Can Drug Addiction Be Treated
Yes, but its not simple. Because addiction is a chronic disease, people cant simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most patients need long-term or repeated care to stop using completely and recover their lives.
Addiction treatment must help the person do the following:
- stop using drugs
- be productive in the family, at work, and in society
Find Treatment For Substance Abuse
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers these services to help with drug and alcohol abuse:
at . This treatment referral and information service is confidential, free, and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in English and Spanish. Its for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Search for a treatment facility near you. Get help with problems related to substance abuse, addiction, or mental health issues.
The Alcohol Treatment Navigator explains how different treatment options work, how to choose a quality program, and how to get support for yourself or for a loved one through the recovery process.
Get medication-assisted treatment . This involves using medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders. It can be used for opioid addictions, such as heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates, and to help prevent an opioid overdose.
How To Help A Drug Addict
The first thing that you need to know is that the difficulties involved with stopping substance use are complex. Using drugs or alcohol affects areas of the brain associated with self-control. As an individual keeps using drugs or alcohol, the way these areas of the brain function are changed, making it difficult to stop or otherwise control compulsive substance use.1 It is also important to know that it is unlikely that you alone can make them quit using drugs. However, loved ones of drug addicts can help them get off drugs by supporting their motivation to change.
Encouraging your loved one that seeking some form of professional help for addiction is a positive step towards recovering from drug and alcohol abuse can put them on the path towards a sober life. Whether you are seeking help for a problem with alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, crystal methamphetamine or any other addiction, recovery is possible.
You May Like: How To Battle Sugar Addiction
Understanding Drug Use And Addiction Drugfacts
Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.
How Is Substance Abuse Treated
Many treatment options are available for addictions and substance abuse, ranging from counselling through to hospital treatment depending on which substance is involved and seriousness of the dependence.
Mild substance abuse can be treated with simple counselling and lifestyle changes. Severe dependence on substances like alcohol or heroin may require treatment in a hospital.
Detoxification means stopping intake of the substance and having medical treatment until the substance has cleared from the bloodstream.
Rehabilitation refers to longer-term treatment, which may occur in a residential clinic or at home. This often involves psychological treatments to address any underlying issues that may have caused the initial substance abuse, such as childhood trauma, anxiety or depression.
For people who have a substance use disorder and a mental illness, treatment needs to address both conditions at the same time to be effective.
Read Also: Addiction Recovery Centers Tucson Arizona
What Is Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive, or uncontrollable, drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences and changes in the brain, which can be long-lasting. These changes in the brain can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who use drugs. Drug addiction is also a relapsing disease. Relapse is the return to drug use after an attempt to stop.
The path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs. But over time, a person’s ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised. Seeking and taking the drug becomes compulsive. This is mostly due to the effects of long-term drug exposure on brain function. Addiction affects parts of the brain involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and control over behavior.
Addiction is a disease that affects both the brain and behavior.
Seeking Drug Addiction Help
If you have a loved one who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it can be difficult to watch them. You may be wondering how to help them with their substance abuse issues. They might be ready to quit and wondering where to get help for substance abuse. There are a number of ways to help a drug addict. Here, we will talk about the signs of drug and alcohol use disorders, what you can expect when your loved one is dealing with a substance use disorder, how to handle the difficulties of trying to help them and how having a loved one with a drug or alcohol addiction affects you.
Also Check: What Drug Is Used To Overcome Addiction
What Are The Signs Of Substance Abuse
Most people enjoy a drink now and again. But when someone loses control of their alcohol or drugs, when the substance starts causing harm like injuries or medical problems, damaging relationships or causing problems at work, then it can be a sign that the habit is becoming a problem.
People who abuse substances may become dependent. It means they don’t feel the effects of the substance any more, and experience cravings or withdrawal symptoms when stopping.
Other signs that you or someone you know might be abusing a substance include:
- regularly using more of the substance than intended
- regularly trying to cut down or stop using, but never succeeding
- spending too much time getting, using or recovering from the substance
- cravings, or a strong desire to use the substance
- often failing to meet responsibilities at work, home or school because of substance use
- continuing to use a substance when it has caused relationship problems
- giving up social, work or leisure activities because of substance use
- using substances again and again, even when you’re aware of the potential damage or danger
- continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance
- tolerance: the substance does not have much effect on you, or you need more of the substance to get the effect you want
- ‘withdrawal’ symptoms: feelings of physical illness when not using the substance that are only relieved by taking more of it
The Harmful Effects Of Drugs And Alcohol
It should come as no surprise that drugs and alcohol can have negative effects on your life. Although sometimes it may be difficult to imagine, the abuse of these substances can change everything from your body to your bank account. This can include …
Recommended Reading: Why An Addict Can’t Love You
What Kind Of Addiction Treatments Are Available
Alcohol and drug addiction is a complex and long-lasting medical condition characterized by compulsive behaviors despite negative consequences. Addiction is also a relapsing disease, meaning a person can return to drug or alcohol use during an attempt to quit or even many years after quitting. The good news is that addiction is treatable and there are many effective options available to help people struggling with substance misuse. Treatments can help people stop using drugs or alcohol, stay drug-free, and lead a productive, healthy, happy life.
It is worth noting that no single addiction treatment is right for everyone and the treatment plan needs to be individualized to address the needs of each person. A drug and alcohol hotline can help you identify the level of care that you or your loved one needs and the programs nearby that offer those types of addiction treatments.
