Overview of Addiction
Addiction is a disease that causes people to crave and need alcohol or drugs in order to be able to function at a normal level in their daily life. It is a dysfunction in the brain that involves memory, reward and motivation.
“Someone with an addition won’t stop their behavior, even if they recognize the problems the addiction is causing. In some cases, they’ll also display a lack of control, like using more than intended.”
Signs of Addiction
- Continuing to take a drug when it is no longer needed for a health condition
- Needing more and more of a substance to get the same effects (tolerance)
- Taking prescribed medications with alcohol or other drugs
- Feeling strange when the drug wears off and experiencing shakiness, depression or sickness in your stomach, sweaty, or having headaches.
- Developing a new set of friends with whom you do drugs and go to different places to use the drugs
- Having a difficult time stopping the drug or alcohol and continuing to use it despite the negative consequences that happen
- A lot of your time is spent thinking about the drug including how to get more
- Bloodshot eyes, bad breath, shakes or tremors, frequent bloody noses, or you may have gained or lost weight
- Having a hard time setting limits on how much you will take and sticking to that
- You’ve lost interest in things you used to like to do, hobbies or friend groups
- Engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence such as driving or operating machinery
- Borrowing or stealing money to pay for drugs
- Hiding drug use or the effect it is having on you from others
- Trouble getting along with co-workers, teachers, friends, or family members.
People who are addicted to a substance, drug or certain behavior will benefit from addiction treatment help. All types of addictions are treatable and can be individualized to help every person achieve sobriety and live a healthy life. The treatment stage in addiction is where people begin to heal and become sober or drug-free. However, although people understand therapy, many people are not aware that rehab is the beginning of long-term healing from addiction.
Types of Treatment
In-patient Residential Treatment
A program where an individual lives on campus 24-7 to receive the care they need to treat their addiction.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment
A patient can receive care and counseling but remain living in their own home and taking care of other responsibilities such as work or family obligations. This type of care usually consists of sessions a few times per week.
Options for therapy include an array of individual or group therapy sessions, which are typically organized by addiction counselors.
AA or NA programs are available and offer support to people who are dealing with drug or alcohol addiction problems.
Sober Living Facilities
Operates as a facility or home that the patient can live when they transition from treatment back to normal, everyday life. This helps the person to have the most success remaining sober and abstinent from drugs or alcohol.
Adjusting to Treatment Life
The first month or two of treatment requires a lot of adjustments and can be difficult on the individual going through it. When a person goes to treatment, it can cause financial hardship because they may not be able work during the time they are away. Returning to a normal routine after being in treatment, can cause someone to potentially relapse or go back to using drugs or alcohol, meaning relapse is a major risk the first few month’s post treatment especially. This means it is very important to keep up with an after-care program and continue to go to support groups or other programs that help with addiction.
In therapy, there’s sufficient time to rest, attend 12-step meetings, get counseling that helps a person to focus on their recovery. Stepping back into everyday life and a normal routine can be somewhat scary and pose some difficulties. Many treatment programs advise to go through some sort of aftercare after treatment has been completed.
What is After-Care?
Addiction Treatment After-Care
After-care is follow-up care from a program or facility that provides a person suffering from addiction with assistance and guidance during the time following treatment and when a person goes back into the “real world.” It is often a crucial part of continuing sobriety. The person is also connected to individuals which have gone through therapy with them and can offer additional support. Often these relationships last a very long time.
Aftercare may possibly consist of:
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Individual therapy classes
- Support group meetings/12-step groups
- Individual counseling to assist a recovering addict/alcoholic readjust to daily life
- 24-hour help to ensure relapse reduction
After-care that follows treatment often plays a key role in keeping people on the right track during their recovery and remaining sober. It can be extremely helpful in supporting an addict after treatment has completed. It helps to keep a person sober and allow them to continue the journey to recovery that they started. Although not everyone decides to go to treatment after-care, they’re always encouraged to be involved in support groups and 12-step meetings to simply help them remain sober and clean from drugs or alcohol.