How Addictions Are Treated

Approaches to addiction treament vary based on the type of addiction.

Although substance abuse is typically the first thing people think of, addiction comes in all shapes and sizes, including process addictions. Many addiction treatment centers utilize basic principles of recovery in their treatment planning. There programs that specialize in the type of type of addiction you are dealing with today.

Most rehab facilities can successfully treat addictions to alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs. Other addiction treatment facilities specialize in behavioral health issues, including behavioral addictions, such as sex, eating, gambling, love, career, shopping, and internet.

Warning Signs of Addiction
The recognition that you or a loved one has an issue with addiction can be frightening, but as you begin to understand the signs of addiction and how addictions are treated, it what are the signs of addiction can become much more manageable. Warning signs of addiction will vary from substance to substance, but some signs are common to all addictions, including:

  • Strong cravings or urges to find and use substances.
  • Maintaining the use of substances or participating in the activity, even after suffering severe consequences.
  • Difficulty meeting expectations at school, home, or work because of the addiction.
  • Using substances even when circumstances become dangerous, driving for instance.
  • Use substances or participating in the act after even repeated or continual negative social interactions due to or made worse by drug or alcohol use.
  • Use of the substance or participating in the act for a longer period of time than planned.
  • Unable to control use of a substance or participating in the act, or the intense desire to slow the use or participate less.
  • The intense focus on buying, using, or getting off of the substance, or spending a large part of the day is focused on the activity.
  • Reducing or quitting pleasurable activities because of substance use, such as work, social, recreational, or physical fitness routines.

How addictions are treated is unique to each person. It is critical to find a treatment center that specializes in the addiction the person is dealing with, adapting treatment plans based on what the individual requires at this point in their recovery.

Alcohol Addiction and Abuse
Recovering from alcoholism is not easy, and is almost always be a life-long process. However, it can be made simpler with effective addiction treatment and long-term support in place.

Alcohol abuse and addiction
Alcohol use is not uncommon in most social situations, but a handful of people can wander from casual use to alcohol abuse or an alcohol use disorder that can vary from mild to severe. An indicator of addiction is the loss of control over the drinking. As an example, people may engage in out of character illegal activities like drunk driving, violent behavior, or theft. Other indicators and potential negative consequences of addiction include:

  • A physical dependence.
  • Development of tolerance.
  • Loss of career, family, and friends.
  • Not all alcoholics have to develop a physical dependency to alcohol, but heavy drinkers tend to be at a higher risk of becoming physically dependent, especially when their drinking is happening on a daily basis. When the body is accustomed to receiving a regular level of ethanol alcohol, the result of not receiving it, is unpleasant and perhaps lethal withdrawal symptoms.

Shortly after alcohol intake is stopped or reduced drastically, an individual will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms of withdrawal include sleep disturbances, tremors, increased heartbeat, nausea, sweating, vomiting, anxiety, hallucinations, restlessness, agitation, and a life-threatening seizure.

Although withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, it is critical to admit to a medically-supervised detox since the withdrawal from alcohol can be life-threatening. Certain medications are used that ease the withdrawal process and lower the risk of seizures. Addiction therapies, as part of the treatment program, can further help with withdrawal symptoms and mitigate the risk of relapsing.

The continuation of alcohol use can lead to the development of tolerance. It happens when the body and brain are desensitized to the effects of the alcohol and require larger and larger amounts to achieve the same effect. Tolerance to alcohol, particularly if it induces increasing alcohol use to counteract, can be a sign of a growing addiction.

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse effects are far-reaching, and often affect parts of one’s life and livelihood. From career opportunities to finances to family, and social relationships, it can be hard for an alcoholic to maintain consistency in any area of their lives.

Alcohol addiction and use wreak havoc on the body and brain, causing a number of health issues such as cirrhosis, nutritional deficiencies, heart issues, brain damage, digestive tract damage, increasing your risk for certain types of cancer, and increased chance of fetal injury and post-natal complications if alcohol is present during any part of pregnancy. People who are abusing alcohol also have a higher probability of getting into automobile accidents, committing suicide, and causing bodily harm to others.

