Why Do People Often Need Medical Assistance For Detox And Withdrawal
Drugs and alcohol will rewire the brains risk and reward neural pathways. When someone starts abusing a substance, the chemical compounds in the drug will directly impact the way the brain functions. In substance use disorder, a persons body and brain have become so used to having the substance, that the person is unable to function without it. When someone stops taking drugs or alcohol when they are dependent and addicted, they will experience a range of painful and distressing withdrawal symptoms as their body attempts to rid itself of toxins and return to a natural state of equilibrium.
Withdrawal symptoms can be both psychologically and physically distressing. In severe cases, withdrawals can also be dangerous. For example, people who have been addicted to alcohol for a long time may experience a condition called delirium tremens, or DT, when they attempt to quit drinking. DT is a seizure disorder that can be life-threatening. Also, painful withdrawal symptoms can influence someone to retake drugs or start taking a replacement drug to get some relief from their pain.
When it comes to treating drug abuse and addiction, many people are understandably fearful of the pain they will feel when they attempt to detox from drugs. Knowing that a rehab center uses medications to treat and address symptoms can positively impact someone to seek treatment and achieve sobriety.
Medications For Detoxification And Medical Stabilization
Chronic dependence on alcohol can result in periods of severe withdrawal syndromes marked by increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety, and withdrawal seizures and in severe cases delirium tremens and even death . Medications for alcohol withdrawal syndromes include benzodiazepines that act on gamma-aminobutyric acid at the GABA receptors in the brain to stimulate release of GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for decreasing activity throughout the nervous system and acts to gradually detoxify the patient from alcohol by reducing heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, and anxiety associated with alcohol withdrawal. During detoxification benzodiazepines are systematically decreased to address the most important need, which is to prevent the occurrence of seizures and delirium. Alcohol-related seizures and or delirium tremens can result in death. Benzodiazepines can also improve treatment outcome but should only be used on a short-term basis. They should be avoided as a long-term strategy for controlling alcohol dependence because physical tolerance of these medications can occur rapidly and can result in dangerous interactions if patients using the medication relapse into alcohol use .
Combination Of Medication And Psychosocial Treatment
All studies of pharmacological treatments have incorporated some form of counseling such as brief intervention, psychoeducation, or even a comprehensive behavioral treatment. Behavioral interventions such as contingency management and medication compliance therapy have the potential to influence adherence to medication and retention in treatment that is a major limitation of using pharmacotherapy alone . Similarly, early treatment with medication could help the patient achieve abstinence, which in turn increases the patients ability to learn new coping skills and benefit more from behavioral therapy. Clearly medication and behavioral therapies work synergistically to improve outcomes . In addition, some behavioral therapies could be specifically focused on taking advantage of the pharmacological effects of the medications, for example, drinking-reduction strategies in the context of naltrexone treatment.
There is mounting evidence pointing to the efficacy of combination treatments of medications and behavioral therapies . The most common behavioral therapies that have been combined with pharmacological interventions include contingency management, community reinforcement approach, motivational interviewing and medication compliance therapy, and behavioral family therapy .
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Supporting A Loved Ones Addiction Recovery
Theres no one-size-fits-all solution to overcoming an addiction to drugs, and its rarely a process thats quick or straightforward. While you can support your loved one and encourage treatment, you cant force them to change or control their decision-making. Letting your loved one assume responsibility for their behavior and choices is an important step on their road to sobriety.
Adjust your expectations. Everyone is different. Recovery for one person may mean total abstinence from drugs. For another, it could mean cutting back or staying mostly drug-free. Being too rigid in your expectations can lead to disappointment and a sense of failure, even if your loved one finds stability in their life again.
Encourage your loved one to seek help. While some people are able to quit drugs on their own, the more help and support a person has, the better their chances of success. Offer to sit with your loved one while they call a helpline or accompany them to a doctors appointment, counseling session, or peer support group meeting.
Help plan for triggers and cravings. Your loved one will need to find ways to cope with drug cravings and triggers. You can help distract them with other activities or encourage them to learn how to ride out the urge, but ultimately, they have to be responsible for their own sobriety.
Combining Addiction Treatment Medication With Psychosocial Treatment
Medications for addiction treatment may be more effective when combined with psychosocial treatment modalities like motivational enhancement therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or other behavioral interventions.18
This combination is sometimes referred to as medication-assisted treatment. However, since medication is an increasingly common standard of care, particularly for treating OUD, the idea of medication as a mere assist is considered outdated by many addiction treatment professionals.18
Medication and therapy can provide a whole-person approach that addresses the varied and often complex needs of people with substance use disorders.4 Combining medication with psychosocial interventions can provide support and skills that can:16, 19
- Benefit the person as theyre waiting for the medication effects to become apparent.
- Enhance treatment adherence.
- Improve treatment retention.
- Address symptoms and problems that the medication will not address .
