Treatment at a drug rehab center is the most effective way to deal with the physical and psychological effects of addiction. Drug rehab isn’t just about drug addiction either, it is also about dealing with other co-addictions and with emotional, mental, and health conditions that lead to or are caused by the substance dependence. Call Drug Treatment Centers Metuchen at (732) 226-8908 to get the help you need today.
According to the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization, addiction is characterized by tolerance (needing more over time) to a substance, withdrawal symptoms when use of the substance ceases, and an inability to control cravings. In addition to these physical symptoms, substance dependence is also characterized by behavioral and emotional symptoms. Examples of additional symptoms include a desire to cut down on use, spending significant time and energy procuring the substance of abuse, neglect of important life activities, and negative consequences that arise as a result of substance use. It takes only three of the above conditions to meet the clinical definition of addiction.
Not everyone experiences addiction the same way and not every drug is the same. For instance, stimulant dependence (e.g. cocaine, amphetamine, meth) creates feelings of euphoria and enhances energy. Being addicted to depressants, like alcohol, reduces nervous system activity and leads to calmness and feelings of control. Some people engage in addictive behavior to relax while others do it to stay awake or to work harder. The rewards for using a substance differ from one person to the next, but all addictions share in common the fact that they stimulate the brain’s reward centers.
There are two aspects to addiction: mental and physical. On the physical side, it changes the way your body works by affecting levels of neurotransmitters and access to receptors in your brain, spinal cord, and throughout your body. Over time, your body adapts to the effects. Those changes cannot be immediately reversed and are, in fact, the reason for withdrawal symptoms when a substance is abruptly halted.
While withdrawal symptoms can be managed with medication, the mental aspects of dependence are more difficult to address. Only a professional drug rehab program can effectively manage the mental and behavioral aspects of the disease over long periods of time. While science has discovered that the mental aspects of this condition revolve around stimulation of reward centers in the brain, it isn’t entirely clear how to address these effects or why some people are more susceptible to them than others.
Drug addiction is characterized by a number of factors. Most important though is a change in behavior. Drug addicts tend to become withdrawn from people and activities because of the time required to sustain their addiction. Other changes may include being quick to anger, being defensive, stealing, and changes in friends and acquaintances. Environmental signs include the presence of drug paraphernalia, burnt tin foil, burnt spoons, and hypodermic needles.
Treatment for addiction focuses on addressing physical and mental aspects of the disease. Medications help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and manage cravings. Therapy, group sessions, 12-step programs, inpatient rehabilitation, family counseling, and relapse prevention programs are all aimed at addressing the mental aspects of addiction. In most cases, more than one type of treatment is required and several attempts must be made before addiction treatment is successful.
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