Addiction… A Disease or Dis – Ease?

The Disease of Addiction

Addiction manifests itself in many forms and there are many different types of addiction that are recognized in today’s society. Some of the more common addiction types are formed when a person becomes dependent on alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex or any other compulsive or pathological behaviors. In this article we will be looking at addiction as  a disease, the different stages of the disease including treatment, the addiction cycle and the wheel of change.

The following video serves as a good introduction to understanding addiction and substance use disorder and starting with the actual addiction definition, sets up this page nicely.

 

Various theories about drug addiction, alcoholism and addiction in general have emerged over the times and the most commonly accepted one happens to be the Disease Model.

Addiction basically is a disease that has certain causes, symptoms, and that can be treated in certain ways. Moreover, the disease also has different stages, starting from the adaptive or early stage and right till relapse. In between this there are other stages, the middle, the final or late stage and the treatment stage.

The term “Disease” is not popularly used these days since it creates an impression of being unwashed or dirty. However, it is important to understand its relation to the addiction terms. It is “Dis – Eased”, which suggests a mind which is “Not at Ease.”

The following video shows just how powerful this disease of addiction really is.

 

Though it is not totally necessary to describe each of the stages, understanding them would surely be helpful.

In this article I hope to describe the signs and symptoms of each stage in the addiction process as well as exploring some treatment options.

  1. Adaptive, Early or the Starting Stage
  2. The Middle Stage
  3. The Late or Final Stage
  4. Addiction Treatment
  5. Relapse or Returning to Drug Abuse or Drinking

 

1. The Early or Starting Stage of Addiction

The symptoms of the early or the starting stages of alcoholism or addiction are an increased tolerance towards the drugs or the alcohol. The body also starts getting adapted to these substances, but these physical changes might not be noticeable.

As there is an increase in tolerance, the addict is able to consume larger quantities of drug or alcohol, and still there is hardly any effect and the person can continue to function quite normally. This tolerance is not a result of the addict taking too much drugs or drinking too much alcohol, but because the addict can now consume a greater quantity owing to the physical changes that his or her body is now experiencing.

It is not easy to detect the beginning stage. As far as appearance is concerned an addict might easily be able to take a large quantity of drugs or drink lots of alcohol, and yet there will be no noticeable signs of intoxication, hangovers or any other ill-effects. It is difficult to differentiate between a starting stage addict and a non-addict who might drink heavily or might consume drugs only occasionally.

Even while at work there will hardly be any noticeable impact of the drugs on the addict’s conduct or performance, so even here it is very difficult to identify. In the early stage the addict will not notice any problem arising from his or her drug or alcohol dependence and thus if anybody would make attempts to show him or her possible side effects, he or she would likely laugh it off. The addict does not even have any idea of what is happening within his or her body.

The video directly below explains the stage of early addiction.

 

2. The Middle Addiction Stage

Though there is not a very big difference between the beginning and the middle addiction stage, but certain characteristics certainly hint at the beginning of a new stage.

The benefits or pleasures that the addict was so long deriving from taking drugs or alcohol is now replaced by some destructive aspects. Earlier taking drug or drinking alcohol was just to enjoy a high but now it is taken to bear and fight the difficulties and pain and that earlier drinking and drug consuming has resulted in.

Dependence is one of the noticeable symptoms of the middle stage. The body of the addict starts getting used to a higher amount of drugs in the starting stage. Together with getting used to higher amount of drugs, the body starts displaying withdrawal symptoms when it does not get alcohol or drugs.

Craving is yet another characteristic that is noticeable in the middle stage. The drug or alcohol addicts, at this stage, have developed a strong urge towards taking drugs or alcohol, and controlling this urge becomes very difficult. With the tolerance and physical dependence of the addict increasing it becomes almost impossible for the addict to control taking drugs or drinking alcohol, and he or she keeps on craving the same.

Losing control is the middle stage’s third noticeable characteristic. The addict is no more able to limit his or her alcohol consuming or drug taking times, places and patterns to an extent that is socially acceptable. It is due to the decrease in tolerance and increase in withdrawal symptoms that the addict now suffers from. It now becomes difficult for the addict to handle high amount of alcohol or drugs as he or she earlier could, but still needs a higher amount just to avoid withdrawal.

Blackouts are also one of the characteristics of the middle stage. The addict or alcoholic, as you might be assuming, does not pass out while taking drugs or alcohol. The addict does function very normally but fails to remember what he or she had seen or done. It becomes difficult for the addict to remember these things because his or her brain either stored memories improperly or did not store it at all. Such blackouts might also be seen in the beginning stages of addiction.

In the middle stages the harm starts getting noticed. The addict has to fight withdrawal symptoms, lack of control and cravings. Even during work it becomes quite evident because of: being absent regularly, poor performance, improper behavior with other workers, lack of concentrations, accidents, improper demeanor and overall appearance, and a higher sick leave usage. At this point the addict might have to suffer from disciplinary action in his or her workplace.

The video directly below explains the stage of middle addiction.

 

3. The Late or Final Stage of Addiction

At the final deteriorative or the late stage the damage that the body suffered owing to the toxic effects of alcohol or drugs clearly gets noticed, and the addict now starts suffering from many different health concerns. It definitely is the most disturbing and difficult stage of addiction.

In the final stages the addict might be seriously ill, might always be mentally confused, or might keep on taking drugs or alcohol too frequently. The regular consumption of drugs or alcohol largely affects the vital organs of the addict and owing to this the addict now suffers from various psychological and physical problems. The ability of the addict’s body to fight diseases or health problems lowers greatly, and he or she suffers from an extremely unstable mental condition.

There are various health problems that the drug and alcohol addict starts suffering from at this stage and some of them are kidney failure, heart failure, hepatitis, fatty liver, liver cirrhosis, malnutrition, brain damage, pancreatitis and infections in the respiratory system. Some of these health problems are reversible.

Even after knowing about the various side effects and difficulties that regular consumption of drugs or alcohol can bring about, why does an addict or alcoholic still continues with his or her ways? The answer here is very simple. When in the beginning stages, the tolerance of the addict is increasing, and this makes him her believe that he or she is not at all sick. When the addict reaches the middle stage he she starts getting dependent on alcohol or drug without even realizing. All that the addict knows is if he or she continues taking drug or alcohol then he or she will not have to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. So just to avoid the troubles and pain of withdrawal the addict keeps continuing with his or her addiction. When the addict actually reaches the final stage he or she mostly is irrational and does not even have the ability to decipher what is actually happening.

Together with suffering from the effects the various changes brings about, the addict also has to face the strongest outcome of addiction, which is denial. The addict never agrees to the fact that he or she has a problem, and in fact he or she will most likely deny the fact. Now, this denial has a very important role to play. If he or she agreed to the fact the there is a problem, he or she would probably ask for help when suffering from the various consequences that taking drugs or drinking alcohol brings about. Though denial cannot be said to be a physical disorder or one of the physical symptoms of addiction, but it definitely does describe the way the addict thinks or behaves, and is indeed real.


Continue reading Addiction… A Disease or Dis – Ease?

I Finally Lost the Rest of My Weight

I used to weight 230 pounds. I was diagnosed with an illness, and steroids were one of the treatments. I packed on the pounds, and I was so relieved to finally be off of them. I was able to lose about 60 pounds in no time through sheer will and determination, but I was stuck with the last 20 pounds that I wanted to take off. I was not sure if I was having a relapse or what, but I was just always tired. I had read where Exoslim, a supplement that helps people lose weight, also helps people with their energy levels, so I decided to purchase some.

I did go online first to read more about it first. I wanted to be sure that what I was putting in my body was okay to do so, especially after what happened after I took the steroids. Continue reading I Finally Lost the Rest of My Weight

Chapstick Addiction – Are You Addicted to Chapstick?

Chapstick is a registered trademark of a type of lip balm manufactured by Pfizer consumer Healthcare. The brand has become so popular that the term chapstick is used as a generic term to refer to any lip balm or lip gloss packaged in a lipstick style tube. Chapstick addiction or lip balm addiction refers to a psychological addiction which leads one to get nervous when they realize they haven’t carried the lip gloss. One of the habits that indicate one is addicted is the frequent act of reaching out for their lip balm.

