Drug Addiction: The Side Effects And Its Treatment Procedures
Every year, the United States spends an estimated $78.5 billion on the matter of prescription opioid misuse. The expenses include healthcare costs, addiction treatment, criminal justice cases, and lost productivity. According to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 45,000 people living in the United States died from drug overdoses in 2019 alone. The abuse and addiction to drugs have become a national crisis that reflects poorly on health care statistics and can negatively affect the well-being of individuals.
The Five Stages Of Addiction Recovery
Alcohol and drug abuse can tear families apart and transform loving and successful individuals into desperate, lonely husks of their former selves. Even though the impact is devastating, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Anyone can overcome addiction with the help and guidance of a substance abuse treatment program.
Understanding the five stages of addiction recovery can be useful for addicted people and their family members. Each stage clearly describes the process of recognizing and admitting the problem, preparing for addiction treatment, and dealing with life after treatment of alcohol and drug abuse. Its an integrated theory thats compatible with most evidence-based and holistic treatments, like the 12-step program and behavior therapy.
What Can You Do To Help Combat Addiction
The causes of addiction and substance abuse are complex and often involve multiple support needs. If you find yourself needing to use a substance every day or more than you want to, you find that you arent taking care of yourself in the same way, or youre spending most of your time getting, using, or recovering from the effects of a substance, its important to reach out for help.
However, addiction doesnt have to be your story, and there are actionable steps you can take to prevent it before it becomes problematic.
1. Find alternate, healthy coping skills
Everyone deals with lifes stresses differently, so its important to find a coping strategy that works for you. Whether its journaling, drawing, talking to a friend or working out, find an alternative that boosts your mood over the long term rather than providing a short-term hit.
2. Discover a passion
Whether its training, volunteering for a cause you care about or learning a new skill, finding a passion that motivates you and gets you out of bed in the morning can provide a welcome distraction.
3. Practise self-care
You may not always feel like it you havent been prioritising your health, but maximising your nutrient intake with plenty of lean proteins, vegetables, and plenty of healthy fats will keep you far more motivated to take care of yourself. Unsaturated fats, such as nuts, avocado and oily fish, positively affect hormonal balance, which can significantly improve mood , .
4. Get moving
5. Reach out
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What Are The 4 Stages Of Addiction
Understanding how your brain and body react differently throughout the different stages of addiction can help you prevent you from going too far down the road to full-blown addiction.
Stage 1: Experimentation
Addiction often starts out as experimentation. Teenagers in particular are likely to experiment with drugs because of peer pressure or curiosity, although adults arent immune to this as well.
Other reasons for drug experimentation may include:
- Coping with a distressing life situation
- Alleviating physical discomfort
Some people may experiment and leave it at that. However, for many, this first stage simply opens the door to the next stage of addictionregular use.
Stage 2: Regular use
In this next stage, drug use may become a lifestyle rather than a temporary or recreational thing. Users may find that they begin to rely on drugs to get through social situations, or that certain experiences arent as satisfying without the drug.
As you use drugs more and more regularly, you may find that what once helped relieve stress or boredom is now one of the factors that contributes to it.
Regular or social use can increase the risk of:
Stage 3: Dependency
- Physical or psychological cravings
Some behavioral changes seen during this stage include:
- Skipping meals
The History Of The 12
Alcoholics Anonymous originated the idea for the 12-Step model in 1938, when founder Bill Wilson wrote out the ideas that had been developing through his experience with and vision of alcoholism. He wrote about the positive effects experienced when people struggling with alcoholism shared their stories with one another.
Wilson wrote his program in what has become known as the Big Book. As explained in historical information from the AA site itself, the steps were developed through synthesizing concepts from a few other teachings he had encountered, including a six-step program espoused by an organization called the Oxford Group.
In their original form, the 12 Steps came from a spiritual, Christian inspiration that sought help from a greater power as well as from peers suffering from the same addiction struggles.
