Why Is Addiction A Disease
Like other chronic diseases, addiction damages the normal and healthy functioning of a critical organ in the body, in this case, the brain. The brains of people with addiction become dependent on the presence of an addictive substance or behavior and the reward or high that it triggers.
Who Is At Risk For Drug Addiction
Various risk factors can make you more likely to become addicted to drugs, including:
- Your biology. People can react to drugs differently. Some people like the feeling the first time they try a drug and want more. Others hate how it feels and never try it again.
- Mental health problems. People who have untreated mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more likely to become addicted. This can happen because drug use and mental health problems affect the same parts of the brain. Also, people with these problems may use drugs to try to feel better.
- Trouble at home. If your home is an unhappy place or was when you were growing up, you might be more likely to have a drug problem.
- Trouble in school, at work, or with making friends. You might use drugs to get your mind off these problems.
- Hanging around other people who use drugs. They might encourage you to try drugs.
- Starting drug use when you’re young. When kids use drugs, it affects how their bodies and brains finish growing. This increases your chances of becoming addicted when you’re an adult.
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.
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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.
Training Authorization And Coordinated Care
Even though most physicians in America can prescribe powerful and dangerous opioid painkillers with few restrictions, doctors must become specially certified in order to prescribe addiction medications.
There are many restrictions on where medications can be offered and who can administer them. And due to these restrictions, many clinicians and facilities have limited capacity for the number of patients they can accept at one time. In many communities, only some medications are available, which limits patients options.
Doctors and patients have to jump through countless administrative hoops.
Some clinicians refuse to administer medicationseven when they are authorized to do sobecause of personal beliefs, the lack of coordinated care with mental health professionals , the additional time commitment required, and the potential threat of raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI.
Whats more, its hard to access medications even within traditional addiction treatment centers. Few inpatient treatment facilities offer all three FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder. While the American Society of Addiction Medicine has defined detailed standards of care, there is no established national accreditation program for treatment facilities in the U.S.
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What Medications Are Typically Used To Treat Addiction
- Baclofen or Lioresal
- Vigabatrin or Sabril
Some of the most well-known medications that are used during addiction treatment are Naltrexone or Buprenorphine. These prescriptions are an integral part of the fight against opioid addiction and abuse. Drugs like opioids are some of the most addictive in existence. Treatment can be especially tricky for recovering addicts because opioid withdrawals come with long-term and severe cravings to use. Unfortunately, opioids are the drug most responsible for overdoses and deaths. Drugs like Naltrexone and Buprenorphine can help prevent cravings and also block the effects of opioids if someone relapses.
Government Agencies Clinical Trials And More
National Institute on Drug Abuse . Use this fact sheet to learn more information on the most recent and comprehensive treatment options for drug abuse and addiction.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration operates a confidential, 24-hour treatment referral helpline 1-800-662-HELP to help people find treatment programs and other assistance. You can also use SAMHSAs online resource Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator forfinding mental health treatment facilities and programsin your state.
National Institute of Mental Health, is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. NIMHs website has the latest research, news, and statistics on addiction and related mental health disorders, and you can explore the idea of participating in an upcoming clinical trial for finding new and better treatments.
Clinical Trials Network . If youre interested in participating in a clinical trial or learning more about upcoming clinical trials, you can find one via the Clinical Trials Network.
Alcoholics Anonymous . Find a local AA meeting near you.
Narcotics Anonymous . Find a local NA meeting near you.
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Reflect On The Problem
Some experts would advise you to list the pros and cons and consider why you would want to continue with drugs. The pros are majorly pleasure, satisfaction, or even pleasing the one who is forcing you to take these drugs, but there are several cons and they are catastrophic, such as loss of freedom, loss of concentration, loss of appetite for good food, a riotous relationship with loved ones, financial loss, loss of respect in the society, death, and so many disastrous consequences.
Think about how addiction has caused you to start the downward spiral, and how great your life could be with sobriety. Keeping a daily journal helps to plan by outlining goals, triggers, and motivators. Also, keeping a count of the number of drugs used and the duration between each use is a great way of informing oneself of the extent of drug use.
Is Treatment Different For Criminal Justice Populations
Scientific research since the mid-1970s shows that drug abuse treatment can help many drug-using offenders change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors towards drug abuse avoid relapse and successfully remove themselves from a life of substance abuse and crime. Many of the principles of treating drug addiction are similar for people within the criminal justice system as for those in the general population. However, many offenders dont have access to the types of services they need. Treatment that is of poor quality or is not well suited to the needs of offenders may not be effective at reducing drug use and criminal behavior.
In addition to the general principles of treatment, some considerations specific to offenders include the following:
- Treatment should include development of specific cognitive skills to help the offender adjust attitudes and beliefs that lead to drug abuse and crime, such as feeling entitled to have things ones own way or not understanding the consequences of ones behavior. This includes skills related to thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering.
- Treatment planning should include tailored services within the correctional facility as well as transition to community-based treatment after release.
- Ongoing coordination between treatment providers and courts or parole and probation officers is important in addressing the complex needs of offenders re-entering society.
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Treatment Through Detox Process
What is a detox process exactly? A detox process is where the drug addict is told and forced to take the drugs out of their life that they are addicted to. The drug addict has no choice but to do accordingly as this is the part of the treatment. This detox process can work different for each treatment program, whether it is outpatient rehab treatment or inpatient rehab treatment.
Find An Approach That Works
There are a number of different treatment options that can be effective, so it is important to consider the options. Think about which approach might be best suited to you and your loved one’s needs and goals.
Depending on the nature of the addiction, treatment might involve psychotherapy, medication, support groups, or a combination of all of these. A few options include:
Other important factors that can affect a person’s recovery include family involvement and other social supports. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests that family therapy is an important part of an effective recovery plan.