Chapstick Ingredients

CC BY by miss_pinktastic

Chapstick or lip balm is made of the following ingredients; camphor, arachidyl propionate, carnauba wax, D&C red no. 6 barium lake, cetyl alcohol, FD&C yellow no. 5 aluminum lake, isopropyl lanolate, fragrance, lanolin , isopropyl myristate, phenyl trimethicone , light mineral oil, methylparaben, oleyl alcohol, octyldodecanol, paraffin, white wax , propylparaben, titanium dioxide and propanol. The list is not exhaustive because different brands will have more ingredients. The ingredients stated are the general ones found in a regular chapstick tube.

 

Chapstick Addictive Ingredients

Is chapstick addictive? This is a common question that has conflicting answers. Most manufacturers insist that their products don’t have any addictive ingredients whereas some users claim they have fallen to the addiction of the chapstick. The ingredients that cause this addiction are said to be the ones that don’t solve the problem of dryness. It is good to note here that the chapstick addiction does not refer to chemical addiction but it refers to the psychological addiction. Some of the ingredients that lead to addiction are camphor, menthol and phenol which give a soothing feeling but don’t solve the dryness issue. This will read to a vicious cycle of applying the lip gloss to get relief. Other ingredients that lead to addiction are Silicone oil, some type of fragrance and Salicylic acid. These ingredients either lock out moisture or suck moisture from your lips. This will lead to the constant need to re-apply the lip balm.

 

Chapstick Addiction Quiz

These are questions which aim to help a chapstick user know whether they are addicted to the lip gloss or not. These are usually yes or no answers. Some of these questions are:

  • Do you always carry chapstick wherever you leave the house?
  • Do you feel compelled to reach for your chapstick wherever you see someone else applying lip balm on their lips?
  • Do you feel that chapstick relieves stress?
  • Do your friends tease you on your use of the chapstick?
  • Do you consider yourself addicted?

There are many chapstick addiction quizzes you can access from the internet. If your answer to most of the addictive question is yes, then you are addicted to the lip gloss.

 

Chapstick Addiction Cure

All cures of chapstick addiction are simple and easy to implement. The need of chapstick is brought about by dry and chapped lips. One of the easy ways to counter this is to drink enough water. Apart from drinking water, you can take fruits and veggies rich in water to supplement the water you drink.

Another easy remedy is to avoid licking your lips. Saliva dries your lips leading to the need of applying the chapstick. It will be a challenging behavior to break because it is unconscious especially if you were used to a tasty flavored chapstick.

Include greens in your meals. Greens like spinach and lettuce are known to reduce skin and lip dryness. These greens increase cells turnover and they keep the skin supple thus deterring dryness.

Exfoliate while showering. This is an easy process that you can include when taking your shower. You simply take a soft cloth and buff off dry skin in a circular motion. This process is recommended when showering because when showering your lips get damp hence making the process easier.

You can also change from wax based products to petroleum based products. The petroleum based products are effective because they help trap moisture thus reduce the chances of your lips getting dry.

 

Chapstick Addiction Anonymous

Just like other forms of addiction, there are support groups that have been formed to help those who are suffering from chapstick addiction. There are many such anonymous groups online that give addicts an avenue to share information. Chapstick addiction anonymous online groups’ helps addicts to understand their condition and they are able to access valuable information that will help them overcome the habits.

Useful citations

  • http://www.allthetests.com/quiz09/quiz/1091815917/Chapstick-Addiction-Quiz
  • http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/are-you-addicted-lip-balm
  • http://www.lipbalmanonymous.com/

Sex Addiction – Forms and Phases of Compulsive Sexual Behaviour

Sex addiction is a global problem today. It affects very many people. Other addictions include: addiction to alcohol, gambling, drugs, and food as well. Many people view this specific addiction as ‘strange’ when compared to other ‘normal’ addictions like alcohol and drugs. This is because there may not be any visible effects of sex addiction, like it is the case for the other types. If one has an alcohol addiction, for instance, it’s very easy to tell, even from subtle things like the smell of alcohol. It is not easy to identify a person with an addiction to sex.

Definition of Sex Addiction

Addiction to sex is best defined as compulsive behavior where sex is involved, which leads to disruption in normal everyday living. Sex addiction is also referred to as sexual dependency or sexual compulsion. No matter what label it is given, this behavior ultimately characterizes an individual’s life.

 

Effects of Sexual Addiction

To sex addicts, sex becomes a priority and this could lead to strain on relationships with people in the family, friends, and other people too. It may also affect one’s efficiency at work, as well as how one relates to their colleagues. The people and the things closest to someone come second, while sex takes first place. Sex slowly becomes the center of who they are. They will give up everything else to engage in this behavior that is not only unhealthy, but is also shameful in most cases. Sex addiction is usually secretive, and that makes it even the more difficult for the addicts to stop as they cannot own up.

 




Forms of Sexual Addiction

Sexual addiction has many facets, thus cannot be defined based on only one behavior. When all or some of these behaviors have become characteristic of an individual’s life, then the person can be said to be addicted to sex:

  • compulsive masturbation
  • compulsive relationships where sex is involved
  • pornography
  • prostitution
  • exhibitionism
  • voyeurism
  • indecent phone calls
  • child molesting
  • incest
  • rape
  • Internet pornography
  • cybersex

 

The Phases of Sexual Addiction

sex addiction man image
CC BY-SA by sekushy

It is really mind-boggling that sex addiction makes the deepest form of human intimacy become something so shameful and embarrassing, by all standards. There are four phases in the cycle of this very addictive behavior:

  • Preoccupation

In this phase, a person will be completely engrossed in sexual thoughts.

  • Ritualization

This is the second phase where the addict’s own special routines lead up to the sexual behavior. The ‘ritual ‘ intensifies the preoccupation, adding arousal and excitement.

  • Compulsive Sexual Behavior

During this phase, the individual actually performs the sexual act. The individual is not able to control his behavior, and it’s impossible to stop at this point.

  • Despair

This phase immediately follows the performance of the sexual act. The addict gets a feeling of utter hopelessness, after performing the sexual act.

 


Overcoming sex addiction is not the easiest thing. For an addict to fully recover from this shameful, secretive behavior, they must seek help from medical practitioners, and be co-operative. A very strong will is required to fight the addiction, and to bounce back even in times of relapse. Despite being extremely hard, overcoming addiction is very much possible.

Insights into Addiction Recovery – Staying Clean and Sober

Addiction is a very serious condition. A lot of individuals think that people can only become addicted to alcohol, drugs, chemicals or sex. However, one can develop an addiction to almost anything. You can see the negative impact that an addiction has on a person’s life. If the individual cannot control how the thing they are addicted to, if they justify their use or their actions, if they have deteriorating relationships, etc. then most likely, the person is addicted. If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance abuse problem or an addiction problem, you should learn more about addiction and recovery.

 

What Are The Steps To Addiction Recovery?

happy addiction recovery

Recovery is a beautiful thing. Once an addict has fully recovered, he or she can be the inspiration that can help a lot of people who are struggling with the same addiction problem. Before you learn about the steps to addiction recovery, you need to understand the individual who is addicted and the stage of their addiction [1]. Knowing how deep they are into their addiction can help you look for a specific type of treatment for them. Not all treatments work for everyone, most people need a multi-faceted type of treatment in order for them to fully recover from their addiction.

There are different stages of addiction, although everyone is different. There are certain characteristics that you can see in someone who is suffering from an addiction. The early stages of someone who is addicted will not be very obvious. They might still have a job, and their relationships are still intact. However, their life may be slowly falling apart because of their addiction. They often get into conflicts with friends, relatives, loved ones and even strangers. Although their life might still seem okay, they are suffering inside.

The late stage of someone who is addicted will show more obvious signs. This is the non-functioning addict who does not have a job and is desperately trying to pull money together in order to fund their addiction. They may or may not have lost their job and their relationships to addiction, but their addiction most certainly plays a role in how their life fell apart. This is the stereotypical image that people think of when they try to imagine what addiction is like. Although it is not very common, it does happen.

