If you’ve noticed the signs or symptoms of drug addiction in someone you love, don’t hesitate to intervene. Many people are reluctant to talk to a friend or family member about drug addiction, either because they’re afraid of jumping to conclusions, or because they don’t want to make the problem worse. Although it’s never easy or comfortable to bring up the topic of substance abuse, reaching out to an addict could stop the progression of a fatal disease. Here are a few steps you can take to communicate your concerns, while protecting yourself and your loved ones from the repercussions of addiction:
In his influential book, Client-Centered Therapy, in which he presented the client-centered approach to therapeutic change, psychologist Carl Rogers proposed there are three necessary and sufficient conditions for personal change: unconditional positive regard, accurate empathy, and genuineness. Rogers believed the presence of these three items, in the therapeutic relationship, could help an individual overcome any troublesome issue, including but not limited to alcohol abuse. To this end, a 1957 study compared the relative effectiveness of three different psychotherapies in treating alcoholics who had been committed to a state hospital for sixty days: a therapy based on two-factor learning theory, client-centered therapy, and psychoanalytic therapy. Though the authors expected the two-factor theory to be the most effective, it actually proved to be deleterious in the outcome. Surprisingly, client-centered therapy proved most effective. It has been argued, however, these findings may be attributable to the profound difference in therapist outlook between the two-factor and client-centered approaches, rather than to client-centered techniques. The authors note two-factor theory involves stark disapproval of the clients' "irrational behavior" (p. 350); this notably negative outlook could explain the results.
Acamprosate, disulfiram and topiramate (a novel anticonvulsant sulphonated sugar) are also used to treat alcohol addiction. Acamprosate has shown effectiveness for patients with severe dependence, helping them to maintain abstinence for several weeks, even months. Disulfiram (also called Antabuse) produces a very unpleasant reaction when drinking alcohol that includes flushing, nausea and palpitations. It is more effective for patients with high motivation and some addicts use it only for high-risk situations. Patients who wish to continue drinking or may be likely to relapse, should not take disulfiram as it can result in the disulfiram-alcohol reaction mentioned previously, which is very serious and can even be fatal Guilt, Shame, Depression And The Cycle Of Addiction, Recovery And Relapse - John Flaherty
Recovery from alcohol addiction is a lifelong journey. You may face relapses and temptations for most of your life. It’s not uncommon to slip in and out of sobriety as you work your way through your addiction. Some people beat addiction the first time they try to become sober. Others battle alcohol dependence for many years. The more you try, the higher your chances of success.
Research has identified differences in how the reward center of the brain responds to alcohol in heavy and light drinkers. In either group, alcohol caused the release of naturally occurring feel-good endorphins in the two brain regions linked to reward processing. Once addicted, alcohol withdrawal presents dangerous physical and psychological issues.9
A longitudinal study of drug-dependent individuals who participated in a six-month aftercare program showed that participants were less likely to relapse into drug or alcohol use. This study, published in Addictive Behaviors, indicates that the support, information, and coping strategies gained from aftercare play a big part in the success of a recovery program.
Genetics make up about 50% of the risk for alcohol dependence, but they by no means tell the whole story. Genetic history is often hard to distinguish, but if parents are regular heavy drinkers, or they drink to reduce stress and depression, it is likely that their children will grow up believing that these behaviours are normal and possibly harmless. But environmental influence doesn’t come only from the home; peer pressure from friends, colleagues and partners can also encourage new and difficult patterns of drinking which can lead to dependency or co-dependency.
The euphoric high, exaggerated self-confidence, and energizing sensations of cocaine have made this drug one of the most popular substances of abuse in the US. Because cocaine acts on the brain’s natural reward circuitry, the drug is highly addictive, and withdrawal can cause an abrupt emotional “crash” into depression. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health listed cocaine as one of the country’s top three drugs of dependence, with 1.1 million American adults reporting addiction to cocaine or crack. Only marijuana and prescription pain medications were more widely abused.
However, your participation can make a big difference. Based on clinical experience, many health providers believe that support from friends and family members is important in overcoming alcohol problems. But friends and family may feel unsure about how best to provide the support needed. The groups for family and friends listed below under Resources may be a good starting point. Alcohol withdrawal at its worst .
Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a "relapsing" disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug. Kevin's Struggle with Alcohol | True Stories of Addiction | Detox to Rehab
If you’re suffering from addiction or are considering drug rehab for a loved one, we strongly advise that you do extensive research on the various options available. The ability to make an informed decision, and the type of rehab that you choose, could impact the likelihood of success considerably. And remember that it’s in your best interest to seek the advice of a trained medical professional.
At Hazelden Betty Ford, inpatient treatment for substance abuse begins with our clinicians getting a good understanding of your specific situation. Our treatment team will evaluate your medical health, mental health and chemical use history in order to design an individualized drug and alcohol rehab plan for you. With your permission, our rehab staff may also talk with your family members and other professionals you might already be working with to address your needs and challenges.
Addiction is a complex but treatable condition. It is characterized by compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even if the user is aware of severe adverse consequences. For some people, addiction becomes chronic, with periodic relapses even after long periods of abstinence. As a chronic, relapsing disease, addiction may require continued treatments to increase the intervals between relapses and diminish their intensity. While some with substance issues recover and lead fulfilling lives, others require ongoing additional support. The ultimate goal of addiction treatment is to enable an individual to manage their substance misuse; for some this may mean abstinence. Immediate goals are often to reduce substance abuse, improve the patient's ability to function, and minimize the medical and social complications of substance abuse and their addiction; this is called "harm reduction". Best Drug Rehabilitation Graduation
Some factors are relatively straightforward – for example, location (unless you feel that you would benefit psychologically from knowing that you are as far away as possible from your dealer/s and your drug-taking environment, it is usually best to look for a facility relatively close to you) and cost (it may be that some specifically luxury facilities are outside what is affordable for you). Drug Addiction Treatment Center - The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs
Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person’s life to affect addiction risk. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it will progress to addiction. This is particularly problematic for teens. Because areas in their brains that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still developing, teens may be especially prone to risky behaviors, including trying drugs.
Scholarships: Some organizations offer scholarships to help people with low incomes afford treatment. These scholarships are sometimes offered through private treatment facilities or through organizations concerned with helping those who are struggling with addiction. It is always advisable to inquire about scholarships or grants available for low-income individuals when seeking a treatment center. In some cases, SAMHSA also provides grants for treatment that can be provided through the state or treatment center. A Day in the Life of a Drug Addict *Emotional* (Part 2)