Addiction Basics

From teenagers in the inner city to the elderly living in rural America, there is no one in this country immune to the dangers of drug addiction. That is because drug addiction does not discriminate. It impacts the lives of men and women of all races, religions and socioeconomic groups. Understanding drug addiction is an important part of helping a loved one who is suffering from the disease. The following information is presented to help those who are living in silence with a drug addiction, or those want to reach out and help another person who is suffering from addiction.

Most Common Types of Drug Addiction

Currently there are a number of different types of drug addiction “making the rounds” at treatment centers (and unfortunately, emergency rooms) around the United States. These conditions include:

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Addiction

Just as there a number of different drugs in the word, there are also numerous signs and symptoms of drug addiction. According to Medline Plus, the following list represents some of the most common symptoms of drug addiction.

Physical signs and symptoms of drug addiction include:

  • Chills
  • Sweats
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Excess amounts of physical energy

The psychological symptoms of drug addiction include:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Delusions of grandeur
  • Mood swings
  • Euphoria

In addition to these physical and psychological symptoms, there are also a number of societal behaviors that tend to be exhibited by those suffering from addiction. These include:

  • Engaging in reckless behavior, such as driving while intoxicated and unprotected sex with multiple partners
  • Stealing money and engaging in other criminal activity to support a drug habit
  • Stealing or borrowing money from friends and family to support one’s drug addiction
  • Disappearing for long stretches of time without explanation
  • Sudden poor performance at work or school

If you or someone you love is exhibiting one or more of these behaviors due to drug use, it is time to contact a professional interventionist or a drug rehab facility immediately. Contact us today for more information.

Getting Help for Someone Else

The insidious thing about drug addiction is that individuals who are suffering from the condition rarely seek treatment help on their own. Simply put, most men and women are unable or unwilling to admit that they have a problem and need help. Many will also feel ashamed about their addiction – and therefore suffer in silence as they fall deeper and deeper into the negative spiral of drug dependence.

Therefore, it often falls to family and friends to help those in need of treatment. Once the signs and symptoms of drug addiction have been identified, the next step is to talk to the individual, openly and honestly, about their condition.

If, after talking, their addiction continues, it is recommended that you hold an intervention. An intervention is a meeting in which family and friends confront their loved one about their condition, in a loving manner, showing them how it has impacted the lives of those around them.

The object of an intervention is two-fold: to get the individual to admit that they have a problem with drugs, and to get that person into drug rehab immediately.

Treating Addiction at a Drug Rehab Center

From the moment an individual sets foot inside a drug rehab center, the healing process begins. It starts with detox – a cleansing process that gives all the harmful toxins associated with drug use time to leave the body. During detox, the individual may experience withdrawal symptoms but once completed, it means that they have overcome their physical addiction to drugs. Some addictions, such as those to opiates, require medication help during detox. For these addictions, individuals may continue to take the maintenance medication for a long period of time. Medical professionals will assess each individual’s situation and determine the best treatment plan.

Counseling and therapy constitute the next phase of treatment. More than simply putting a bandage on the problem, drug addiction counseling helps the individual change their behavior for their better. The objective of therapy is to locate each individual’s “triggers” for drug use – these are the circumstances that tempt them to use drugs – and then help them find a healthier way to respond to these situations.

There are three primary types of drug addiction counseling: individual, group and family. All types help to address the reasons behind addiction and to develop coping mechanisms to avoid future drug use.

  • Individual counseling. This involves one-on-one meetings with a therapist to discuss the root causes of addiction and develop life strategies for sobriety.
  • Group counseling. This therapy involves meetings with other recovering addicts in the program where people share stories and support one another through understanding and compassion.
  • Family counseling. Family members often feel the most negative impact when a loved one is addicted to drugs. These sessions help clear the air and rebuild the broken bonds that hold a family together.

The final phase of drug rehab is aftercare. Through aftercare, the individual learns how to cope in their daily lives without the use of drugs. There are many different types of aftercare, including:

  • 12-step meetings. Groups such as Narcotics Anonymous help the individual get regular support from other recovering addicts in the weeks, months and years following treatment. These meetings help those in need feel as if there is always someone there to support them.
  • Sober living. A sober living home is a place where recovering addicts can gently transition back into life. They live among other recovering addicts and share responsibilities – all while in a safe, productive environment that is focused on healing.
  • Follow-up counseling and therapy. Sometimes, recovering addicts are in need of a life “tune-up” following treatment. These counseling programs help insure that the individual is putting the lessons learned during rehab to good use. Many addicts continue with individual counseling for years after they exit a formal treatment program.

Find Treatment Help Today

Most drug addiction treatment programs last between a month and a full year, depending on the severity of the individual’s addiction. There are two primary types of drug rehab program: residential (where the individual lives at the facility full time) and outpatient (the recovering addict attends treatment during the day and then returns home in the evening). Choosing the right form of drug rehab depends upon the individual’s lifestyle, responsibilities and specific addiction. Regardless of the specific drug of addiction, rest assured that the addict will be in good hands in high-quality, evidence-based drug rehab programs.

For more information on treatment programs available across the country, contact us today.

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