The first stage of recovery is admitting to yourself that you do have an addiction [1]. There are times when people who are suffering from an addiction need help in seeing this. Friend, family members or loved ones might have to intervene and give their full support. Although you should remember that there are still successful cases of drug addiction recovery for those who were forced into treatment. A person doesn’t necessarily have to decide for them-self that they have to sober up. The next step is to get informed. Find out about your family history and see if your parents or relatives ever had an addiction problem. Also learn about the addiction you are dealing with and the different types of treatment available.

Once you do start treatment, it is best that you learn about how to prevent relapses. Many addicts who do undergo treatment fall into temptation and relapse. This does happen, but don’t let it discourage you. It doesn’t mean that the treatment isn’t working or that you will never recover from your addiction. Simply tell someone who cares about you, and try again. Learn from your mistakes.

An important part of recovery is support. If you know someone who is suffering from an addiction, find out how you can help him or her. Let them know that you will be there for them, and that you will be with them every step of the way. Don’t be too harsh on them, but also don’t allow them to relapse. Be loving, and firm at the same time. Let them know that they are not alone and that they will soon be able to share their addiction recovery story with people who need to hear it the most.

 

Drug Addiction Recovery

Many experts believe that therapy and personalized treatment is needed for someone to recover from drug addiction [2]. There are different types of therapies available for those who are suffering from drug abuse problems. An individual who is looking for more information about drug addiction recovery is on the right path, since the first step is to identify the problem. Although there is no one method for recovery, there are a variety of treatments. One treatment may work for a certain individual, and will not work for the next. This is why a proper evaluation must be done. The stage of the addiction as well as the personality of the addict should be assessed before a type of treatment is recommended.

Drug addiction recovery can be achieved through different types of treatment. The length of the treatment will vary, depending on the person and their commitment to staying clean and sober. The support of the family also plays a crucial role in the recovery of a patient. If ever a relapse does happen, it is important that the individual stays strong and learns from his or her mistakes. Most treatment centers deal with drug addiction through group or individual therapy and by administering medication that can help with symptoms of withdrawal and pain. If you are looking for drug addiction recovery treatment centers, visit these drug treatment directories:

  • Drug Treatment. http://www.drugtreatment.com/
  • Smart Recovery. http://www.smartrecovery.org

 

Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Many people who have an alcohol problem do not just wake up one day and decide to transform their lives. Alcohol addiction recovery is a very gradual process. If you are trying to help a loved one get over their alcohol addiction, it is best for you to be very patient and supportive. The early stages of change can be the toughest. This is during the time when the patient suffering from the problem will experience pain physically and emotionally [3].

If you are struggling with an alcohol addiction, and would want to stop drinking, you can first evaluate the cost of your drinking and see the benefits of recovery. Chances are, the benefits of taking that step on to the road to recovery will be much better. Alcoholics who have made the decision to stay sober have found that their relationships have improved, their health has never been better and that they have more time and energy for people that they love and care about. If you have made the decision to sober up, set yourself goals and look for a treatment center that is right for you:

  • Recovery.org http://www.recovery.org
  • Alcohol Recovery http://alcoholrehab3-px.rtrk.co.uk/

Internet Addiction Recovery

With the mobile revolution in full gear, it’s not surprising that there are a lot of people who are hooked on to the internet. Although there are a lot of people who spend hundreds of hours online, can there be internet addicts? Sadly, internet addiction is quite common. There are a lot of different types of impulse-control problems that are connected to the internet. These include:

  • Cybersex addiction
  • Cyber relationship addiction
  • Net compulsions
  • Information overload
  • Computer addiction

A large number of people have become addicted to the internet, and they value online friendships, relationships, games, information and other things over real-world intimacy. There are healthy ways to use the internet and unhealthy ways. There are a lot of risks involved when it comes to being addicted to the internet. Most of the time, it is because no one can really tell if you are addicted to something as intangible as the World Wide Web. If you or a loved one is suffering from this type of addiction, and you would want to learn more about internet addiction recovery, visit these websites:

  • Internet Cybersex Addiction. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/internet_cybersex_addiction.htm
  • Net Addiction Recovery. http://www.netaddictionrecovery.com/

 

Other Types Of Addiction Recovery

An addiction can plague the life of the person suffering from the problem. It will affect every aspect of that person’s life from his career, to his relationships. Unfortunately, there are many types of addictions out there. The good news is that there are a lot of addiction recovery programs that are made especially for those who are suffering from these types of diseases. Here are a few programs that might be able to help you out:

  • Food Addicts In Recovery. http://www.foodaddictsanonymous.org/tools-recovery
  • Sex Addicts Anonymous. http://saa-recovery.org/
  • Addictions And Recovery. www.addictionsandrecovery.org/

 

Inspiring Addiction Recovery Quotes

  • “I am a recovering alcoholic, addict and obsessive-compulsive woman of 29. I came to the rooms of recovery three years ago to work out my problems with sex addiction and figured if I was the perfect student, I could someday return to the bottle with grace and integrity… The program taught me to be a woman of grace and integrity without the bottle…” – Jennie http://www.becomingjennie.com
  • “A crucial part of the healing process necessary for my recovery has been dealing with the trauma that came from living in a violent alcoholic home… ” – Dan [5]
  • “Instead of turning to others for help, I turned to the Internet to escape the realities of life… As I leave [the addiction recovery program] and begin to change my life, I am faced with intimidating challenges. Many of them are ones which I could not deal with before.” – Nick [6]

 

Addiction Recovery Statistics

Learning more about the addiction and chances of recovery can help. There are too many negative statistics out there about addiction and mortality rates. Here are some positive addiction recovery statistics [4]:

  • Addicts who undergo treatment for 90 consecutive days are less likely to relapse
  • Alcoholics were most likely to recover through maintenance and ongoing counseling which involves the 12-step program
  • Women are less likely to relapse from a drug or alcohol abuse problem as compared to men
  • At any given day, over 700,000 Americans seek addiction recovery
  • At least one out of three alcoholics fully recover from their addiction
  • There are about 1.25 Alcoholics Anonymous members in the United States
  • There are 25,000 Narcotics Anonymous groups around the world [5]

 

Avoiding Relapse

Relapses are real, and they can be a problem if you allow them to happen. Although, we cannot control some triggers that can cause relapses, you can help prevent them. Here are some helpful tips that can help you stay clean, and get right back on to the road to recovery [3]:

  1. Pick up a new hobby – do something you love, something that makes you happy. When you are busy, you won’t think of the temptation of getting back in to you old habits.
  2. Adopt a pet – pets can help people learn about responsibility. It can also help you learn more about love and caring for someone who is special to you. This will also help in developing relationships.
  3. Get involved – replace your addiction with community service. Get involved in an activity that will help you feel as if you are part of something bigger.
  4. Set meaningful goals – have working goals and keep track of them. It doesn’t matter what they are, if they are important to you, then you should go for it. Examples would include: to get a better job, to hit the gym thrice a week, to talk to your grandmother more often, etc. It can be anything.
  5. Look after your health – eat better, get more sleep and engage in regular exercise. The better you feel, drugs, alcohol or other temptations wouldn’t become as appealing.

 

Links To Helpful Addiction Recovery Worksheets

To help you on your journey to recovery, you will need to understand more about how your addiction has affected your life. Knowing these things can help you view your addiction in a different light. There are also worksheets that can help you track your addiction recovery. Knowing that you are making progress is encouraging, and can help prevent relapses. Here are a couple of helpful worksheets and addiction recovery resources that you can go through during your spare time:

  • *The Voice Of Addiction Worksheet http://slickrecovery.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/slick_worksheet_collection1.pdf
  • *Addiction Recovery Worksheet http://www.peggyferguson.com/AddictionRecoveryWorksheets.en.html
  • *Addiction Recovery Tool Chest http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/toolchest.htm
  • *Addiction Test http://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/addiction-self-test.htm

 

Additional Addiction Recovery Articles

Here are some addiction recovery articles that you might want to read:

  1. Addictions And Recovery. http://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/
  2. Web MD. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/drug-abuse-recovery-maintaining-hope-and-health
  3. Help Guide. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/alcohol_abuse_alcoholism_help_treatment_prevention.htm
  4. Caron. http://www.caron.org/current-statistics.html
  5. Renew Every Day. http://www.reneweveryday.com/resources/addiction-recovery-facts/
  6. Net Addiction Recovery. http://www.netaddictionrecovery.com/young-adult-testimonial.html

 

Insights into Addiction Treatment – Detox, Therapy and Rehab

Addiction is a condition that is treatable. It is something that doesn’t happen by itself, it will require commitment, courage, support and the desire to change. Whether you are looking for a addiction treatment facility for yourself, or for a loved one who is suffering from a substance abuse problem, the right kind of treatment can help.

