^ Jump up to: a b "Substance use disorder". Pubmed Health. National Institutes of Health. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014. Drug dependence means that a person needs a drug to function normally. Abruptly stopping the drug leads to withdrawal symptoms. Drug addiction is the compulsive use of a substance, despite its negative or dangerous effects Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers ► The  Problem With Relapse

As with other diseases and disorders, the likelihood of developing an addiction differs from person to person, and no single factor determines whether a person will become addicted to drugs. In general, the more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs will lead to drug use and addiction. Protective factors, on the other hand, reduce a person's risk. Risk and protective factors may be either environmental or biological.
Usually, however, drug classification under such legislation is not related simply to addictiveness. The substances covered often have very different addictive properties. Some are highly prone to cause physical dependency, while others rarely cause any form of compulsive need whatsoever. Also, under legislation specifically about drugs, alcohol and nicotine are not usually included.[46]
Developing a drug addiction isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness, and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing illegal or certain prescription drugs can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that makes sobriety seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your situation seems. With the right treatment and support, change is possible. Don’t give up—even if you’ve tried and failed before. The road to recovery often involves bumps, pitfalls, and setbacks. But by examining the problem and thinking about change, you’re already well on your way.

Medication may also be prescribed which can act as a substitute for your substance of abuse in the case of certain drugs where less addictive and damaging alternatives may be provided in the short term. Heroin addicts may be given methadone temporarily to replace heroin, from which they can then be weaned off with withdrawal symptoms that are much less unpleasant than those associated with heroin itself.

If you live in a very rural area and or do not have the ability to attend traditional support groups, online support groups may prove to be incredibly beneficial for you. Nearly all of the support groups that offer in-person meetings also offer online meetings. These meetings are almost always completely free of charge and offer fellowship, support, encouragement, and advice from recovering alcoholics who used to be in the same exact position you are in now. If anyone can give you helpful advice, it's them.
Medication may also be prescribed which can act as a substitute for your substance of abuse in the case of certain drugs where less addictive and damaging alternatives may be provided in the short term. Heroin addicts may be given methadone temporarily to replace heroin, from which they can then be weaned off with withdrawal symptoms that are much less unpleasant than those associated with heroin itself.
Most people with a history of drug use have poor discipline and self-care habits. A critical part of self-care for a person in recovery is setting and accomplishing goals. Most people, whether in recovery or not, do not know how to set goals that are likely to be achieved. They begin with sincere intentions that eventually get abandoned because they didn’t approach goal setting with the proper mindset. The repetitive cycle of wanting to change habits but continually falling short gradually weakens a person’s resolve to the point where many stop trying.
As with treatment for most substance abuse problems, there are two angles to treating an alcohol problem. The first step is to break the physical dependence on alcohol. As mentioned above, cutting off alcohol after developing an addiction to it can cause withdrawal symptoms that could be severe enough to drive a patient back to drinking. For that reason, the detoxification process of treatment often involves the careful administration of drugs like anti-anxiety drugs to help wean the patient off their dependence on alcohol and through the process of acclimatizing to life without alcohol.
Changes in the brain chemistry also increases the risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. As mentioned, alcohol impairs the way in which the brain functions and it can interfere with the way in which it communicates messages and chemical signals around the body. It slows down signal transmissions, which explains why you might experience sedation and sleepiness when intoxicated.
The methamphetamine binge is followed by a phase called “tweaking,” a state characterized by restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, agitation, sleeplessness, and intense cravings. “Tweakers” may experience delusional thinking, psychotic episodes, hallucinations, and violent impulses. Severe itching and the urge to harm oneself are common at this point. Methamphetamine withdrawal is complicated by the fact that many heavy users are malnourished, dehydrated, and sleep deprived. Meth-induced psychosis can continue for weeks or months after the addict stops using. In a case study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one methamphetamine addict continued to have auditory hallucinations, fears of persecution, and paranoid delusions for a year after treatment. A rehab jail for heroin addicts
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