brain functioning. Frequent drinking causes the brain to produce less GABA, because the brain begins to rely on alcohol for part of its calming. So, frequent drinking causes your brain chemistry to be out of balance with an excess of adrenaline. When you suddenly stop drinking, your brain doesn’t have enough GABA neurotransmitter to balance the excess of adrenaline, which causes withdrawal symptoms.
Cocaine is often viewed as an elite drug, associated with movie stars, models, and other celebrities; however, the destructive consequences of cocaine addiction are anything but glamorous. Produced from the leaves of the South American coca plant, cocaine can be snorted as a powder, or diluted with liquid and injected into the bloodstream. In the form of crack, cocaine can be smoked for an intensified rush of energy. As a central nervous system stimulant, cocaine accelerates the activities of the brain, nerves, and heart, putting even healthy users at risk of heart attack or stroke.
If you or a loved one is considering drug rehab or entering a drug rehab center, it’s vital that you find the right treatment program for your specific needs. Choosing the correct treatment will increase the likelihood that it will be useful. Furthermore, a rise in the opioid crisis has created an array of knockoff or unethical treatment centers who use deceptive marketing practices to solicit business.
Research from NIAAA also suggests that alcoholism can stem from genes. While the specific “alcoholism gene” hasn’t yet been identified, there are known genes that can boost the power of alcohol and reduce the impact of a hangover. People with these gene combinations may get a bigger high from drinking, and they may not feel ill or sick after a long day of drinking. Their bodies just seem primed for alcohol abuse, and that can make them more likely to develop alcoholism.
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. Woman Turns to Rehab After Struggling With Drugs, Alcohol: Part 1