What Are The Different Types Of Addiction Treatments?

People often think that there is only one type of treatment for any kind of addiction. We often see people in the media being checked-in to fancy in-patient rehabilitation centers that not many can afford. However, there are actually different types of addiction treatment services that can help those suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction. Families of the addicted should remember that one round (or even one year) of treatment is rarely enough to make a person change or fully recover from there treatment [1]. Most of the time, people need several types of programs and treatment so that they can fully get over their addiction.

Some types of addiction treatment services offering treatments are as follows.

Inpatient Programs

These programs vary, mostly depending on what the patients or the patients’ family are willing to pay. A regular program may last for thirty days or longer. During this time, the patient is not allowed to leave the facilities. Some insurance companies only cover addiction treatment services that are considered low-cost, while others will pay for more lavish care.

 

Therapeutic Communities

In these communities, patients are provided with medication and they undergo counseling sessions to help them succeed. When they are not participating in a counseling session or activity, they are asked to do chores around the facility. Studies show that patients who stay at these types of centers for 90 days of longer have a higher chance of improving [2].

 

Outpatient Programs

There are some things that might keep people who are suffering from a drug addiction the ability to step into an inpatient treatment program. These things include demanding careers or young children. These individuals may benefit from different outpatient programs. Programs like these vary in intensity depending on the individual who is undergoing treatment. There are times when they have to spend the entire day at the facility, and other times when they are only required to participate for a couple of hours a day.

 

Addiction Therapies

addiction treatment therapy
CC BY-ND by smokesdagram

No matter what type of treatment the individual suffering from addiction chooses, all treatment centers provide some sort of therapy. The main goal is to change how the person who is addict thinks. There are two types of therapies which are used:

 

Cognitive Therapy

This is a one-on-one session with a therapist. They will focus on what triggers cravings. Hypnosis may be used to help the addicted deal with painful memories or to help them open up. This type of therapy can focus on the strengths and abilities of the addict in order to help them fight their cravings.

 

12-Step Program

This type of program was originally for those suffering from alcohol abuse problems and was pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous. This is when the individual addicted meets with a group who are struggling with the same program. They teach that the addiction is too strong to fight alone, and that they need help from a higher source or power. The addicts are encouraged to walk through the entire program, step by step. These steps are designed so that the individual addicted can leave behind the pain and the guilt which are associated with past behaviors. 12 Step programs have proven to be effective especially as part of alcohol addiction treatment, cocaine addiction treatment and marijuana addiction treatment. But there are 12 step programs for just about every addiction type you can think of. Many people are able to get over their addiction by following the 12 steps of addiction recovery.

 

Medication Therapies

Many medical centers provide medication therapies to help their patients heal. A lot of people suffering from a drug addiction, heroin addiction in particular, can benefit from these types of therapies. For example heroin addiction treatment often uses the methadone program. There are some patients who will need this for maintenance, and others who have to stay on medication for the rest of their life. However, there are also some centers that provide holistic care instead of medication therapies. These centers have addiction treatment services such as acupuncture, biofeedback, reflexology and massage to help their patients heal.

 

Dual Diagnosis Therapies

There are a number of people suffering from a drug addiction problem who also have a mental disorder. In fact, about four million adults in the United States who have been suffering from an addiction problem, were also diagnosed with a mental health problem [3]. It is often important that these psychological manifestations are dealt with alongside of an addiction issue. For example Many people who abuse pot also have paranoia or anxiety and it is necessary these are addressed in an overall marijuana addiction treatment. Another example would be a short attention span disorder associated with speed type drug abuse that should be included in a cocaine addiction treatment.

The common health issues related to substance abuse problems include obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression. If not treated, the mental health symptoms may worsen during the detoxification process, when the patient goes through the withdrawal phase. Most addiction treatment centers focus on the co-existing problems to help patients deal with their symptoms and eventually heal.

 

Opiate and Heroin Addiction Treatment

Morphine, Heroine and a few prescription pain killers such as Vicodin, Fetanyl and OxyContin fall under the class known as opiates. These drugs act on a specific receptor found in the brain. These interact with substances naturally produced by the body – enkephalins and endorphins – which regulate emotion and pain. Scientific research has lead to the discovery of effective heroin addiction treatment or indeed any opiate addiction. This includes [2]:

Methadone: this is a known effective treatment for heroin addiction which was first discovered in the 1960s.

Naltrexone: this is an opioid receptor blocker which joined the medications inventory as early as the year 1984. It has been proved to reverse the effects of overdose.

Buprenophone: this is the newest type of treatment which is known to act on the same receptors as morphine and heroin. It can relieve cravings without dangerous side effects.

 

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

The overall goal for alcohol addiction treatment is abstinence. Recovering alcoholics need the help and support of their friends, family and loved ones. Studies show that alcoholics with otherwise good health, motivation and social support have a good chance at recovery [6]. There are three stages to alcohol treatment:

1. Detoxification – this is needed immediately after the alcoholic decides to stop drinking. Symptoms of withdrawal, hallucinations, seizures, and in some cases, death can result from this process if not done under supervision.

2. Rehabilitation – forms of counseling, therapy and different types of medication can be administered through the rehabilitation process. The alcoholic will need to learn the skills needed to maintain sobriety.

3. Maintenance – this is an on-going step which requires commitment and a positive attitude. The recovering alcoholic will need support from family and friends or in the form of a self-help group.

 

Are There Addiction Treatment Options?

The first step is really for the addicted person to acknowledge that they need help in order to get over their addiction. However, contrary to popular belief, an individual who is suffering from addiction does not necessarily have to subject themselves to treatment in order to get better. There are many individuals who have benefited from treatment programs after being “forced” by family members, friends, loved ones or even the legal system to undergo treatment.

There are benefits to trying multi-faceted approaches when it comes to recovery. Since addictions are not only chemical dependencies, looking for treatment that can help the individual suffering when it comes to their emotional needs and other things. Frequent monitoring should be offered during the early days of recovery. This is when withdrawal may be at its worse. It is easy for the individual who is addicted to slip back into their old habits. A center that offers a close watch is one that you should look out for.

 

How To Choose An Addiction Treatment Center

Not all of those suffering from an addiction problem will want to subject themselves to treatment. For most, the idea of entering a treatment facility can be scary. Individuals with an addiction problem should be encouraged to undergo treatment and they need to know more about what is involved so that they can feel more comfortable at the center.

Most family members might choose a center based on their insurance company. There are some insurance companies that will cover different types of treatment, but will not cover other forms. There are also ones who will only cover treatment for a set period of time. It is best to learn more about the options available and contact your insurance company.

For those who intend to cover the entire cost of their treatment, the options are vast. It is best to remember that no addict or type of addiction is the same. This means that one treatment that may have worked for a certain individual will work with the next. You have to look into the severity of the addiction, the personality of the patient and any other conditions that might be present.

If you are looking for a treatment center for yourself or a loved one, it is best that you learn more about your options. Here are some links that can help you find a treatment center for you:

  • Psychology Today Treatment Centers http://treatment.psychologytoday.com/rms/?utm_source=www&utm_medium=speclink&utm_campaign=topnav_find_treatment
  • Drug Treatment http://www.drugtreatment.com/
  • Treatment 4 Addiction http://www.treatment4addiction.com/

Or, if you need to speak to someone about addiction treatment, you can call these numbers:

  • 1-800-781-7840
  • 1-800-662-HELP

When looking through your addiction treatment options, there are a couple of things that you should look for:

  • Program accreditation and licensing: be sure that the treatment program is accredited by the state that it is in. It’s okay to take a look at the facility first before choosing that particular center. Find out if it is run by well-trained, licensed medical professionals and specialists who focus on addiction.
  • The effectiveness of the treatment methods: you can find out about the treatment center you are interested in by learning more about their success rates.
  • Type of aftercare offered: look for a treatment center that offers aftercare programs. This can help addicts overcome or prevent their relapses.

