How Addiction Develops In The Brain
The drive/reward system of the brain exists in the middle of the brain where a group of structures that are part of the limbic system plays a key role. The limbic system mediates, along with other parts of the brain, emotion, and drive, or motivation.3
They include a circular strip of deep cortex called the limbic lobe, the cingulate gyrus, the orbitofrontal cortex , which rests just above our eyes, the amygdala, and the nucleus accumbens .
These structures work together with other parts of the brain to mediate motivations and emotions, including desire, pleasure, and cravings.
The amygdala determines if an experience is painful or pleasurable. It directs the brain to either repeat or avoid the experience. A part of the amygdala, the extended amygdala, is involved in both drug reward and in the negative experience produced by the stress of withdrawal that helps drive the compulsion to addict. It induces negative emotions like unease, anxiety, and irritability during withdrawal and interacts with the brains stress system through connections to the hypothalamus.
The hippocampus records memories, including happy memories along with details such as where, when, and with whom a pleasurable experience occurred. These associations can trigger cravings.
What Is The Problem If You Consume Drugs
Drugs are substances that affect the body & brain. Different drugs can have different reactions. Some effects of drugs include health outcomes that are long-lasting and permanent which is a very dangerous and life-threatening problem. There are a few ways individuals can take drugs, including injection, inhalation, many more.
Eventually, drugs can change how the brain operates and interfere with a personâs ability to make choices, leading to intense cravings, and compulsive drug substance use. Drugs destroy your whole life. If you are a teen, it takes you far far away from success and makes your future dark. If you are a married person, it ruins your family life, and seize the joy that comes from your spouse, your parents, and your children.
What Is Technology Addiction
Technology addiction is a disorder that involves compulsive internet, smart device, or gaming console use. The condition can be caused by a genetic predisposition, psychological problems, and social issues. According to a recent survey, the prevalence of technology addiction in the United States and Europe is between 1.5% and 8.2%.
A few types of technology-related addictions include:
Though technology addiction is not officially recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , it is considered a growing problem worldwide. According to a survey published by Pew Research in 2021, 31% of US adults reported being online, almost constantly, compared to 21% in 2015. Other surveys place technology addiction rates between 6% and 18.5%. The lack of an official way of diagnosing technology addiction is a possible reason why prevalence rates vary. Still, the disorder is an undeniable growing problem. Fortunately, there are treatment options available for those battling technology addiction.
Top 10 Rehab Questions
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Financial And Family Crisis
If youâve ever bought drugs, you know how expensive they can be. When you get addicted to drugs, youâre going to face a major financial crisis. Once you start getting high, it becomes a major problem in your life because you are no longer in the correct state of mind to handle any kind of business. It also depends on what kind of drug you become addicted to.
Lets see, you no longer can get to work on time, or go to certain appointments that are needed in order to keep your life stable. Of course, you wont be able to budget your finances properly. If you have a family, your marriage will be in jeopardy, your children will be a nervous wreck because you began to neglect them, even worse theyll be taken away from you.
Addiction By The Numbers
According to the latest government statistics, nearly 23 million Americansalmost one in 10 are addicted to alcohol or other drugs. More than two-thirds of people with addiction abuse alcohol. The top three drugs causing addiction are marijuana, opioid pain relievers, and cocaine.10,11
The cost of addiction is high and impact life expectancy, crime, and the economy. Here a few of the startling numbers:
- $740 billion: The annual cost related to crime, lost work productivity, and health care as a result of abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use in the United States.
- 165.4 million: The number of people aged 12 or older who used a substance, including alcohol, tobacco, or an illicit drug, in the past month.
- 20.4 million: According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, this is the number of people aged 12 or older, with a substance use disorder. More specifically:
- 8.3 million people had a past year illicit drug use disorder
- 1.6 million people had a past year opioid use disorder
- 1.4 million people had a past year prescription pain reliever use disorder
- 904,000 people had a past year methamphetamine use disorder
- 2.4 million people had both an alcohol use disorder and an illicit drug use disorder in the past year.
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Substance Abuse And Addiction In The Family Unit
According to Jeremy Frank, PhD, CADC, a Philadelphia addiction psychologist, “The effects and consequences on substance use on families are devastating. Over 7 million children in the United Statesmore than 10%live with a parent who has problems with alcohol, according to a 2012 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report. These children and their families are at risk for other co-morbid mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, substance use issues, and addiction.”
