“There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs,” states the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine. The Institute goes on to assert that underage smoking and alcohol use seem to better fit the profile of gateway drugs. The Institute points out that nicotine and alcohol typically precede marijuana use. This may be true by virtue of the fact that cigarettes and beer are often easier to obtain than marijuana.
People who misuse alcohol are often addicted to the act of drinking, as much as the alcohol itself. For that reason, you may need to learn skills and coping mechanisms to help you avoid alcohol once you leave a treatment center or return to familiar environments where the urge to drink may be stronger. Your doctor may refer you to a counselor or other treatment program to help you learn those skills and coping strategies.
There are many reasons people get addicted to drugs, but you must gain insight into what draws you towards your substance of choice. Is it a means to cope with stress? Do drugs help numb you emotionally so you don’t have to feel emotional or physical pain? Are drugs a way to avoid responsibility, gain other’s approval or belong to a group? It’s important that you peel back the layers of your behavior to understand what is behind your drug habits. How I overcame alcoholism | Claudia Christian | TEDxLondonBusinessSchool
Inpatient treatment programs require the patient to live at the facility for the duration—typically 30, 60, or 90 days—of treatment. The process often starts with detoxification. During this time, withdrawal symptoms are managed in a safe environment by qualified medical staff.  Medications may be administered to alleviate or prevent serious symptoms.
Dependence is defined as an adaptive state that develops in response to repeated drug administration, and is unmasked during withdrawal, which occurs when drug taking stops. Dependence from long-term drug use may have both a somatic component, manifested by physical symptoms, and an emotional–motivation component, manifested by dysphoria. While physical dependence and withdrawal occur with some drugs of abuse (opiates, ethanol), these phenomena are not useful in the diagnosis of addiction because they do not occur with other drugs of abuse (cocaine, amphetamine) and can occur with many drugs that are not abused (propranolol, clonidine).
It is always recommended that you join a fellowship group such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) which can provide you with ongoing support and advice (as well as companionship) from others who have also experienced addiction and understand the challenges that you face day-to-day. Find out when and where such fellowship groups meet in your area and try to attend regularly and frequently at least in the months following your treatment and rehab; you may find that as time passes you need to attend meetings less frequently but they will always be a useful adjunct to any therapy that you may have on an ongoing basis as well as being invaluable if and when you feel the cravings which could derail your recovery.
Because prescription drugs are produced in laboratories and prescribed by doctors, they are mistakenly perceived as “safer” than street drugs. However, the risks of overdose, respiratory depression, cardiac arrest, and accidental death are equal to any other opioid narcotic. Withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, with symptoms that resemble a bad flu, such as a runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, shakiness, and cold sweats.

SMART Recovery was founded by Joe Gerstein in 1994 by basing REBT as a foundation. It gives importance to the human agency in overcoming addiction and focuses on self-empowerment and self-reliance.[32] It does not subscribe to disease theory and powerlessness.[33] The group meetings involve open discussions, questioning decisions and forming corrective measures through assertive exercises. It does not involve a lifetime membership concept, but people can opt to attend meetings, and choose not to after gaining recovery. Objectives of the SMART Recovery programs are:[34]
Alcohol addiction can happen to anyone. While not everyone who drinks will become an alcoholic, heavy drinking over a long period of time makes it more likely that a problem will develop. There are many other factors, including genetics and underlying mental disorders, that can contribute to alcoholism. Millions of Americans struggle with an alcohol use disorder of some kind — from binge drinking to addiction.
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
×