Drug Addiction Relapses During Treatment

No matter how positive the outlook is for a patient, there are certain triggers that can pull individuals into relapsing. This means that they could go back to their old patterns of substance use. The causes which lead to relapse can be different for each person. Some of the common things that can trigger a relapse include the following [4]:

  • Negative emotions (ie. anger, stress, sadness)
  • Physical pain which includes withdrawal symptoms
  • Testing personal control
  • Temptations
  • Conflict with loved ones
  • Social pressures

It is important to remember that just because an individual relapses, does not mean that the treatment is not working or it has failed. The individual has merely fallen off the wagon and will need more support than ever. If you, or a loved one have relapsed in the midst of treatment and would like to overcome the strong feelings which are pulling your to temptation, the following things might help:

  • Mediate and focus on the positive
  • Give yourself a break and take a long hot bath or shower
  • Light a scented candle
  • Do some breathing exercises
  • Remember why you were in treatment in the first place
  • Exercise to release endorphins
  • Call someone you love for emotional support [5]

 

Addiction Treatment Facts

Once you have decided to undergo treatment, it is time to explore the choices that are available. When looking for the right treatment center, there are some things you have to know. Here are a couple of substance addiction treatment facts that you should know about [4]:

  • There is no magic treatment that can fix a person in just a couple of days or weeks
  • Each person is different and not all treatments work the same
  • Treatments should address more than just the drug abuse
  • Commitment is really the key
  • There are a lot of places to go to if one needs help

Substance Abuse And Addiction Complications

There are a number of risks associated with addiction. It is important for an individual to know that going “cold turkey” is not the solution. Looking for the right treatment program is vital. Possible complications of addiction include relationship problems, poverty and homelessness, serious medical problems, severe mental or emotional trauma, relationship problems, contraction of diseases (ie. sexually transmitted diseases), attempt of suicide and even death [3]. It is important that you or your loved one who is struggling with the addiction to look for help right away. If you know anyone struggling with an addiction problem, call these numbers:

  • 1-800-781-7840
  • 1-800-662-HELP

 

Additional Articles On Addiction Treatment

If you want to know more about addiction treatment and centers available near your residence, you should read these articles on substance abuse and addiction:

  1. Journal Of Substance Abuse Treatment. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15797639
  2. The National Institute On Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov
  3. National Drug Intelligence Center. http://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/ndic-moved.html#What
  4. Help Guide. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/drug_abuse_addiction_rehab_treatment.htm
  5. Overcoming Addiction. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/overcoming-addiction
  6. Web MD. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/alcohol-abuse/understanding-alcohol-abuse-treatment

Insights into Alcohol Addiction – Facts, Treatment and Recovery

Just like many forms of human addictions, the addicts do not know they are alcoholic dependent until they hit rock bottom and lose everything they have and the people they love. This article will therefore discuss alcohol addiction facts, causes, and signs of alcoholism and how to treat an alcoholic.


Definition of Alcohol Addiction

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) defines alcoholism as a chronic disorder where a person has the compulsive need to take alcoholic substances at all time despite the consequences. An alcoholic person has no control over their drinking and will put alcohol first before everything else including family, food and rent. There are two time of alcohol dependence;

  1. Alcohol abuse-alcohol abusers love to drink but they still have the ability to control their intake at anytime. It’s still problematic because they drink a lot and cause problems to their lives.
  2. Alcoholism is a serious form of alcohol abuse that includes serious dependence, withdrawal and loss of control.

 

Alcohol Addiction Symptoms

So how do you know you or a person you know is really an alcoholic? These are the painful alcohol addiction symptoms;

  • The main symptom of alcoholism is when a person continues drinking even after their drinking is obviously causing them problems. These problems can be family issues. Work related, financial and emotional.
  • If the person is spending most of his time drinking
  • If the person is neglecting what used to be important to them.
  • Withdrawal-this means that when they are not under the influence of alcohol they become irritable and unbearable to others and themselves.
  • Loss of control, once they start they can’t stop even when they are obviously above limit.
  • The need to take alcohol instead of tea when you wake up in the morning.

alcohol_addiction_1

 

Causes of Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol abuse can be caused by many factors such as peer pressure, family, environment and culture but what cause it to develop to alcoholism? According to scientists it may be genetic. There are families that are just prone to become alcoholics. Another reason may be traumatic experience where a person wants to forget. Psychiatric conditions are also major causes of alcoholism; these are depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia especially before they are medically diagnosed.

 

Effects of Alcoholism

There are significant social and emotional effects of alcohol;

  • Drinking a lot obviously costs a lot of money, this makes the addicts family to suffer financially and he might get into a lot of debts and as a result become stressed more.
  • The dependency makes it impossible to work effectively and many alcoholics lose their jobs and their families and eventually their friends.
  • After losing the important things in their lives many people become depressed and indulge more in cheap alcohol, neglect themselves and if they don’t get help at this point will end up dead in a ditch somewhere.

 

Alcohol also has many adverse effects on human health, it’s poisonous to most of the human cells not to mention it depresses the brain and the central nervous system that’s why people vomit, change behavior and even pass out after taking alcohol in large doses. The following are specific health effects of alcoholism;

pregnant lady with wine and cigarette

  • Alcohol is definitely fatal in high doses, apart from the fact that it dehydrates the body; it is known to shut down the hurt and stop a person from breathing.
  • The most common diseases related to alcohol intake are liver cirrhosis, stomach ulcers, beriberi due to thiamine deficiency and gastritis.
  • Another common effect is aspiration pneumonia where people suffocate on their own vomit at night. This is avoidable normally but since the nervous system is depressed there is no gag reflex.
  • Most alcoholics drink before eating and can go without food for day’s just drinking alcohol. This can cause a condition called hypoglycemia, lack of blood sugar and in turn the person will have convulsions and even comatose.
  • Brain damage is the absolute effect of alcoholism. Doctors have proven that alcohol kills brain cells slowly and within years the person looks retarded.
  • Alcohol causes abnormal heart rhythm and eventually heart damage like size change and structure.
  • The most scary alcohol effect however happens in pregnancy, the unborn baby can develop neurological disorders, alcohol addiction and physical birth defects.

 

Alcohol Addiction Facts

Many people know all about the health and social effects of alcoholism but still continue drinking. The facts however are more alarming;

  1. One fact is that alcohol abuse will sooner or later harm your live either health wise or socially.
  2. It’s no surprise that 5000 people under 21 years of age die every year in USA only because of alcohol. This includes car accidents, homicides and alcohol poisoning.
  3. Alcohol impairs judgment and as a result bad activities like drunk driving, violence and inappropriate sexual activities will take place and in most cases cause death and diseases.
  4. Another scary fact is that 70% of college and high school students take alcohol and in most case go to intoxication levels.
  5. 17% of men and 8% of women are alcoholics.
  6. Alcoholism is the third leading cause of death all over the world after cancer and heart disease which by the way are also cause mostly by alcohol abuse.
  7. Alcoholism is a disease and can’t be treated with will power only. People die from withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit without medical help.

Along with the facts are statistics carried out by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and WEBMD.

  • In USA alone one in every 14 adults is an alcoholic.
  • Three million teenagers in America alone have an alcohol problem.
  • Every family has at least one family member who has an alcohol problem.
  • Only one third of alcoholics get medical help, the rest struggle to death.
  • Research done by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than half of Americans are regular drinkers.
  • There are three times more men with a drinking problem than women and this explains the higher population of women.

 

Myths about Alcohol

  • Every one drinks.
  • Drinking makes you feel better.
  • You can be a heavy drinker but you are not an alcoholic.
  • You can’t quit alcohol.
  • Black coffee will sober you up.
  • You can trick a breathalyzer if the police pull you over after a drinking night.
  • Women and men can take the same amount of beer.

