How Does Drug Addiction Treatment Work?

Drug addiction itself is a mechanical, physical process. It’s not just a question of mental wellbeing or willpower. In fact, what a person truly wants on an emotional and intellectual level doesn’t often have much of an effect on their ability to fight their own addiction alone.

Statistically speaking, substance abuse isn’t even all that irregular. As per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 23 million people over the age of 12 need help for their addiction, be it due to alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, or illegal substances.

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That’s quite a lot of people. Just like a depression or anxiety attack can often fly under the radar until the signs line up, addiction can also creep up into our lives. There is a proper description for it. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines it as a relapsing brain disease.

How Addiction Works

When we do something that feels good, our brain is bathed with signals that are the result of a number of hormones and neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin. These are essentially pure happiness, but in drug form. They’re released through a myriad of activities, from exercise to food, sex, and drug intake. When we’re particularly susceptible to a drug, or when a drug is particularly addicting, a real problem occurs with our behavior and brain.

That’s where drug treatments come in. However, not all drug treatments are equal, and the way they work differs depending on the type of drug and an individual’s specific circumstances. If you’re looking for a great Phoenix drug treatment, you need a reputable facility like the River Source, professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience, and the patience and willingness to become a core support figure in your loved one’s life. Alternatively, you need to have a family that can support you as you recover from your problem.

Getting Treated

Drug treatments come in many forms, but they do follow a typical scheme. First and foremost, the right treatment center has to be determined. As per DrugAbuse.gov, there are two distinct treatment types. For those with an intense problem – or a court order – inpatient treatment facilities offer the most comprehensive form of treatment. For those without the time or funds to put into a rehab center, opting for outpatient treatment is the alternative. Both forms focus on detoxification, rehabilitation, and long-term recovery.

Detoxification is the first and hardest stage, in a physical sense. In severe cases, detox requires a stay at the hospital to ensure survival. Withdrawal among heavy addicts can sometimes be fatal unless under medical supervision, which makes this stage so critical. Even without the danger of death, withdrawal can range from being extremely physically unpleasant to nearly fatal. Headaches, nausea, fevers, and more are common symptoms.

After the detox stage, helping an addict modify their behavior through strict routines is key to preventing a relapse. This stage can take a while due to how long it takes someone to get used to a new way of living. It’s the family or partner that matters most, then. The long-term recovery period relies on helping a former addict keep their life together and prevent a relapse. This stage doesn’t necessarily end, but it does get easier with time to stop a relapse from ever happening again.


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