The main types of addiction treatments that are used in treating drug and alcohol misuse include:
Medical detox: This is the phase of addiction treatment during which the body is allowed to rid itself of harmful substances under medical supervision. For some substances, detox can be dangerous if not conducted under such supervision. Medical supervision ensures that any health complications that arise as well as withdrawal symptoms and cravings can be managed by the healthcare team to ensure safe and comfortable detoxification.
How Are Behavioral Therapies Used To Treat Drug Addiction
Behavioral therapies help patients:
- modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use
- increase healthy life skills
- persist with other forms of treatment, such as medication
Patients can receive treatment in many different settings with various approaches.
Outpatient behavioral treatment includes a wide variety of programs for patients who visit a behavioral health counselor on a regular schedule. Most of the programs involve individual or group drug counseling, or both. These programs typically offer forms of behavioral therapy such as:
- cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs
- multidimensional family therapydeveloped for adolescents with drug abuse problems as well as their familieswhich addresses a range of influences on their drug abuse patterns and is designed to improve overall family functioning
- motivational interviewing, which makes the most of people’s readiness to change their behavior and enter treatment
- motivational incentives , which uses positive reinforcement to encourage abstinence from drugs
Also Check: How To Deal With Drug Addiction In The Family
Treatment Approaches For Drug Addiction Drugfacts
NOTE: This fact sheet discusses research findings on effective treatment approaches for drug abuse and addiction. If youre seeking treatment, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or go to for information on hotlines, counseling services, or treatment options in your state.
Symptoms Of Drug Or Alcohol Addiction And Signs You Need Help
There are signs and symptoms to look for that could indicate your loved one needs help with a substance use disorder or addiction. Mental health professionals outline the criteria used to diagnose someone with a substance use disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition . If your loved one meets at least 2 of the following criteria over the last 12 months, they may meet the criteria to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder:2
- The person takes more of the substance than originally intended.
- The person uses substances in high-risk situations such as driving.
- The person neglects their responsibilities at home or work due to using substances.
- The person gives up hobbies or other interests to use substances.
- The person tries unsuccessfully to stop using or cut back on substances.
- The person spends a lot of time and resources seeking the substance out and using it.
- The person keeps taking the substance, even while knowing it causes harm to their physical or mental health.
- The person has cravings to use the substance.
- The person develops a tolerance to the substance, meaning that he or she needs more and more of the substance to keep feeling the desired effects.
- The person experiences withdrawal symptoms when stopping or significantly reducing their use of the substance.
Read Also: How To Stop Being Addicted To Video Games
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.
What Happens To The Brain When A Person Takes Drugs
Most drugs affect the brain’s “reward circuit,” causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.
As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drugan effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.
Long-term use also causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions that include:
Despite being aware of these harmful outcomes, many people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop Being Addicted To Junk Food
Find Mental Health Information
Learn the warning signs of a mental health problem and how to talk about these issues with others.
- Learn how to talk about mental healththe facts, myths, and typical treatmentsat MentalHealth.gov.
- Order mental health publications for help with a wide range of mental health issues, conditions, and disorders.
Where To Get Help
- If you are concerned that you or someone you care about may have a problem with their substance use, see your doctor. You could also try healthdirect’s Symptom Checker and get advice on when to seek professional help.
- 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous 1300 222 222 and Narcotics Anonymous 1300 652 820 are available in many locations throughout Australian cities and regional areas. They provide a support group for people who have recovered from addiction and can support and mentor others with alcohol or addiction problems.
- Specialised information for young people is available at ReachOut.com and headspace. Free online counselling programs for people who are concerned about their drug or alcohol use are available at Counselling Online and the Australian Centre for Addiction Research.
- If you or someone you know is having a personal crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Pornography Addiction
Taking Action On Addiction
Taking Action on Addiction is a campaign to improve understanding of addiction and end the stigma that surrounds it. We are calling for addiction to be treated as a serious mental health condition and for increased access to support so that recovery can be possible for everyone.
Perceptions of addiction need to change. Our aim is to build compassion and understanding around addiction and support people to ask for help without judgement, discrimination or stigma. Anyone can be affected by addiction and everyone deserves the help they need to overcome it. Taking Action on Addiction is a partnership of charities who believe in working together to bring about the change so badly needed to help more people and families find recovery. Read more about what we believe.
Is It Free To Call A Drug And Alcohol Addiction Hotline
Yes, calls to the drug hotline are free. If it is a toll-free number, you will not incur any charges for the call. The information will also be provided completely free of cost. You do not need to have health insurance to call a drug and alcohol hotline. However, should you decide to start addiction treatment, you will need to pay for the treatment through your health insurance policy or out of pocket.
Don’t Miss: How To Help An Addict In Denial
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.
Using The Web To Get Help
If you or someone you love is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, then drug addiction help websites can be useful tools. However, you should know that the best chances of addiction recovery come through professional treatment and not just through research and education found on drug abuse help websites. A quality drug and alcohol rehabilitation program that is staffed by highly trained physicians, nurses, and counselors can offer a comprehensive solution to your addiction and rehab needs. You can use websites to get information on various programs and treatment options and to figure out what to look for in a good treatment program, but this is no substitute for recognizing an addiction and getting sober through the help of an accredited rehab program.
At Tampa Drug Treatment Center, we have helped many people recover from addiction. Many of them find us by searching for help and information on drug addiction websites. Others have found us through other means. However you have come to this page, we would love to speak with you in more detail about your options. Call today or fill out the form to learn more about how we can serve you.
Read Also: I Need Help With My Porn Addiction