 

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

After they hit rock bottom and lose everything they had, most alcoholics will get help. It is detrimental to think you can just decide to stop drinking, alcoholism is a disease and therefore one will need medical help and support from people who are going or have gone through the same problem. There are a couple of options of alcohol addiction treatment;

  1. Intervention-this is where your loved ones arrange to talk to you so they convince you to seek help. This is usually for addicts who are not ready to stop on their own. They talk to the addict about how his drinking is hurting them and him and how they will help him.
  2. Oral medication-if the addiction is not too severe there are pills one can take prescribed by a doctor to help deal with the withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
  3. The third option is rehabilitation if the addiction is really bad. Your loved ones can confine you forcefully or you can volunteer to check yourself in rehab and get help. In rehab one is given; drugs to reduce withdrawal and cravings, psychotherapy and counseling. There are group sessions to talk through the problems with your peers and the therapist and after 50 days one is released to the world.
  4. After any of the above options of alcohol addiction treatment, it’s important to make sure you don’t slip back to your old ways. There are groups in every town called alcoholic anonymous that deal with such kind of people. They meet a couple of times every week and discuss their experiences with alcohol abuse. For this information you can check if you have on in your area on- www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk.

 

Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcoholism

If you are too dependent on alcohol the day you decide to stop drinking you will go through this hard signs;

  • Shaking and shivering
  • Profuse sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea and
  • Seizures.

Also you will experience depression; you will be very irritable and restless and will definitely have trouble sleeping. These symptoms will take weeks to disappear and can drive a person to drink again because they are unbearable. Doctors give pills to make them easier and that is why it’s important to seek medical help if you want to stop drinking.

alcohol addiction gun

Ways to Prevent Alcohol Addiction

Most people who drink are not alcoholics but they are likely to become one if they don’t take care. The following are ways one can make sure they don’t go from occasional drinkers to alcoholics;

  1. Get hobbies, instead of looking for a drink when you are stressed or meeting your friends in a bar to talk, invite them for a jog or join recreational classes like drawing and yoga.
  2. Have principles. Give yourself a limit and do not under any circumstances go beyond that limit. After that start taking water.
  3. Take breaks. You don’t have to drink every day, limit your drinking to weekends and functions and this will make your body non tolerant to alcohol.

 

Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Most people go through rehab but after they come home they slip so what are the measure one can take to make sure that doesn’t happen;

  • Stop completely, there is nothing like cutting back with alcoholics because they have no self control so the solution is to stay away from alcohol.
  • Get a sponsor-this should be someone you respect and close so they keep you in check.
  • Let everyone know about your new limits, if your friends know you don’t drink they won’t offer you beer.
  • Change your company. As the saying goes-bad company corrupts good behavior. Hang out with people who don’t drink and get busy with new things.
  • Write a list of all the things you lost in alcoholism and set a goal to recover everything. This will discourage you from ever going near a drink.
  • All said and done an alcoholic need to have made a personal decision to quit completely because otherwise all these measures won’t work.

 

HELP LINES

Apart from alcoholic anonymous there are other help sites for addicts like co dependents anonymous for family members-http://www.coda.org and National Resource Centre.

Other Articles on Alcohol Addiction

In the alcoholic library there are many articles one can read on alcoholism;

  • How to Talk to Your Alcoholic Partner
  • Effective Addiction Treatment
  • Almost Addicted: Is My Drug Use a Problem? By Harvard Medical School.
  • Are You An Enabler? and
  • Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t and How to Make Any Change Stick.

 

Alcoholic addiction is a serious condition that affects not only the addict but his loved ones as well. It’s one of the main reason countries don’t develop and the leading cause of accidents and deaths in general worldwide. Alcohol addiction recovery is a long life process and one needs support, love and encouragement.

 

Conclusion

Many people continue to suffer in silence and where alcoholism is concerned, admitting that one needs help is the first step to recovery. This disease has claimed many lives all around the world and it is critical to find help before it reaches a chronic stage. All in all, there is hope for every person who is willing to turn over a new leaf. The above resources will shed more light for any person who is seeking help. For those who do not succeed with the first attempt, this is not unusual at all and trying again is the key to finding a lasting solution. Family and friends should never give up on those who want to change; the moral support system is one of the most pivotal elements to help people entangle themselves from the shackles of alcoholism.

Insights into Drug Addiction – Facts, Stats and Treatments

Drug addiction is a serious problem. Most young people start off with substances that they find harmless [1]. Most teenagers will smoke a cigarette or two, move their way up to marijuana and maybe even start taking more prescription drugs than they needed. No one plans to be a drug addict. Something like this can really just sneak up on you and your family. If you, or a loved one is struggling with a serious drug addiction, it is best that you learn more about the problem so that you can find real solutions.

Drug Addiction: Real People, Real Stories

A lot of teenagers feel that they are alone in the world, and no one understands them. Although popular media jokes around about these feelings of depression, they are real. Most, if not all, of teenagers or young adults who develop a drug addiction started out because they felt lonely. Reading about other people, their struggles and how they got over their addiction can be helpful. It can help you feel that you are not alone, and there are others who are facing the same problems as you are.

  • “It started with the weed, then the pills (Ecstasy) and acid, making cocktails of all sorts of drugs, even overdosing to make the rushes last longer. I took copious amounts of these chemicals every day for as long as two years until I had a bad trip one night and went into toxic psychosis… I asked myself if this was rock-bottom, and I believe it was” – Ben [2]
  • “My goal in life wasn’t living…it was getting high. I was falling in a downward spiral towards a point of no return. Over the years, I turned to cocaine, marijuana and alcohol under a false belief it would allow me to escape my problems… yet I felt so empty inside.” – John [2]
  • “I can clearly remember my using [drugs] because of [emotional] pain, and because I didn’t know where to go with the pain or what to do with it. . . . I think sticking that spike in my arm was a violent act, maybe it was an act of just basically anesthetizing myself” – Louis [3]

 

What Is Drug Abuse?

Many people think that they can use recreational or prescription drugs without facing any consequences. However, sometimes taking illicit substances for recreational purposes can turn into an addiction. For a lot of people, substance abuse can bring about problems at work, at school, at home and cause a stir in relationships. When this happens, feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety can arise, causing a downward spiral, which may or may not lead to an increase in substance abuse.

drug abuse

Clinically, drug abuse is a disorder that is characterized by the destructive pattern of taking prescription and illicit drugs [4]. This can lead to a number of problems affecting the individual in all or most areas of his life. This problem is unfortunately very common. The number of young adults who are suffering from a drug addiction problem is increasing each year, as more prescription and illicit drugs are becoming easier to obtain.

As it is with any mental condition, there is no one way to determine if a person is addicted to a certain substance or not. There are patterns that you should look for in order to tell if someone is battling with substance abuse. Many people quickly assume that if someone is losing weight, looking unkempt or acting strange, that they are on drugs. However, there is more to it than that. Here are some of the signs and symptoms to look out for if you believe that a loved one has a drug addiction problem:

  1. Your loved one neglecting responsibilities because of drug use
  2. Drug use is getting your loved one into trouble (whether at home, at work, at school or anywhere in your neighborhood)
  3. They don’t care about consequences (ie. having unprotected sex, using dirty needles, driving while intoxicated)
  4. They have irrational mood swings, causing problems in relationships
  5. They have given up on activities that they used to enjoy

 

What Causes Drug Addiction?

Everyone is different, and no one has the same story. Although people have turned to drugs for different reasons, there are usually common factors which can be found in groups of people. Some people can actually develop a drug addiction problem faster than others. There are some risk factors that can increase an individual’s vulnerability [1]. These risks include:

  • Family risk of drug addiction
  • Abuse, neglect or other traumatic experiences
  • Disorders such as anxiety and depression
  • Early use of drugs (ie prescription drug abuse)
  • Friends or family members that use drugs

A drug abuse problem or an addiction problem can really sneak up on a person. As the frequency of the use increases, the person who uses does not notice that it is becoming a regular part of their day. An individual who used to smoke marijuana once a week, can increase the frequency of their use. Sooner or later, they might start experimenting with other drugs, until they reach a point where they feel that they need to take the substances that they once used as a recreational substance.

There are also those people who use drugs in order to fill a void that they have. This might be due to an emotional or psychological problem. Other times, it is because they feel alone and empty inside. Many recovering drug addicts say that they used drugs as a way to escape from reality. This was usually because they felt as if no one was there for them and they were unloved.