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Find Support For Yourself
Being in a relationship with a person who has a substance use disorder is often stressful. It’s important that you accept that what you are going through is difficult and seek support. There are many resources that exist for this purpose.
Consider joining a support group, for instance, such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. Children and teens can get support from Alateen. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a variety of resources designed to provide insight and support for families of addicts.
It’s also essential to develop stress management strategies. This is an important step in helping you help your loved one. These strategies will help you cope with the stressors you will likely encounter when helping a friend or family member seek and receive help with an addiction.
There Are Many Different Medications That Help With Addiction Recovery Their Use Depends On The Type Of Addiction You Have And Your Need For Them There Are Even Some Instances When Medication Treatment Isn’t Recommended
Still, a growing number of addicts do benefit from prescriptions used for addiction. Medications that are prescribed for addiction can help with withdrawal symptoms during the detox process.
If you are a drug addict, or an alcoholic, this is information that you might find interesting. You need to know that there are many ways that you can recover from your addiction. There are many prescriptions used for detox, and it is one of the most common methods of recovery.
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Whats The Difference Between Substance Use/misuse And Substance Use Disorder
Substance use/misuse refers to occasional episodes of substance use rather than chronic, habitual or patterned use.
People can use substances occasionally without developing SUD, but even a few episodes of taking certain substances can lead to tolerance and dependence. Tobacco, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, cannabis and benzodiazepines are all substances that you can develop tolerance and dependence to.
What To Expect When Treated With Addiction Medications
The initial assessment for addiction treatment can help determine a persons treatment needs, level of readiness to stop using substances, and whether medication for addiction treatment is appropriate in helping to achieve their recovery goals.16 Ongoing assessment is likely to take place throughout the recovery process.16
Medication used for alcohol or drug addiction treatment can be part of an outpatient or inpatient rehab program, or they may be prescribed by emergency room physicians, primary care doctors, or other healthcare providers. Dosages may be changed by prescribers throughout the course of treatment to best meet a patients needs.16
Some may benefit from a combination of medications.9 For example, naltrexone used to reduce alcohol cravings might be prescribed alongside acamprosate, which reduces symptoms of withdrawal.9
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How To Find Mat Treatment Near Me
American Addiction Centers is a leading provider of MAT at our inpatient and outpatient facilities located across the nation. We also specialize in co-occurring disorders treatment and offer individualized treatment plans that are customized to your specific needs. Our expert, compassionate medical staff and team of professional addiction counselors know what you are going through, and they are qualified to provide the best assistance to support you on your path to recovery.
The Effects Of Drug Abuse And Addiction On Family And Friends
Witnessing someone you care about battle a substance use disorder can be extremely distressing and take a heavy toll on your own mental and emotional well-being. Whether the drug abuser is a close friend, spouse, parent, child, or other family member, its easy for their addiction to take over your life. It can pile stress upon stress, test your patience, strain your bank balance, and leave you racked by feelings of guilt, shame, anger, fear, frustration, and sadness.
You may worry about where your loved one is at any given time, their risk of overdosing, or the damage theyre doing to their health, future, and home life. You may be in debt from paying their living expenses, the cost of legal troubles resulting from their drug abuse, or from failed attempts at rehab and recovery. You may also be worn down by covering for your loved one at home or work, having to shoulder the responsibilities they neglect, or being unable to devote more time to other family, friends, and interests in your life.
As despairing as you may feel, youre not alone in your struggle. A Pew Research Center survey in 2017 found that nearly half of Americans have a family member or close friend whos been addicted to drugs. Across the Western world, the abuse of prescription pain relievers and tranquillizers has skyrocketed in recent years, creating a public health crisis.
What To Expect When A Loved One Receives Treatment
Once your loved one has decided to begin treatment, it can be helpful to know what to expect. The answer depends on a variety of factors including:
- The severity of your loved one’s condition
- The duration and frequency of their substance or alcohol use
- Past attempts at recovery
- Motivation and commitment to recovery
- Support and assistance available
Long-term treatment and recovery will last for months or even years. Overall progress and setbacks during recovery can extend the duration of treatment.
During this time, there are things that you can do to offer support. Learning more about the treatment process and offering help with immediate needssuch as driving them to appointments or attending support group meetings with themare all ways that you can support recovery.
Helping Stop The Cravings
Anti-addiction medications are important for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction for your loved one for many reasons. Since drug and alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that begins in the brain, Enterhealth utilizes anti-addiction medications as a critical element of our comprehensive treatment plans personalized for each patient. Due to the powerful chemical changes that occur in the brain as the result of the injury from alcohol or drugs, cravings from deep inside the center of the brain drive each person to use, often overwhelming even the strongest logic and desire to quit.
Fortunately, amazing breakthroughs in drug and alcohol addiction treatment and medical scientific research have greatly facilitated long-term, successful sobriety by utilizing specific FDA-approved medications to shut down cravings in the brain.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Medication Therapy For Cocaine
Because there isnt one specific medication that can be used to treat cocaine addiction, some medications come with side effects. Generally, these side effects are mildly unpleasant but, in some instances, can be life-threatening.
