Drug abuse can apply to a wide variety of substances, from prescription medication to illicit street drugs. The term is often used to discuss the improper use of substances, especially substances that can be used for medical purposes. Drug abuse is not limited to those with a history of addiction, as many people develop a substance use disorder after taking prescription medications like opioids, benzodiazepines and more. Regular drug abuse can lead to serious patterns of behavior that result in a substance use disorder or addiction.
Two factors have been identified as playing pivotal roles in psychological dependence: the neuropeptide "corticotropin-releasing factor" (CRF) and the gene transcription factor "cAMP response element binding protein" (CREB). The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is one brain structure that has been implicated in the psychological component of drug dependence. In the NAcc, CREB is activated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) immediately after a high and triggers changes in gene expression that affect proteins such as dynorphin; dynorphin peptides reduce dopamine release into the NAcc by temporarily inhibiting the reward pathway. A sustained activation of CREB thus forces a larger dose to be taken to reach the same effect. In addition, it leaves the user feeling generally depressed and dissatisfied, and unable to find pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, often leading to a return to the drug for another dose.
Nicole Lee works as a paid consultant in the alcohol and other drug sector. She has previously been awarded grants by state and federal governments, NHMRC and other public funding bodies for alcohol and other drug research. She is a member and past President of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy. She is a registered Psychologist who has previously worked in private practice.
At Hazelden Betty Ford, inpatient treatment for substance abuse begins with our clinicians getting a good understanding of your specific situation. Our treatment team will evaluate your medical health, mental health and chemical use history in order to design an individualized drug and alcohol rehab plan for you. With your permission, our rehab staff may also talk with your family members and other professionals you might already be working with to address your needs and challenges.
Commitment and follow-through are key. Recovering from alcohol addiction or heavy drinking is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the alcohol use, the longer and more intense the treatment you’ll need. But regardless of the treatment program’s length in weeks or months, long-term follow-up care is crucial to your recovery. Drug Rehab Near Me Philadelphia PA
There is a wide range of alcohol rehab programs, including inpatient, outpatient, day-patient, and evening programs. Inpatient rehab facilities are the most structured. Generally, these programs run for 30, 60, or 90 days. There is a benefit to stepping out of your environment so that you can completely focus on recovery without any distractions, as in an inpatient program. However, that is not an option for many people.
"The most robust finding in the study is that those receiving any medication did much better than those who received no pills at all," says Professor Barbara Mason, Scripps Research Institute, and an author of the study. "This should be a wake-up call. With less than one percent of those seeking help for alcohol dependence receiving a prescription, medication is underutilized. Medication for alcoholism can offer patients an advantage for their recovery, especially in a real-world setting." 9 Signs Of A High Functioning Alcoholic
Note: These PET scans compare the brain of an individual with a history of cocaine use disorder (middle and right) to the brain of an individual without a history of cocaine use (left). The person who has had a cocaine use disorder has lower levels of the D2 dopamine receptor (depicted in red) in the striatum one month (middle) and four months (right) after stopping cocaine use compared to the non-user. The level of dopamine receptors in the brain of the cocaine user are higher at the 4-month mark (right), but have not returned to the levels observed in the non-user (left).