Support groups are most useful as a long-term drug rehab program in that they can help hold former addicts accountable years after their treatment is complete. Patients find themselves surrounded by like-minded individuals who are in similar situations like the ones with which the patient is struggling. Many find it easier to discuss issues like temptation and family problems with others who understand.
This subtype represents only 9 percent of U.S. alcoholics, yet more members of this group seek treatment (almost two-thirds) than any other category. Chronic, severe alcoholics have fought a long battle with this disease, and most are now middle-aged. The majority of people in this group have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorders. Many also abuse other drugs, like cocaine or opiates.
A growing literature is demonstrating the importance of emotion regulation in the treatment of substance abuse. Considering that nicotine and other psychoactive substances such as cocaine activate similar psycho-pharmacological pathways,[44] an emotion regulation approach may be applicable to a wide array of substance abuse. Proposed models of affect-driven tobacco use have focused on negative reinforcement as the primary driving force for addiction; according to such theories, tobacco is used because it helps one escape from the undesirable effects of nicotine withdrawal or other negative moods.[45] Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), is showing evidence that it is effective in treating substance abuse, including the treatment of poly-substance abuse and cigarette smoking.[46][47] Mindfulness programs that encourage patients to be aware of their own experiences in the present moment and of emotions that arise from thoughts, appear to prevent impulsive/compulsive responses.[45][48] Research also indicates that mindfulness programs can reduce the consumption of substances such as alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, cigarettes and opiates.[48][49][50]
Repeat the focusing with each part of your body that experiences the craving. Describe to yourself the changes that occur in the sensations. Notice how the urge comes and goes. Many people, when they urge surf, notice that after a few minutes the craving has vanished. The purpose of this exercise, however, is not to make the craving go away but to experience the craving in a new way. If you practice urge surfing, you will become familiar with your cravings and learn how to ride them out until they go away naturally.
This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. Heroin Withdrawal | First Week In
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