Substance abuse treatment at a specialized alcohol rehab facility can provide one with the time and support to start the process of overcoming alcoholism. Individuals who undergo treatment have a higher probability of achieving and maintain successful sobriety than those who do not attend some form of rehab.

Alcohol rehab facilities can provide effective treatment options for alcoholism, offering patients and their families hope and the skills they need to sustain sobriety and repair lives. The process usually begins in a medically supervised detox treatment facility, where certain medications are prescribed in order to manage the process of withdrawal and guard the patient’s safety.

It’s critical to follow up the detox process with additional treatment, such as outpatient or inpatient treatment. Recovering alcoholics can also benefit and find support in self-help meetings, such as A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) or SMART Recovery groups. There are several of FDA-approved medications, such as naltrexone (Vivitrol) and Antabuse, for treating alcohol dependency usually part of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program following completion of alcohol detox treatment.

Recovery from alcoholism can be a challenging, life-long endeavor. However, It is made easier with effective treatment and proper support in place.

To find out more about alcohol addiction, abuse, and finding treatment in our Guide to Alcohol Addiction and Rehab.

Drug Addiction and Abuse
Drug addiction, both to prescription drugs and illegal drugs, is unfortunately common in the US and drug addiction and abuse across the globe. The distinction between illegal and prescription drug abuse is less clear as more and more prescriptions become diverted to the illegal marketplace. Every form of drug abuse, illegal or not, places people at a higher risk of developing substance use disorders.

Every class of abusable drug is coupled with certain signs of addiction and abuse. Notwithstanding these distinctions, it is critical to understand that all type of drugs can negatively impact health as well as cause severe negative consequences to an individual’s life. Treatment plans do vary considerably based on the drug of choice. Although, some types of drug addiction will benefit from both medically-supervised detox and addiction therapy in the treatment environment. A supportive sober living environment may be recommended as well.

Find Help Immediatly

It is vital to immediately find help for prescription and illegal substance abuse and addiction. The withdrawal symptoms from illegal and prescription drugs can be extremely uncomfortable, painful, and life-threatening.

That is why it is important to detox in a medically supervised treatment center, where the individual will have access to medications that ease withdrawal symptoms. In the case of opioids like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and heroin, treatment medications such as buprenorphine (Suboxone) are approved for detox and also for the long-term treatment of opioid dependency. Like treatment for alcoholism, detox for opioids should be followed by medical treatment to address the root cause of the addiction and the development of relapse prevention skills and behaviors.

Process and Behavioral Addictions
Addictions to certain behaviors, and not substances, are known as behavioral addictions or process addictions. Addictions of this type are no less severe than drug or alcohol addictions and can affect one’s life and health just as negatively. As a matter of fact, eating disorders are one of the greatest life-threatening behavioral issues seen in addiction treatment. Immediate treatment is critical to ensure one’s happiness and health.

treatment for process and behavioral addictionsBehavioral addiction is treated in a different manner than substance abuse, depending on the specifics and the needs of the individual. Effective treatment programs specializing in process addictions will tailor treatment to meet their needs and circumstances. Treatment planning should address the causes that initiated the disorder so the individual can understand how to live without relapse and repeat the same behavior patterns.

Many behavior therapy programs include different therapy approaches, such as process groups, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), individual therapy, art therapy, equine therapy, health and recreational activities, or mindfulness meditation, and could offer medication-assisted treatment too. Behavior addictions typically need a specialized therapeutic intervention, and long-term recovery includes learning how to manage triggers and prevent relapse. Some treatment programs offer aftercare support groups that can be helpful to long-term sobriety.

Get Help for Addiction
If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance or behavioral addiction, please call us today to get help from our rehab admissions specialists who can connect you to the most effective treatment for your needs. Addiction rehab works and recovery is possible.