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.
Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive, or uncontrollable, drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences and changes in the brain, which can be long lasting. These changes in the brain can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who use drugs. Drug addiction is also a relapsing disease. Relapse is the return to drug use after an attempt to stop.
One of many recovery methods are 12-step recovery programs, with prominent examples including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Drug Addicts Anonymous and Pills Anonymous. They are commonly known and used for a variety of addictions for the individual addicted and the family of the individual. Substance-abuse rehabilitation (rehab) centers offer a residential treatment program for some of the more seriously addicted, in order to isolate the patient from drugs and interactions with other users and dealers. Outpatient clinics usually offer a combination of individual counseling and group counseling. Frequently, a physician or psychiatrist will prescribe medications in order to help patients cope with the side effects of their addiction. Medications can help immensely with anxiety and insomnia, can treat underlying mental disorders (cf. self-medication hypothesis, Khantzian 1997) such as depression, and can help reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptomology when withdrawing from physiologically addictive drugs. Some examples are using benzodiazepines for alcohol detoxification, which prevents delirium tremens and complications; using a slow taper of benzodiazepines or a taper of phenobarbital, sometimes including another antiepileptic agent such as gabapentin, pregabalin, or valproate, for withdrawal from barbiturates or benzodiazepines; using drugs such as baclofen to reduce cravings and propensity for relapse amongst addicts to any drug, especially effective in stimulant users, and alcoholics (in which it is nearly as effective as benzodiazepines in preventing complications); using clonidine, an alpha-agonist, and loperamide for opioid detoxification, for first-time users or those who wish to attempt an abstinence-based recovery (90% of opioid users relapse to active addiction within eight months or are multiple relapse patients); or replacing an opioid that is interfering with or destructive to a user's life, such as illicitly-obtained heroin, dilaudid, or oxycodone, with an opioid that can be administered legally, reduces or eliminates drug cravings, and does not produce a high, such as methadone or buprenorphine – opioid replacement therapy – which is the gold standard for treatment of opioid dependence in developed countries, reducing the risk and cost to both user and society more effectively than any other treatment modality (for opioid dependence), and shows the best short-term and long-term gains for the user, with the greatest longevity, least risk of fatality, greatest quality of life, and lowest risk of relapse and legal issues including arrest and incarceration. A Cure for Alcoholism? -- The Doctors
For the typical alcoholic, detox alone is not enough. Their minds have become just as dependent on alcohol as their bodies. And, unfortunately, detox does not address the mind. Complete recovery requires going through a comprehensive therapeutic rehab programme immediately following detox. At the completion of such a programme, body, mind, and spirit have all been treated.
Depending on your treatment priorities, you may also want to consider a facility that shares your philosophy. For instance, some people prefer faith-based rehabs if their religion is important to them. Others may choose to enroll in a holistic treatment center that utilizes alternative and complementary practices, such as acupuncture, meditation, and yoga. Regardless of the treatment program you choose, it’s important to confirm that it possesses the above-mentioned qualities. Women in Alcohol & Drug Treatment
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.
In the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 20.2 million American adults reported a past-year substance use disorder, and out of this group 7.9 million (39.1 percent) also suffered from a co-occurring mental health disorder. The range of co-occurring disorders known to coincide with drug addiction is broad and includes virtually every type of mental illness recognized by the American Psychiatric Association.
This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. Heroin Withdrawal | First Week In