The Big Book was originally written as a guide for people who couldnt attend AA fellowship meetings, but it soon became a model for the program in general. It has since been adopted as a model for a wide range of addiction peer-support and self-help programs designed to help drive behavioral change. In addition to the original Alcoholics Anonymous group, various offshoots now exist, such as Narcotics Anonymous , Heroin Anonymous , and Gamblers Anonymous .
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What To Do If You Suffer From Addiction
Substance use disorder presents consequences that directly impact your personal and professional life. Seeking treatment as quickly as possible can help you receive proper treatment and increase the potential for life-long recovery. No matter how much time a person has misused alcohol or a substance, rehabilitation is still possible. If you or a loved one are experiencing alcohol or substance misuse symptoms, you may want to consider these steps.
Principles Of Effective Treatment
Based on scientific research since the mid-1970s, the following key principles should form the basis of any effective treatment program:
- Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.
- No single treatment is right for everyone.
- People need to have quick access to treatment.
- Effective treatment addresses all of the patients needs, not just his or her drug use.
- Staying in treatment long enough is critical.
- Counseling and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of treatment.
- Medications are often an important part of treatment, especially when combined with behavioral therapies.
- Treatment plans must be reviewed often and modified to fit the patients changing needs.
- Treatment should address other possible mental disorders.
- Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of treatment.
- Treatment doesn’t need to be voluntary to be effective.
- Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously.
- Treatment programs should test patients for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as teach them about steps they can take to reduce their risk of these illnesses.
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Asking God To Remove Shortcomings
Humility is the key to Step 7, as individuals are asked to seek Gods will in how their life is to be lived and asking Him to remove shortcomings like the ones outlined in the 12-step program.6
A key realization in Step 7 is when an individual finds that they must place the Higher Power first in their life, rather than only calling upon it when they need helpthat humility neednt always be something that is learned as the result of suffering or failure, but that it is something to be strived for voluntarily.6
Meditation is often useful during Step 7 as a method of self-introspection and learning how to apply humility to ones life.6
Second Step: Offer Realistic Solutions For Drug Addiction Recovery
It might be easy to sit your family member down and begin addressing their addiction by listing all of the problems they have as a result of their use. However, drug addiction affects thinking and decision-making even when the addict is not currently using or if its been a while since theyve used.
- Offer reasonable solutions that will allow them to heal slowly.
- Be an active part of those solutions.
- Offer to replace what theyve lost help them get their old job back or another job when they are clean, help them regain confidence, and help them repair damaged relationships.
- Be a part of their recovery. Allowing a drug addict to overcome their use alone is a sure way for them to return to their old habits.
Call A Drug Rehab Helpline For Guidance
If youre not sure where to turn, you can start by calling the Rehab Helpline for Drugs and Alcohol. They will help you find and understand every aspect of your rehab options, including insurance coverage, transportation, and any other questions. They will also connect you with the right resources and support groups.
Call to connect with a rehab admissions expert.
How Can It Affect Your Life
Drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Drug addiction is characterized by the inability to control drug use, leading to compulsive drug-taking. It can result in criminal activity, job loss, financial instability, and health problems.
The good news is that drug addiction is treatable. Drug addiction can be successfully treated with behavioral therapy and medication. Treatment for drug addiction should be tailored to the individuals needs.
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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.
Address Your Mental Health
Mental health problems often occur alongside alcohol or substance misuse. In some cases, people may misuse a substance or alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate and ease negative emotions of an underlying mental health condition. Unfortunately, this path often worsens a persons mental health and exacerbates negative emotions.
In addition to treating the medical aspects of substance and alcohol misuse, an important aspect of treatment is to address mental health. Common mental health concerns that often play a role in substance misuse include anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, trauma and more.
