Even now, many people assume that drug addiction is caused by a failure of willpower or by weak character. But the medical community now recognizes that addiction is a brain disease, not a character flaw. The repeated use of drugs like heroin, cocaine, meth, or prescription opiates causes profound changes in the structure and function of the brain. These substances interfere with the way your brain processes and responds to neurotransmitters, chemicals that control emotion, energy levels, pain response, judgment, sleep patterns, and metabolism.
Over time, the patient often comes to believe that the drug betters them as a person and feels incapable of contemplating life without it. In short order, however, use of the drug will begin to cause problems for the user and to remove the good things in their life. All of the perceived “good” effects of using the drug will wear away, but the person will still continue to use, often becoming obsessed with the drug and doing anything they have to do to obtain the substance of choice.

While a trial period of controlled drinking with careful follow-up might be appropriate for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse, this approach increases a physician's professional liability. Complete abstinence is the only treatment for alcohol dependence. Emphasize that the most common error is underestimating the amount of help that will be needed to stop drinking. The differential diagnosis between alcohol abuse and dependence can be a difficult judgment call.


Our recreation director, a professional personal trainer, schedules outdoor and indoor activities that vary from season to season. Expansive grounds and a heated swimming pool allows you to enjoy the great outdoors during the summer. We also offer crafting workshops and computer skills workshops and much more, all ways to explore new or past interests that fell to the side due to alcohol addiction.
What emerges from relationships with poorly defined boundaries is a survival mentality where family members assume roles to help cope with stress. Though these roles can temporarily lessen stress, they increase confusion and anxiety because the underlying issue of the substance use is never directly dealt with. Rehab can help you understand where these boundaries get tangled up and show you ways to keep them healthy.

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Beyond the directory, Addiction Recovery Now also provides support in the form of a 24-hour hotline for answering all your questions about recovery. Our agents are compassionate, professional, and dedicated to serving you, not the rehabilitation centers.The agents at Addiction Recovery Now are well-educated in the industry and are waiting to put your mind at ease.
The methamphetamine binge is followed by a phase called “tweaking,” a state characterized by restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, agitation, sleeplessness, and intense cravings. “Tweakers” may experience delusional thinking, psychotic episodes, hallucinations, and violent impulses. Severe itching and the urge to harm oneself are common at this point. Methamphetamine withdrawal is complicated by the fact that many heavy users are malnourished, dehydrated, and sleep deprived. Meth-induced psychosis can continue for weeks or months after the addict stops using. In a case study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one methamphetamine addict continued to have auditory hallucinations, fears of persecution, and paranoid delusions for a year after treatment. A rehab jail for heroin addicts

Therapeutic communities, which are highly structured programs in which patients remain at a residence, typically for 6 to 12 months. The entire community, including treatment staff and those in recovery, act as key agents of change, influencing the patient’s attitudes, understanding, and behaviors associated with drug use. Read more about therapeutic communities in the Therapeutic Communities Research Report at https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/therapeutic-communities.


Nalmefene, an opiate antagonist that is similar in its chemical structure to naltrexone, is one of the most recent drugs being investigated for the treatment of alcoholism. Like naltrexone (sold as ReVia, Depade, or Vivitrol), nalmefene deprives the person struggling with substance use of the pleasurable feelings associated with drinking. But nalmefene is less toxic to the liver than naltrexone. As of 2013, nalmefene was still undergoing clinical trials through the U.S. National Institutes of Health before receiving FDA approval.
Environment. Environmental factors, such as your access to healthcare, exposure to a peer group that tolerates or encourages drug abuse, your educational opportunities, the presence of drugs in your home, your beliefs and attitudes, and your family’s use of drugs are factors in the first use of drugs for most people, and whether that use escalates into addiction.

One of countless treatment centers in California, Sober Living by the Sea is actually one of the best in the state. They have over 25 years of experience and take a clinical approach to treatment. Part of their approach is uncovering any subsidiary mental disorders that may be associated with an addiction. Sober Living by the Sea also combines therapy with an array of activities such as hiking and swimming.
Urge surf. Many people try to cope with their urges by toughing it out. But some cravings are too strong to ignore. When this happens, it can be useful to stay with the urge until it passes. This technique is called urge surfing. Imagine yourself as a surfer who will ride the wave of your drug craving, staying on top of it until it crests, breaks, and turns into less powerful, foamy surf. When you ride out the craving, without trying to battle, judge, or ignore it, you’ll see that it passes more quickly than you’d think.
Founded in 1967 by 6 heroin addicts trying to stay clean, this nonprofit organization now has 11 treatment centers across the nation and over 120 specialized programs with a focus on holistic treatment. Phoenix House has grown into a program supported by a complete staff of addiction specialists. This treatment center follows the understanding that addiction is a chronic illness, requiring ongoing support and management just like any other chronic illness. It is one of the best treatment centers on the more affordable side of the spectrum.
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).
Inpatient alcohol rehab treatment is intended for men and women who are struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). This includes alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. Many who struggle with alcoholism find the most success with inpatient rehab treatment. Clients in this program typically begin with inpatient alcohol detox to rid their bodies of any harmful toxins from the drugs or alcohol. If necessary, they may also be prescribed medications to help reduce alcohol cravings or reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Nitrous oxide, also sometimes known as laughing gas, is a legally available gas used for purposes that include anesthesia during certain dental and surgical procedures, as well as food preparation and the fueling of rocket and racing engines. Substance abusers also sometimes use the gas as an inhalant. Like all other inhalants, it's popular because it provides consciousness-altering effects while allowing users to avoid some of the legal issues surrounding illicit or illegal drugs of abuse. Abuse of nitrogenous oxide can produce significant short-term and long-term damage to human health, including a form of oxygen starvation, called hypoxia, brain damage, and a serious vitamin B12 deficiency that can lead to nerve damage.

Friends and family: The loved ones of those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often want to help but aren’t always sure how to bring it up. It’s worth it to ask loved ones if they are willing to assist with the cost of treatment, even if one is embarrassed to do so. Perhaps it could be discussed as a loan that the individual can work to pay back over time. This may be a last resort for some, and even for those who ask, the answer may be no, but it’s a chance for loved ones to be involved and invested in recovery.
The official diagnosis of drug addiction by the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (2000), which makes distinctions between drug use, abuse, and substance dependence, is flawed. First, diagnosis of drug use versus abuse can be arbitrary and reflect cultural norms, not medical phenomena. Second, the term substance dependence implies that dependence is the primary pharmacologic phenomenon underlying addiction, which is likely not true, as tolerance, sensitization, and learning and memory also play central roles. It is ironic and unfortunate that the Manual avoids use of the term addiction, which provides the best description of the clinical syndrome.

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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