This guide is written for individuals, and their family and friends, who are looking for options to address alcohol problems. It is intended as a resource to understand what treatment choices are available and what to consider when selecting among them. Please note: NIAAA recently launched the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator. This online tool helps you find the right treatment for you — and near you. It guides you through a step-by-step process to finding a highly qualified professional treatment provider. Learn more at https://alcoholtreatment.niaaa.nih.gov.

According to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.5 million people (8.5 percent of the U.S. population) aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit* drug or alcohol use problem in 2014. Only 4.2 million (18.5 percent of those who needed treatment) received any substance use treatment in the same year. Of these, about 2.6 million people received treatment at specialty treatment programs (CBHSQ, 2015).
For individuals addicted to prescription drugs, treatments tend to be similar to those who are addicted to drugs affecting the same brain systems. Medication like methadone and buprenorphine can be used to treat addiction to prescription opiates, and behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to prescription stimulants, benzodiazepines, and other drugs.[6]
Also known as Spice or K2, synthetic marijuana is a manufactured substance that contains an ingredient similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the active ingredient in marijuana. Because synthetic marijuana can be purchased legally, many people believe it is a safer alternative to marijuana. However, synthetic marijuana is dangerously addictive and can produce psychoactive effects that are just as strong as its natural counterpart.
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.

Some addicts may require a detoxification cycle before beginning addiction treatment. This is perhaps one of the most significant misconceptions of drug rehab. Many people assume that detoxification is standard practice and is the “only” thing that occurs in a rehabilitation clinic. However, this is not the case. Drug rehab clinics seek to address the root problem to help break the long-term cycle of addiction.
Important: This is general medical information, and is not tailored to the needs of a specific individual. This material is NOT complete. It does not cover all possible precautions, side effects, or interactions. You should always consult your physician when making decisions about your health. And you should consult your physician before starting or stopping medication.
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.
Whether you decide on inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation, detox is an essential beginning step towards recovery. Because of the potentially serious medical concerns of alcohol withdrawal, we recommend professional detox (rather than quitting cold turkey at home). Detox can be completed in an inpatient or outpatient facility depending on the severity of the addiction and any medical complications that are present.
Made from a mixture of baking soda and powder cocaine, crack is a version of cocaine—but at a lower purity level. The key difference is that crack is smoked. This method of ingestion allows the drug to seep into lung tissues, producing a completely different result. Smoking crack causes the high to be much faster and more intense than the high traditionally felt from powder cocaine. Crack’s high is extremely short, usually less than 15 minutes, causing the user to crave a frightening amount of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can cause immense depression, agitation and insomnia – all of which drive an addict to keep using the drug.11
Many successful drug and alcohol rehab programs include members of your family in your treatment program. Research has shown that including family and friends in the educational process significantly improves rehab outcomes. Some programs include family members and friends throughout the entire rehab process, from the initial assessment through continued follow-up aftercare.
The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago reported an analysis on disparities within admissions for substance abuse treatment in the Appalachian region, which comprises 13 states and 410 counties in the Eastern part of the U.S. While their findings for most demographic categories were similar to the national findings by NSDUH, they had different results for racial/ethnic groups which varied by sub-regions. Overall, Whites were the demographic with the largest admission rate (83%), while Alaskan Native, American Indian, Pacific Islander, and Asian populations had the lowest admissions (1.8%).[45]
Many successful drug and alcohol rehab programs include members of your family in your treatment program. Research has shown that including family and friends in the educational process significantly improves rehab outcomes. Some programs include family members and friends throughout the entire rehab process, from the initial assessment through continued follow-up aftercare.
Addiction is an all-consuming disease, using much of an individual’s time, energy and resources. There are many physical, mental and emotional signs of addiction. If you or a loved one are experiencing a combination of these signs, treatment may be a stepping stone for long-term recovery. Looking for signs and symptoms of drug abuse can be the first step toward identifying an addiction: Inside NHS detox centre - Victoria Derbyshire
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