Developing a drug addiction isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness, and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing illegal or certain prescription drugs can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that makes sobriety seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your situation seems. With the right treatment and support, change is possible. Don’t give up—even if you’ve tried and failed before. The road to recovery often involves bumps, pitfalls, and setbacks. But by examining the problem and thinking about change, you’re already well on your way.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), patients stabilized on adequate, sustained doses of methadone or buprenorphine can keep their jobs, avoid crime and violence, and reduce their exposure to HIV and Hepatitis C by stopping or reducing injection drug use and drug-related high risk sexual behavior. Naltrexone is a long-acting opioid antagonist with few side effects. It is usually prescribed in outpatient medical conditions. Naltrexone blocks the euphoric effects of alcohol and opiates. Naltrexone cuts relapse risk during the first 3 months by about 36%. However, it is far less effective in helping patients maintain abstinence or retaining them in the drug-treatment system (retention rates average 12% at 90 days for naltrexone, average 57% at 90 days for buprenorphine, average 61% at 90 days for methadone).
Various factors such as your medical history, support system and personal motivation can all play a role in the success of your recovery. Treatment should be supervised by a team of medical specialists at a rehab facility. Throughout the country, alcohol treatment centers are staffed with professionals who will guide you through each step of the recovery process – from detox to life after rehab. Think of them as your 24/7 support system who are there to celebrate your successes and work with you through any challenges.
Where alcoholics are concerned, their brains have become so accustomed to dealing with alcohol that the volume of chemicals being produced to overcome the effects of alcohol is excessive. As blood alcohol levels start to fall, those same brain chemicals start causing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The only two solutions are to either consume more alcohol or wait it out until the body readjusts.
Today, more than 7 million people suffer from an illicit drug disorder, and one in four deaths results from illicit drug use. In fact, more deaths, illnesses and disabilities are associated with drug abuse than any other preventable health condition. People suffering from drug and alcohol addiction also have a higher risk of unintentional injuries, accidents and domestic violence incidents.
As for programme length, residential rehab usually lasts between four and twelve weeks. Many experts believe that shorter programmes do not give patients enough time to recover while longer programmes run the risk of institutionalising patients and making them fearful of returning home. The one exception for longer stays is dual diagnosis. People recovering from a dual diagnosis circumstance may require longer stays.
Drug addiction starts with drug use. Experimental use, recreational use, social use, occasional use, medical use – any use of an addictive substance for any purpose can and often does lead to a dependence upon that drug. While any and all drug use has the potential for harm, the most dangerous type of drug use in terms of the likelihood that it will lead to addiction, is the type that stems from a desire to numb pain or negative feelings or to cope with problems in one’s life.
This group of potent pain-relieving substances includes all drugs that are derived from opium, a compound found in the opium poppy. Some of these drugs, like morphine and codeine, are classified as non-synthetic opiates, while others, like heroin, hydrocodone, methadone, and oxycodone, are produced synthetically in laboratories. Until recently, heroin was considered to be the most addictive of the opiates. Today, however, opiate pain medications have surpassed heroin and cocaine in their popularity as drugs of abuse. According to Harvard University, the number of opiate addicts in the US increased threefold between 1991 and 2001, largely because of the increase in nonmedical use of drugs like hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). Harvard estimates that as of 2007, approximately 2 million people in the US were dependent on opiates, a number that continues to increase.
Ecstasy, or MDMA, is classified as both a hallucinogenic drug and a stimulant. Like LSD, PCP, and other psychedelic substances, Ecstasy can alter your sensory perceptions and change the way you perceive time and space. This synthetic drug can also cause feelings of warmth, affection, and intimacy with others — properties that have inspired nicknames like “the Love Drug” and “the Hug Drug.” In addition, Ecstasy is a central nervous system stimulant, increasing energy and activity.
The Benchmark Recovery Center, formerly known as the Mark Houston Recovery Center, bases their treatment program on a 90-day, 12-step program. Part of the program includes life skills and a fitness program. The Center recognizes that every patient has unique needs to achieve recovery, so it avoids the one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. The Center consists of two separate facilities for men and women; it can provide for 58 patients at a time and currently claims a 74% success rate.
Mountainside treatment center is a relatively young treatment center founded in 1998. They claim to be one of the first centers to use a holistic approach to recovery alongside traditional methods of treatment. Treatment ranges from traditional 12-step programs to adventure-based counseling. Mountainside has a multidisciplinary, certified treatment staff with a reputation for being truly empathetic toward their patients.
Drug addiction is defined by the existence of both psychological dependence and physical dependence on at least one illicit substance, according to PubMed Health. Marijuana, cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, synthetic drugs and even prescription drugs that can be effective medically are highly addictive. There are a number of reasons why someone may develop an addiction, but recovery comes the same way to everyone: through comprehensive treatment that addresses individual obstacles to sobriety.
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! 3 Stages of Drug Alcohol Rehab-How It Works