Drug addiction is defined as a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.3 It is possible to be physically dependent upon a drug without having an addiction to the substance. However, when addiction is an issue, the negative consequences experienced during drug abuse become overwhelming, which makes it impossible for the patient to function in relationships with others, at work, at school or in the community.
With opiate abuse (heroin, morphine, OxyContin, Vicodin), withdrawal symptoms usually start within a matter of hours and last for several days. With stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine, withdrawal may be more extensive, with cravings, depression, and anxiety lasting for several months. Withdrawal from prescription medications, such as sedatives in the benzodiazepine family (Valium, Xanax, Ativan) may require a drug taper lasting a number of weeks to clear the chemical safely from your system.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a "chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences."7  There is no simple cure for addiction; however, effective treatment can help you become and stay sober.7  You will have to manage your addiction throughout your life, the same way a diabetic has to manage their condition with ongoing efforts like a proper diet and exercise.8


Numerous studies have proven that Antabuse is effective in the treatment of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Antabuse has been used since 1951. (The generic name of Antabuse is Disulfiram.) Antabuse is not only effective in treating alcoholism, it is also helpful in treating drug addiction. If you have a drug problem, anything that helps you stop drinking will also help you stop using drugs, because alcohol usually leads to drugs.
Our drug addiction experts at Priory possess extensive clinical expertise in the treatment of a wide range of drug addictions and we are able to deliver a broad variety of established therapeutic techniques to tackle your drug addiction symptoms, and address the underlying causes for your drug addiction. We ensure that each individual who seeks drug addiction support with us benefits from bespoke, tailor-made treatment plans, which are specifically designed to meet your unique needs and requirements. You will be involved in any decisions that are made about your care, as well as being placed at the centre of your drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation journey, in order to produce the most positive outcomes for you as an individual. Our highly supportive, non-judgemental addiction treatment environments provide you with the ideal setting in which to receive personalised drug addiction treatment, address your challenges and take steps towards achieving a full and sustainable recovery.
Opioids: Methadone (Dolophine®, Methadose®), buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®, Probuphine® , Sublocade™), and naltrexone (Vivitrol®) are used to treat opioid addiction. Acting on the same targets in the brain as heroin and morphine, methadone and buprenorphine suppress withdrawal symptoms and relieve cravings. Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids at their receptor sites in the brain and should be used only in patients who have already been detoxified. All medications help patients reduce drug seeking and related criminal behavior and help them become more open to behavioral treatments. A NIDA study found that once treatment is initiated, both a buprenorphine/naloxone combination and an extended release naltrexone formulation are similarly effective in treating opioid addiction. Because full detoxification is necessary for treatment with naloxone, initiating treatment among active users was difficult, but once detoxification was complete, both medications had similar effectiveness.
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Cocaine is a stimulant drug that causes dangerous physical effects such as rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure. Cocaine is extremely addictive due to its short half-life and method of action. It keeps a steady stream of dopamine in the brain while users are high, preventing further dopamine production and closing down dopamine receptors. When withdrawal sets in, the brain starts to crave the lost dopamine the drug once provided, making it extremely hard to recover from.10


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
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