Some medications can cause dizziness, nausea, and drowsiness. However, everyone responds to medications differently. One of the reasons its so important to have an assisted detox from cocaine is so your situation can be monitored and evaluated.
One of the most important things to do is to follow the orders of the treatment team. For many who enter addiction recovery, life is chaotic and unorganized. Beginning a medication regimen is taking the first step toward restructuring a persons life. Medication can make recovery easier to tolerate, but dont confuse that with a false sense of security.
Its important not to assume that pharmacological treatment is the only therapy needed to beat cocaine addiction. While pharmacotherapy may make it easier to deal with detox, medication is only one aspect of a comprehensive recovery plan.
Diagnosis And Treatment Decisions
Diagnosing a substance use disorder requires a comprehensive evaluation of a patients cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms. For example, a clinician may ask the patient questions about their life, addictive behavior, and patterns of misuse. Its also important to address SUDs in a non-stigmatizing manner, using language that respects the dignity of all people who use substances. An evaluation may also include obtaining the results of urine drug testing and data from prescription drug monitoring program reports. Urine drug testing is a common tool used in assessment and treatment monitoring. The PDMP should also be reviewed to identify any additional prescriptions for controlled substances including opioids, benzodiazepines, and stimulants. Clinicians can use the diagnostic information to determine whether a patient is experiencing symptoms consistent with a SUD and, if so, in what range of severity.
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How Common Is Substance Use Disorder
Substance use disorder is common. Over 20 million people in the United States have at least one SUD.
About 20% of people in the U.S. who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder.
Of the over 20 million people in the U.S. who have SUD:
- 38% have a drug substance use disorder.
- 73% have alcohol use disorder.
- 12% have both a drug SUD and alcohol use disorder.
What is the most common substance use disorder?
Tobacco use disorder is the most common substance use disorder worldwide and in the United States.
Challenges Of Treating Addiction With Drugs
The development or discovery of prescription medications that can treat addiction is often heralded as a cure for substance use disorders. However, this is an exaggeration as there is no cure for addiction using medicine to treat substance abuse can be a double-edged sword. In other words, using drugs to treat drug abuse may seem problematic replacing abuse of one substance with dependence on another appears to defeat the purpose of addiction treatment.
Many researchers would argue with this sentiment, especially considering some of the medications that help to curb cravings and prevent the desire to relapse. These experts believe that medicine is a legitimate route for treating drug abuse. For some individuals, it certainly may seem to be the best course. However, there are difficulties that arise when using medicine to treat drug abuse and addiction, which include:
These challenges of using medication to prevent relapse can cause a person to revert to former behaviors or to develop new addictions, resulting in relapse and potential overdose. A helpful way to avoid these difficulties is treatment that helps to change those behaviors rather than applying medication to the symptoms of what is often a deeper psychological issue.
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The First Steps In Treating Addiction
Before someone can get help for a substance abuse disorder, they have to admit they have a problem. And getting someone to face the fact that they have a disease called addiction can be extremely difficult since many people are either unaware of their illness or are ambivalent about getting sober.
The first step is that they have to recognize that they have a problem, says Cheryl Brown Merriwether, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, CPRC, vice president and executive director at the ICare International Center for Addiction and Recovery Education in Orlando, Florida.
While forcing someone into treatment is usually not the most effective way to go, sometimes it is necessary because of a legal situation, including court-ordered rehab. Also, the District of Columbia and 37 states allow for involuntary commitment to a drug or alcohol treatment facility, but with a host of caveats, including whether there is proof the person has harmed or has threatened to harm themselves or others.
People may begin abusing drugs and alcohol to cope with , , loneliness, and hopelessness, says Elie G. Aoun, MD, MRO, FAPA, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Its hard for the person to stop engaging in a habit that makes them feel better, at least temporarily. Loved ones can try to help via programs like CRAFT . Experts note that loved ones can have an enormous influence on getting the addicted person into treatment.
Tip : Change Your Beliefs
If you self-medicate your moods and emotions, chances are you look at your substance use in ways that make it seem more useful than it really is. For example, you may, like many people, drink alcohol as a nightcap to help you sleep. But while it can help you to fall asleep faster, alcohol will also disrupt your sleep. It can necessitate extra trips to the bathroom, aggravate breathing problems, interfere with the restorative REM-sleep phase of your sleep, and cause you to wake up earlier than normal. All this adds up to a poor quality nights sleep. By skipping the nightcap, it may take you longer to fall asleep but youll sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed and well-rested.
Similarly, you may use alcohol to improve your mood or as a coping mechanism for anxiety. While a few drinks can have the desired effectmaking you feel happier or less anxiousbecause alcohol is a depressant, it will ultimately make you more anxious and depressed. Regular alcohol use depresses the central nervous system and decreases the levels of the brain chemical serotonin, leaving you feeling sadder and more prone to worrying than before.