Illicit drug use poses risks for pregnant women and their babies. Drugs may contain impurities that can be harmful to an unborn baby. Pregnant women who use drugs may be more likely to harm the fetus with risky behaviors and poor nutrition. Drug use can lead to premature birth or low birth weight. It can also cause the baby to have withdrawal symptoms (sometimes in the form of neonatal abstinence syndrome), birth defects or learning and behavioral problems later in life.
Certain opioid medications such as methadone and more recently buprenorphine (In America, "Subutex" and "Suboxone") are widely used to treat addiction and dependence on other opioids such as heroin, morphine or oxycodone. Methadone and buprenorphine are maintenance therapies intended to reduce cravings for opiates, thereby reducing illegal drug use, and the risks associated with it, such as disease, arrest, incarceration, and death, in line with the philosophy of harm reduction. Both drugs may be used as maintenance medications (taken for an indefinite period of time), or used as detoxification aids. All available studies collected in the 2005 Australian National Evaluation of Pharmacotherapies for Opioid Dependence suggest that maintenance treatment is preferable, with very high rates (79–100%) of relapse within three months of detoxification from LAAM, buprenorphine, and methadone.
Alcohol dependence or abuse rates were shown to have no correspondence with any person's education level when populations were surveyed in varying degrees of education from ages 26 and older. However, when it came to illicit drug use there was a correlation, in which those that graduated from college had the lowest rates. Furthermore, dependence rates were greater in unemployed populations ages 18 and older and in metropolitan-residing populations ages 12 and older.
Your doctor. Primary care and mental health practitioners can provide effective alcoholism treatment by combining new medications with brief counseling visits. To aid clinicians, NIAAA has developed two guides: Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much, and for younger patients, Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide. Both are available at www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/clinical-guides-and-manuals
Drug addiction recovery is a long-term process, and those who attempt to overcome their drug problems must be prepared for a challenging struggle. In the end, persistence and determination will make all the difference, and if people recovering from substance use disorders are strong enough to stay the course, a happy, healthy, drug-free future will be within their grasp.
Because an alcohol use disorder can be a chronic relapsing disease, persistence is key. It is rare that someone would go to treatment once and then never drink again. More often, people must repeatedly try to quit or cut back, experience recurrences, learn from them, and then keep trying. For many, continued followup with a treatment provider is critical to overcoming problem drinking.
If the patient has an antisocial personality (ie, severe problems with family, peers, school, and police before age 15 y and before the onset of alcohol problems), recovery is less likely. If the patient has primary depression, anxiety disorder, or another potentially contributory disorder (the other disorder must antedate the problems with alcohol or it must be a significant problem during long periods of sobriety), treat this primary problem aggressively.
Almost all alcoholics who have been chronic, heavy drinkers will experience some level of withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop drinking. These symptoms can range from mild shakes and discomfort to life-threatening delirium tremens -- which can include confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, autonomic instability, and death. Long-time, heavy drinkers who decide to quit drinking should seek medical assistance first.
A dependency on sleeping pills often begins forming when a person increases their prescribed dose without consulting their physician first. They may believe that taking more pills will improve their quality of sleep. Over time, a person will feel the need to take larger amounts each time in order to fall asleep, which often leads to an overwhelming addiction.
The specific medicines prescribed will vary depending upon your own particular experience of withdrawal and the symptoms you are manifesting, and it may be that certain medications will not be appropriate depending on your substance of abuse or your own personal health history; an experienced medical professional will be able to make those decisions to ensure you go through withdrawal as safely as possible. What happens in rehab?