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Stage : Social Or Regular Use
Stage two represents somewhat of a fork in the road for a lot of people. While it is true that some people will be able to engage in the regular use of drugs without developing a dependence, the risk for substance abuse greatly increases during this stage. With regular use also comes a subsequent increase in the likelihood of participating in high-risk behaviours like driving while under the influence, emotional volatility, or depression.
It is very important during this stage to keep an eye out for changes in mood and behaviour, shifts in priorities, or early physical symptoms of addiction. You might sense a withdrawal from family and friends, problems with limiting the amount of drugs being used or witness unsuccessful interventions by friends or family. People during this stage may develop personal concerns or feelings of shame for their behaviour, but generally, continue to justify it or make excuses.
How To Overcome An Addiction
This article was co-authored by Tiffany Douglass, MA. Tiffany Douglass is the Founder of Wellness Retreat Recovery Center, a JCAHO accredited drug and alcohol treatment program based in San Jose, California. She is also the Executive Director for Midland Tennessee at JourneyPure. She has over ten years of experience in substance abuse treatment and was appointed a Global Goodwill Ambassador in 2019 for her efforts in residential addiction treatment. Tiffany earned a BA in Psychology from Emory University in 2004 and an MA in Psychology with an emphasis on Organization Behavior and Program Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University in 2006.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 25 testimonials and 87% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,137,099 times.
Theres a myth out there that addiction is inescapable or something thats locked in for life, but thats definitely not the case. In fact, more people succeed at overcoming their addiction than fail.XResearch source Acknowledging that youre addicted to something and wanting to change are the first steps, so youre on the right track! This article will show you how to come up with a plan for overcoming your addiction and stick with it, even when things get tough.
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What Should Be Said During An Intervention
While a person is free to say anything they want during an intervention, its best to be prepared with a plan to keep things positive and on track. Blaming, accusing, causing guilt, threatening, or arguing isnt helpful.
Whatever is said during an intervention should be done so with the intention of helping the person accept help.
Bear in mind that setting boundaries such as I can no longer give you money if you continue to use drugs, is not the same as threatening a person with punishment.
Stage : Regular Use & Abuse
In this next stage on the road toward addiction, something that was once considered recreational or temporary becomes a lifestyle. The user finds that life is not as comfortable or satisfying without using the substance, and begins to use it as a crutch for getting through everyday life. Experiences as considered without the drug may be viewed as boring, and users may not see any viable options for improving their sober circumstances.
Ironically, what begins as a relief for boredom or stress can become the very factor which creates it. Due to the nature of the substances, regular users often report that they are no longer interested in activities that once produced enjoyment, and they can suffer from exaggerated mood swings in between doses. And, while some users start abusing substances as a way to alleviate anxiety and depression, they find that their instances of experiencing of these negative moods has increased during their time on the drug. This phenomenon becomes more apparent as genuine dependency upon the drug is developed.
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Effect Of Drug Addiction On The Body
Prolonged use of drugs not only affects your mind, but it also affects many other organs in the human body. Here are some common effects of drug misuse on the human body:
- Drug abuse damages the immune system and makes you vulnerable to infections.
- It causes heart conditions, including abnormal heart rates, heart attacks and the collapse of veins.
- Drugs cause nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting.
- Some drugs increase the risk of liver failure due to the excessive strain on the liver.
- Misuse of drug abuse causes permanent brain damage, including memory loss, and problems with decision-making and focus.
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
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Drug Recovery At The Dawn Drug Rehabilitation Centre Thailand
If you or someone you know is battling an addiction, now is the best time to seek treatment and start the recovery journey towards sobriety. The Dawn Medical Rehab & Wellness Centre is an inpatient rehabilitation centre where our clients are taken care of by a licensed team of addiction professionals who use personalised treatment plans and evidence-based techniques to increase your chances of success.
We also offers an integrated dual diagnosis treatment programmes for individuals who are suffering from an addiction and a mental health and/or behavioural condition simultaneously.
Contact The Dawn today to receive a no-obligation assessment and find out what help is available. You can also call us on one of our toll-free numbers.