It may also be difficult for parents to address the addiction of an adult child. Parents may feel responsible for their child’s addiction or may be unsure of how to best help the child. In trying to help them overcome addictive behavior, they may at times end up enabling the child instead. In programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, these parents can learn how to keep from enabling their child while still offering love. Often a counselor or social worker can provide assistance to parents in this area and help them find the best way to bring up the subject of substance abuse and addiction with their child.
Articles On Opioid Abuse
Opioid addiction is a chronic medical condition. It can create long-term changes to your brain. Luckily, early treatment intervention can help you avoid some of the long-term health conditions associated with addiction to opioids.
It takes much more than willpower to break free of prescription drug abuse, but you can escape the cycle of detox and relapse. It may be a long-term process, but medications and counseling can improve your chances of success. Heroin is also an opioid and addiction to it is treated similarly to prescription drug addiction.
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How Many People Get Treatment For Drug Addiction
According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.5 million people aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit* drug or alcohol use problem in 2014. Only 4.2 million received any substance use treatment in the same year. Of these, about 2.6 million people received treatment at specialty treatment programs .
*The term “illicit” refers to the use of illegal drugs, including marijuana according to federal law, and misuse of prescription medications.
Medications Used In Substance Abuse Treatment
When combined with counseling and behavioral therapies to assisted in a patients recovery, medications play an important role in many addiction treatment protocols.2Various medications may be used to help reduce cravings and manage withdrawal from opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and other sedatives.2
Opioid agonist medications such as buprenorphine and methadone as well as antagonist therapy with naltrexonemay be used to help those with an addiction to opioids.2 For those in recovery from alcohol use disorders, medications like acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone can be used to decrease continued drinking behavior.2
Additional medications may be used off-label for symptomatic support during withdrawal and treatment, as well as to address any co-occurring mental or medical health issues.2
Not sure about the cost of treatment or rehab? Find out if insurance is able to cover all or part of the cost of rehab and medications used in treatment.
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Tips For Finding The Best Drug Addiction Treatment For You
Remember that no treatment works for everyone. Everyones needs are different. Whether you have a problem with illegal or prescription drugs, addiction treatment should be customized to your unique situation. Its important that you find a program that feels right.
Treatment should address more than just your drug abuse. Addiction affects your whole life, including your relationships, career, health, and psychological well-being. Treatment success depends on developing a new way of living and addressing the reasons why you turned to drugs in the first place. For example, your drug dependency may have developed from a desire to manage pain or to cope with stress, in which case youll need to find a healthier way to relieve pain or to handle stressful situations.
Commitment and follow-through are key. Drug addiction treatment is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the drug use, the longer and more intense the treatment youll need. And in all cases, long-term follow-up care is crucial to recovery.
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.
Insurance Coverage For Substance Use Disorders
Insurance coverage for addiction treatment varies by plan and by state. While the Affordable Care Act requires most insurance providers to cover addiction treatment, not all plans cover all three FDA-approved medications. Some limit the number of doses and prescription refills for MAT patients.
Dose limits, high costs, and other restrictions limit access.
Many insurance companies limit what they cover. For example, some patients must pay out of pocket to see a psychiatrist and get prescriptions for their addiction medications. Each visit can cost upwards of $400.
Substance use disorders are chronic, often lifelong medical conditions. In spite of this, some insurance companies restrict how long they will cover MAT, as well as any other care that patients need to support their ongoing recovery. The Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act requires health insurance providers and group health plans to cover behavioral health just as they do any other medical conditions. Still, finding medical and behavioral health clinicians certified to prescribe is an obstacle to comprehensive treatment for substance use disorders.
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Helping Someone Quit Drugs
Watching someone you care about use drugs is stressful. Their behaviour can be erratic and talking to them about their problem is challenging.
Here are some tips on how you can help:
- Learn about the effects of drugs this will help you understand why quitting can be hard.
- Show that you care without judging being calm and respectful may encourage them to be open and honest with you.
- Be positive and encouraging rather than negative and nagging remember relapses may happen, but they dont mean the person cant try again, and succeed.
- Offer practical support sometimes just being there is enough, but you can offer to go with them to parties or join them for a walk or run.
Find more tips on helping someone quit drugs on the Alcohol and Drug Foundation site.
What Is Substance Abuse Disorder
Substance abuse disorder, or drug addiction, can be defined as a progressive disease that causes people to lose control of the use of some substance despite worsening consequences of that use. Substance use disorder can be life-threatening.
