Even now, many people assume that drug addiction is caused by a failure of willpower or by weak character. But the medical community now recognizes that addiction is a brain disease, not a character flaw. The repeated use of drugs like heroin, cocaine, meth, or prescription opiates causes profound changes in the structure and function of the brain. These substances interfere with the way your brain processes and responds to neurotransmitters, chemicals that control emotion, energy levels, pain response, judgment, sleep patterns, and metabolism.
Inpatient – or residential – rehab sees the addict staying on-site at one of our dedicated UKAT facilities, staffed by highly trained professionals who are on hand 24/7 to ensure that each addict’s individual needs are met as fully and as appropriate as possible, and that they go through each of the first two aforementioned phrases safely and in maximum comfort.
In the past decade, there have been growing efforts through state and local legislations to shift from criminalizing drug abuse to treating it as a health condition requiring medical intervention. 9 states have legislations for safe syringe use like exchange programs or purchasing at pharmacy. In addition, AB-186 Controlled substances: overdose prevention program was introduced to operate safe injection sites in the City and County of San Francisco. The bill was vetoed on September 30, 2018 by California Governor Jerry Brown.[48] The legality of these sites are still in discussion, so there are no such sites in the United States yet. However, there is growing international evidence for successful safe injection facilities.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states, “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” Addiction can result from a variety of factors and catalysts, including genetic predisposition, circumstances, environment, trauma and mental health disorders. While addiction often starts with drug abuse, it is not an indication of a person’s moral status or stability. In fact, many addictions spring from prescription drug use or casual use of legal substances.
Support groups are most useful as a long-term drug rehab program in that they can help hold former addicts accountable years after their treatment is complete. Patients find themselves surrounded by like-minded individuals who are in similar situations like the ones with which the patient is struggling. Many find it easier to discuss issues like temptation and family problems with others who understand.
Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person’s life to affect addiction risk. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it will progress to addiction. This is particularly problematic for teens. Because areas in their brains that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still developing, teens may be especially prone to risky behaviors, including trying drugs.

There are several ways to approach addiction, and every case is different. The best approach is usually one tailored to the specific needs of the individual with a clear goal in mind. Selecting the right drug treatment program begins with the first call or interaction. Intake coordinators at The Recovery Village ask a number of questions regarding the nature of the substance use disorder to find the best treatment program to meet the individual’s needs.
Getting alcohol out of the addicted person’s system is the first part of recovery. People with a severe alcohol addiction can experience intense withdrawal symptoms. A supervised alcohol detox is usually necessary for people addicted to alcohol to prevent potentially fatal complications. Shaking, sweating, seizures, and hallucinations are possible alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Woman Turns to Rehab After Struggling With Drugs, Alcohol: Part 1
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