 

Are There Treatments For Drug Addiction?

Treatments for drug addiction varies depending on the personality of the patient and the severity of the condition among other things. There are therapies, group counseling and in-house treatment for those who want to sober-up. Here are some of the treatments available [6]:

Treatment programs: these include educational as well as therapy sessions. It focuses on getting sober and avoiding relapse. There are different ways to accomplish this, through individual sessions, group sessions and family sessions. These are available in various settings, depending on the program.

Counseling: individual or family counseling with a psychiatrist or psychologist can help someone who might be battling with addiction. If the drug problem stems from an underlying emotional or psychological cause, this kind of treatment might help prevent relapse and aid the individual in avoiding temptation as well as practicing self-control.

Self-help groups: a lot of these self-help programs follow the 12-step model which was first designed by Alcoholics Anonymous. These groups are available for those who are addicted to certain illicit drugs. The message that they aim to convey is that addiction is a chronic disorder, and that there are dangers in relapse. Ongoing maintenance is needed.

 

If you are looking for a drug addiction treatment center either for yourself or a loved one, here is a list of websites that you might want to visit:

  1. Smart Recovery http://www.smartrecovery.org/ – this is one of the nation’s leading self-empowerment recovery support group. They focus on helping individuals who are battling with an addiction problem learn how to help themselves recover using the latest scientific research and providing ample support.
  2. Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator https://dasis3.samhsa.gov/i-bhs/login.html – with this website, you can find out more about treatment facilities near your home. You can also contact them through these numbers:
    1-800-662-HELP
    1-800-662-9832 (Español)
    1-800-228-0427 (TDD)
  3. The Bay Retreats http://www.thebayretreats.com/privaterehab – if you know someone who will benefit very little from an outpatient service, there are private rehab treatment centers which are available.

Mentor International http://www.mentorfoundation.org is an international NGO which aims to reach to young children and teens about substance abuse. They have effective drug-prevention programs which can help share the knowledge about drug abuse and addiction.

 

Facts On Drug Addiction

Drugs red light

Drug addiction is a real problem which is growing every year. Unfortunately, not a lot of people understand why people get hooked on drugs or why they act the way they do. Instead of trying to help individuals who are suffering from this problem, they blame them for their own addiction. Here are a couple of facts about drug addiction and abuse [1]:

  • Almost any substance that can be ingested in high amounts can give a euphoric sensation
  • Inhalants, such as household cleaners are often abused by younger teenagers for fun
  • Although there is no one cause for drug abuse problems, there are biological and psychological causes that can increase an individual’s risk for drug addiction
  • The longer an individual abuses a certain drug, they develop a tolerance for it
  • Taking recreational drugs can create a surge in dopamine in the brain, this helps people feel pleasure or happiness. Many people who take drugs look for this feeling, and cannot find it in anything else
  • The changes in the brain caused by the substance abuse can interfere with rational thinking, school work, office or home responsibilities and other things
  • The urge to use drugs sometimes grow so strong that the individual who is suffering from the addiction problem uses reasons (which seem rational to them) so that they can use drugs
  • The feelings of pleasure and euphoria which are triggered by the substances become more important than anything else

Myths

Too many people have their own opinions about drug abuse and addiction. They think that it will be easy for someone who used to suffer from a drug addiction problem to get over their condition. Here are some of the common myths associated with drug addiction:

  1. It’s all a matter of will-power. Many people think that drug addicts can stop using if they really wanted to, and that they don’t really need drug addiction help. This is one of the most common misconceptions about addiction. The drugs change the brain in a way which makes it difficult for the individual to quit just by wanting to.
  2. You have to hit rock bottom before you get better. There are also other people who think that it is absolutely necessary for you to reach your lowest point before you can get over your addiction. That isn’t true because the longer your addiction is, and the deeper you are, the harder it is to treat.
  3. You can’t be forced into treatment, you have to want to help yourself. In many cases, this is not true. There are individuals who have been put entered into treatment because of friends, family or the legal system who were able to sober up.
  4. Treatment didn’t work before, there’s no point trying again. Relapse doesn’t mean that it isn’t working. There will be setbacks along the way. It’s just a matter of getting back on track.

 

Quick Drug Addiction Statistics

  • Prescription drug abuse affects most young adults
  • 39% Teens mix prescription with other substances, like marijuana or alcohol
  • Synthetic marijuana lands 14% of male and 8% of female high school students in the hospital
  • The daily use of marijuana among 12th graders has increased to 6.5% from last year
  • The age group which has the largest admission percentage to publicly funded treatment programs are adults aged 25 – 29
  • Positive trends include the decrease of ecstasy use among high school students in the last two years
  • Illicit drugs accounted for USD11 billion in healthcare funds just last year
  • Prescription drug addiction accounts for 17 treatment admissions and 66 emergency room visits for every death

All information is from National Institute on Drug Abuse [5].

 

I Need Drug Addiction Help For A Loved One

If you suspect that a friend, family member or a loved on has a drug problem. There are a couple of things that you should do. Here are some of them:

  • Speak up: talk to the person about it and offer your support. Let them know that you are not judging them, or punishing them for it. Don’t wait for them to hit rock bottom.
  • Take care of yourself: don’t let yourself be too caught up in someone else’s battle with drugs that you neglect your own needs. Although you have the best intentions for your loved one, you should find others to rely on, too.
  • Avoid self-blame: you should support your loved one with the substance abuse problem by offering them help. However, you cannot force them into changing their mindset about treatment. It’s not your fault if they are still resilient.
  • Get help: do some research and look for a help center or treatment facility near your home. You can contact these numbers in order to speak to someone who can help you locate a facility:

1-800-662-HELP
1-800-662-9832 (Español)
1-800-228-0427 (TDD)

When battling with a drug problem, the last thing that your friend or loved one needs is criticism. Let them know that you are there for them, but also be firm with them regarding relapse or temptation. For additional information about drug addiction, treatment and help, please refer to the websites listed below. Remember that it is never too late or early for drug addiction treatment.

 

Helpful Articles On Drug Addiction

  1. Help Guide. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/drug_substance_abuse_addiction_signs_effects_treatment.htm
  2. Drug Free World. http://www.drugfreeworld.org/real-life-stories.html
  3. Thirteen. http://www.thirteen.org/closetohome/stories/html/louis.html
  4. Medicine Net. http://www.medicinenet.com/drug_abuse/article.htm
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics
  6. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-addiction/DS00183/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

In-Depth Guide to Conquer Gambling Addiction

Compulsive Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction otherwise known as compulsive gambling or even pathological gambling is a kind of impulse control disorder. Most people affected with this condition cannot get rid of the burning urge to gamble, even when doing so might adversely affect themselves, loved ones or even close associates. In most cases the entire life of a compulsive gambler usually revolves on this unrelenting impulse for gambling, no matter what financial condition they might be in. They continue to gamble whether or not they have the prerequisite money, whether or not they are depressed or in good spirits. In some cases some gambling addicts, even when they fathom the high stakes against them, cannot stop gambling.


On the other hand, some people that suffer from compulsive gambling can still have this disorder, without totally losing control, which makes it hard for persons around them to notice their addiction. The sad fact about gambling addiction is that it can totally disrupt your life, and functionality as a normal person. If you might be overly engrossed with gambling or getting the money to do so, or spending most of your time and money on gambling, you certainly have this problem. A lot has been said concerning pathological gambling, and here are some facts and myths that are commonly attributed to this disorder.

Myths and Facts

  • Myth: Thinking that to be a problem gambler one has to gamble daily.
  • Fact: Problem gamblers might gamble both incessantly or sporadically. Gambling is only a problem if it induces other serious complications.
  • Myth: Gambling is not a problem if you can well afford it.
  • Fact: Most of the problems attributed to compulsive gambling are not only financial. Gambling addiction can lead to relationship problems, and most often than not, results in losing intimate friendships, and connections.
  • Myth: Most gambling addict’s spouses often drive them to compulsive gambling.
  • Fact: Most people affected by this disorder usually rationalize their untoward behavior, and often blame other people, as they never want to take responsibility for their actions.
  • Myth: If a gambling addict accrues huge debts it’s your responsibility to assist them financially.
  • Fact: Quick fixes might seem the best thing to do if you are caught up in such situations, but in reality they only magnify the problem.