Addictions are not problems of willpower or morality. Addiction is a powerful and complex disease. People who have an addiction to drugs cannot simply quit, even if they want to. The drugs change the brain in a way that makes quitting physically and mentally difficult. Treating addiction often requires lifelong care and therapy.
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Is Treatment For Drug Addiction Inpatient Or Outpatient
Both inpatient and outpatient treatment plans are available, depending on your needs. Treatment typically involves group therapy sessions that occur weekly for three months to a year.
Inpatient therapy can include:
- Therapeutic communities or sober houses, which are tightly controlled, drug-free environments.
Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can help you on the path to recovery. Self-help groups are also available for family members, including Al-Anon and Nar-Anon Family Groups. Participation in 12-step based recovery work has been proven to improve outcomes.
Effective Ways To Treat Drug Addiction
A drug addict craves drugs and compulsively seeks them out, regardless of the consequences. A drug addiction typically arises gradually beginning with voluntary, intermittent and/or acute drug usage, increasing to drug abuse and then escalating into a full-blown addiction. When a drug addict begins using drugs he/she probably uses them primarily during social occasions, but may also use them while alone. As time progresses, the drug user may increase the quantity and frequency of the drug use possibly leading to drug abuse.
Over time, the drug abuser may continue to increase the amount of drugs he/she consumes until he/she develops an uncontrollable urge to use drugs. Once the abuser gets to the point where drugs is the only thing on his/her mind and actively seeks those drugs, regardless of the negative consequences an addiction to drugs has formed. At this point the drug addict experiences intense daily, weekly or monthly drug cravings that continue to intensify until those cravings are satisfied. The drug addict compulsively seeks out his/her drugs of choice, regardless of any possible danger. He/she is consumed with drugs. The drug addicts brain chemistry has been altered and he/she no longer thinks or behaves like he/she once did.
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Medications That Help With Cocaine Addiction
Once a person enters cocaine addiction treatment, maintaining abstinence over the long-term requires the type of commitment and motivation that many recovering addicts just cant muster. The damaging effects of cocaine strip away a persons will and motivation making it all the more difficult to stay off drugs.
For these reasons, cocaine addiction programs offer medication therapies that help support damaged brain and body functions, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Depending on the stage of recovery a person is in, medication therapies can serve different purposes throughout the recovery process.
Medications can benefit people going through the detox stage as well as help lower the likelihood of relapse further along in recovery. In effect, medication treatments alleviate much of the discomfort addicts experience in recovery since cocaine addictions often leave a lasting imprint on a persons overall health and well-being.
List Of Drug Addiction Therapy Programs
Addiction treatment commonly consists of a combination of group and individual therapy sessions that focus on teaching those in recovery the skills needed to get and stay sober as well as how to navigate various situations without turning to drugs or alcohol.2 Behavioral therapy is perhaps the most commonly utilized types of treatment for addiction that is frequently used during substance rehabilitation. A general behavioral therapeutic approach has been adapted into a variety of effective techniques.2 These include:
Find out instantly if your insurance provider may be able to cover all or part of the cost of rehab and associated therapies.
Cocaine Research Reporthow Is Cocaine Addiction Treated
In 2013, cocaine accounted for almost 6 percent of all admissions to drug abuse treatment programs. The majority of individuals who seek treatment for cocaine use smoke crack and are likely to be polydrug users, meaning they use more than one substance.36 Those who provide treatment for cocaine use should recognize that drug addiction is a complex disease involving changes in the brain as well as a wide range of social, familial, and other environmental factors therefore, treatment of cocaine addiction must address this broad context as well as any other co-occurring mental disorders that require additional behavioral or pharmacological interventions.
Why Do People With Substance Use Disorder Need More And More Drugs Over Time
People feel intoxicated after using drugs of abuse. Over time, the brain is changed by drugs of abuse. The brain becomes desensitized to the drug of abuse so that more of the drug must be used to produce the same effect.
As the person consumes more, drugs start to take over the persons life. One may stop enjoying other aspects of life. For many people, social, family and work obligations fall to the side. The person with SUD starts to feel like somethings wrong if he or she isnt under the influence of the substance. They may become consumed with the need to recapture that original feeling.
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Admit There Is A Problem
First things first, you must admit you have an addiction.
If you are feeling discomfort or guilt from your actions, or if your bad habits conflict or restrict your everyday activities, its time to consider help.
Dr. Elizabeth Hartney, PhD agrees, There are many factors, physical, mental, and emotional, that make quitting difficult.
This is why so many people find treatment helps to guide them through the complex process of quitting.