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Drug Addiction Treatment At Red Oak Recovery
At Red Oak Recovery, you will never face your substance use issues alone. Our staff has the training and spirit to ensure you feel comfortable and confident during treatment. Furthermore, our proven programs will help you develop an understanding of your substance use while giving you the tools for success in recovery.
Our programs include:
Our mens rehab program provides the specialized care you deserve. Recovery is different for everyone, and our gender-specific treatment will include a distinct rehab plan for each individual.
Looking For A Place To Start
Reach out to a treatment provider for free today.
Motivational enhancement therapy is used to help individuals in recovery learn how to change any negative thoughts and behaviors attached to their addiction. This type of therapy is frequently used to treat people in substance abuse recovery who have co-occurring conditions, such as bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder .
Psychodynamic therapy helps individuals explore their emotions to uncover how their subconscious thoughts relate to their addiction. This helps to identify the underlying cause of substance use. By working closely with therapists to acknowledge these deep-seated feelings, individuals are much more prepared to identify and avoid temptations during their ongoing recovery.
Treatment And Rehabilitation For Drug Abuse
According to the 2016 Surgeon Generals Facing Addiction in America report, 20.8 million people met the criteria for a substance use disorder in 2015. However, only about 1 in 10 people with an addiction sought treatment. Addictions are progressive, so its best to treat them before they become life-threatening. The good news is that theres better understanding of addiction now than ever, which means better treatment for everyone.
What Does A Substance Abuse Treatment Plan Look Like
One of the first steps towards recovery from substance abuse is drafting a treatment plan with your provider. This individualized roadmap will help both of you establish realistic expectations, set up goals, and track your progress.
Treatment plans should consider how substance abuse impacts all aspects of your life, including your mental, physical, social, and financial health. This document is fluid and should be updated as your needs change over time. Here are the main elements of a treatment plan.
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Be Involved In The Drug Rehab Treatment And Recovery Process
Healing from alcoholism and drug addiction is everyones responsibility.
If a drug-addicted family member is on the road to recovery, but you or the family has not taken steps to be a part of the healing process, this can actually hinder your loved ones progress. Support through this process is essential. Utilizing a family program and therapy can be a means to facilitate the healing process.
Oftentimes, addiction is deep-seated in family issues and learned behaviors that stem from within the home. If an addicted person is trying to break the cycle and change their behavior, it is very hard if the family has not also begun working through their own issues surrounding the problems in the home.
Ways Anyone Can Stop Drug Addiction Now
Substance abuse is a common word where the topic-Drug Addiction is discussed. It starts physically and translates neurologically. Certain changes in the brain are created until the brain instructs the body to incessantly crave these drugs. Some of these drugs which are commonly abused include marijuana, tobacco, alcohol, hashish, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, and prescription drugs used aside from the Doctors prescriptions. This abuse has resulted in several medical, psychological, and social problems-human suffering being the top of the list. There are also financial implications from the abused use of these substances. Hence, society seeks ways how to stop drug addiction. They have suggested treatment as one way.
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Drug & Alcohol Treatment Programs
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, making treatment for addiction readily available to someone who is struggling may increase the likelihood that it will be effective in maintaining sobriety.5 For someone seeking treatment for a substance use disorder, there are a number of treatment options ranging in intensity.
American Addiction Centers offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient treatment centers across the United States. To learn more about how our rehab centers could help your sibling, call
If someone is still actively using substances, their physician may recommend that they attend a drug detox center to safely withdraw from their drug of choice.5 They might opt for inpatient or residential treatment if they need access to medical and mental health care while in a supportive environment as they learn to maintain their sobriety.5Inpatient treatment can also sometimes include medication for withdrawal symptoms or cravings to use, such as Medication-Assisted Treatment.5 Someone who wants to stay in their own home to have the support of family might prefer outpatient treatment.5 Treatment options also vary in length of stay: inpatient treatment can be as long as 6 to 12 months, while some programs may last only a few weeks.5
Recognizing Drug Abuse In A Loved One
Its not always easy to recognize if a loved one is abusing drugs. In teens, for example, drug abuse can often resemble normal adolescent moodiness. Furthermore, theres no specific amount or frequency of use that indicates someones drug use has become a cause for concern. Whether your loved one is using every day or every month, its the adverse impact their drug abuse has on their life that indicates a problem.
Signs your loved one may have a substance use disorder include:
Experiencing problems at work, school, or home. They appear high more often, for example, and take more days away from work or school to compensate. Their work performance or school grades suffer, they neglect their responsibilities at home, and encounter more and more relationship difficulties. They may even lose their job, drop out of school, or separate from a long-term partner.
New health issues, such as changes in sleep schedule, often appearing fatigued or run-down, pronounced weight loss or weight gain, glassy or bloodshot eyes, and forgetfulness or other cognition problems. Depending on the type of drug theyre abusing, they may also exhibit frequent sniffing, nosebleeds, or shaking.
Recurring financial problems. Your loved one may run up credit card debt to support their drug use, seek loans, or ask to borrow money without any solid reason. They may even steal money or valuables to sell for drugs.
Drug paraphernalia to look out for
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Taking The First Steps Toward Treatment
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when considering treatment for addiction is cost. However, according to Facing Addiction in America, research has shown that, over time, the costs associated with rehab dwarf the costs related to continued addiction, hospitalization, and death by drugs. With the help of insurance companies and the Affordable Care Act, its possible that your treatment could be fully covered. Advanced Recovery Systems has several rehab centers geared fully toward helping those struggling with addictions and substance use disorders. Our centers are located in Florida, Colorado, Washington and Ohio, with more facilities planned in the near future. If youre ready to take the first steps toward a better life, call us at . Youll reach an intake specialist who will determine your needs and provide recommendations for the best treatment possible.