 

Gambling Addiction Statistics

Here are some gambling addiction statistics that can portray just how serious this disorder can be.

  • It is estimated that of all the persons that engage in gambling, 2% – 5% of them are diagnosed with this disorder, which naturally encompasses millions of people in the US alone.
  • Despite the usual presumption that more men than women suffer from compulsive gambling, women have also been found to develop this disorder at an extremely rapid rate. And currently make up 25% of all individuals diagnosed with pathological gambling.
  • It has also been established that men are more prone in developing gambling addiction at a much earlier period of life than women, which is most during their early teens.
  • Pathological gambling has also been found to escalate more rapidly in women than in men.

With these shocking gambling addiction statistics it is clear that urgent steps need to be taken if the society can curb this menace, that not only causes financial problems, but also wrecks havoc to relationships.

It has also been found that gambling addiction mostly stems from emotional disturbances like stress, loneliness, depression, anxiety and even fear. Most compulsive gamblers turn to this lifestyle as they feel it is a good and exciting diversion to the internal problems that they might be facing.

However, most experts state that the best way to quell this menace is usually by introducing addicts to better means of getting rid of such underlying emotions. For instance, if a gambling addict were to turn to other diversions such as working out, spending quality time with family and friends, meditation or even picking up new hobbies, the urge to gamble can quickly dissipate.

The fundamental factor in curbing pathological gambling is for the addict to pinpoint a better alternative lifestyle, which can make them cope with these problems without feeling the need to gamble. However, one vital thing to take note of, even when one conquers gambling addiction, these underlying emotions will still manifest. And it is imperative for a person suffering from this problem and wants help, to reflect on an alternative mode of combating these challenges that generally induce compulsive gambling.

 

Signs and Symptoms of a Pathological Gambling Addiction

Most experts tag gambling addiction as the “hidden illness”, which is largely due to the fact that this disorder does not manifest outward physical symptoms such as those that can be witnessed in alcohol and drug addiction. And what makes it a serious malady is usually how the patient denies or downplays the extent of their particular problem.

Such persons also go out of their way to conceal their gambling difficulties, which normally leads them to emotionally and physically detach themselves from the people that matter most in their lives. And most of them often sneak around, and tell lies when pressured to give an account of where they have been or how and with whom they have been spending their time.

Some of the most common symptoms and signs of gambling addiction disorder include:

  • Feeling the urge to be secretive concerning the details of your gambling
  • Having problems in regulating your gambling.
  • Gambling even when you are financially strapped. This is especially a notorious symptom of full blown compulsive addiction. In which after an affected person finishes all the ready money that he/she had on him. Now turns to money that he might have allocated to meet his/her bills, using his/ her credit cards. Feeling the urge to borrow, or in some extreme cases sell his/her belongings , or even result to stealing, just to get more money to fuel his gambling endeavours.
  • When family, friends or even close associates start become concerned about an addict’s change of behavior. This is because most pathological gamblers are usually in denial, which makes the problem much more difficult to solve. However, if you have found yourself in such situations it always pays to pay attention to your loved ones, and naturally acknowledge that you really do need some assistance.

 

Treatment of Pathological Gambling

Unlike what most people think each gambling problem is unique, and there is no one size fits all formula to solve gambling addiction. Hence this usually necessitates a distinct recovery program that is suited to that particular compulsive gambler in question. As what might work for others, might not necessarily work for you.

gambling addiction slot machine image

However, the pivotal step in getting gambling addiction help is for the gambling addict to acknowledge that he/she really has a gambling problem. And it normally, requires a lot of courage, and inner strength to face this grim fact. An addict should never lose hope or try to “tough it out” on their own. Conquering pathological gambling is never simple, but recovery is very much possible, if a compulsive gambler sticks to the treatment plan, and when he/she is not afraid to ask for support from the people around him/her.

 

Group Support

Gamblers Anonymous

One of the most efficient gambling addiction treatment happens to be gamblers anonymous which is a 12 step program that resembles alcoholic anonymous or even narcotic anonymous. This programs brings about many gamblers who share their experiences and challenges they face, and the more experienced offer tips and advise on the best ways of combating compulsive gambling.

Addicts that follow this step are also exposed to real life stories of just how some people have conquered pathological gambling. On the other hand, an addict is also exposed to vital resources like online gambling addiction articles that can assist them in moving forward to conquer their gambling issues. One key factor in gamblers anonymous is for a compulsive addict to choose a sponsor. This is ideally a former gambling addict that has the time, and most importantly the prerequisite experience in fighting off gambling addiction. And can most definitely offer vital guidance and support to a recovering addict.

 

Gambling Addiction Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

This is a kind of therapy that predominantly dwells on altering a compulsive gambler’s unhealthy behavior and thinking pattern, such as the aforementioned rationalization and harboring false beliefs. It also elaborates to a gambling addict the effective ways of conquering their seemingly uncontrollable gambling impulses. Whilst also showing them the appropriate methods of dealing with emotional disturbances, without turning back to their gambling ways.

Additionally, it assists compulsive gamblers in solving the financial, vocational, and even relationship difficulties, which are normally attributed to compulsive gambling. The chief aim of cognitive behavioral therapy is to gradually transform the gambling addict’s mentality by making him/her view gambling in a new light.

There also happens to be a variant of this therapy that is known as the four step program, that has been over and over again utilized to deal with compulsive gambling. And its primary aim is to alter a gambling addict’s thinking and belief system concerning gambling in four concise steps which are; re-label, re-attribute, refocus, and revalue. Unlike what most people who might be suffering from this disorder think about therapy, consulting a competent and experienced therapist never connotes that they might be weak. Or cannot handle their issues.

The opposite is in fact the case; seeking therapy gives you a positive chance to combat your gambling addiction problems. As these therapists have undergone the necessary training and have accrued a lot of experience in helping compulsive addicts fight their problems, and ultimately conquer them altogether. Additionally, these professionals can offer to people that might be trying to combat compulsive gambling, the right tools and much more to the point, the necessary support to rewire their thoughts to more positive thinking which can last throughout their lifetime.

 

Maintaining a Gambling Addiction Recovery

As most gambling addicts have found out the hard way, stopping gambling is relatively easy, the real problems often arise in making a compulsive gambler maintain his/her recovery. This takes a lot of patience, strength and courage as there are often many factors that can lure you back to your old gambling ways.

The key factor to reflect on is that this is totally attainable and if you really have the desire to change your old ways, the sky is usually the limit. One good way of maintaining your recovery is normally to surround yourself with people that do care about you. Forget all your gambling friends, and learn to be accountable to this particular set of people. This does not necessarily mean that you should have people constantly monitoring each and every one of your actions.

In fact the opposite is quite the case. These people are there to help you face your fears, and impulses to relapse to your compulsive gambling, and also pay an attentive ear to your concerns. Whilst advising on the right course of action to help you fight your gambling problems.

On the other hand, it is extremely important to avoid going to your old gambling hangouts. Most of the gambling addicts that have relapsed on their recovery has usually been because of not avoiding temptations to go to areas where they might have be prone to going back to their old gambling ways.

Therefore casinos are definitely a no go zone for recovering addicts that are serious about reforming.

Additionally, it will infinitely be extremely helpful if you give up the total control of your finances to your spouse, or a trusted friend if you are not married. This is a surefire arrangement that will guarantee the your not relapsing. As the temptation to revert to your old ways will be taken from you.

 

Conclusion

Finally, it might be a great help to turn your minds to other positive and pleasurable ways of spending your leisure time. This can mean picking up new hobbies, making new friends, and generally finding the right diversions that will keep you from thinking of gambling. There are many other elements where this topic is concerned and getting a good understanding begins with looking at all the facts. Those who suffer can recover in time. There is no reason to suffer in silence when there is a lot of help available.

The following are vital links that can help in your quest to conquer compulsive gambling.

  • http://www.smartrecovery.org
  • http://www.problemgambling.vic.gov.au
  • http://www.casinowatch.org
  • http://www.psychforum.com