If you have any of these symptoms, your drinking may already be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you have, the more urgent the need for change. A health professional can conduct a formal assessment of your symptoms to see if an alcohol use disorder is present. For an online assessment of your drinking pattern, go to RethinkingDrinking.niaaa.nih.gov.
Stress, anger, frustration, self-esteem issues, depression, anxiety, trauma – all of these and more can be overwhelming to a person, driving them to seek relief of any kind from any source. Without positive coping skills to help handle issues, many turn to drugs and alcohol and, with repeated use, they spiral out of control into psychological and physical dependence. Cure Alcoholism Best Advice -- How to Treat Alcohol Addiction By David Smallwood

Note: These PET scans compare the brain of an individual with a history of cocaine use disorder (middle and right) to the brain of an individual without a history of cocaine use (left). The person who has had a cocaine use disorder has lower levels of the D2 dopamine receptor (depicted in red) in the striatum one month (middle) and four months (right) after stopping cocaine use compared to the non-user. The level of dopamine receptors in the brain of the cocaine user are higher at the 4-month mark (right), but have not returned to the levels observed in the non-user (left).
Today, more than 7 million people suffer from an illicit drug disorder, and one in four deaths results from illicit drug use. In fact, more deaths, illnesses and disabilities are associated with drug abuse than any other preventable health condition. People suffering from drug and alcohol addiction also have a higher risk of unintentional injuries, accidents and domestic violence incidents.
Addiction affects not just the addict but also everyone that person comes into contact with. The addict will likely suffer physical consequences, social consequences, emotional consequences, financial consequences, and perhaps even legal consequences as a result of their drug use. As the drug addict’s personal life falls apart, their work and health will likely suffer as well. Drug addicts are more likely to have domestic violence problems, to lose their jobs, and to be arrested than those who are not addicts, proving that addiction, if left untreated, can negatively impact every facet of a person’s life.
Your first step is to call our Patient Access Team for a confidential phone assessment. You will talk with a recovery expert who will determine whether drug or alcohol treatment is needed and, if it is, will recommend the appropriate level of care and work with you to coordinate insurance benefits. If alcohol or drug addiction is not clearly indicated or if you’re not ready to commit to an inpatient stay, you can learn more about your situation and possible next steps by participating in one of our residential evaluation programs. Residential evaluations typically involve a four-day stay at one of our treatment centers where a number of screenings and assessments will help to identify your particular needs and challenges.
We tend to recommend inpatient treatment to patients suffering from alcohol addiction. An inpatient programme offers a safe and secure environment free from distraction. It provides the ideal atmosphere for allowing patients to focus solely on recovery without having to worry about anything else. And because inpatient treatment is more focused, it better facilitates the kind of long-term recovery we want for our patients.
Detox is the first step in helping your brain and body heal from substance abuse. The detox process begins with evaluations by medical doctors and nurses to determine which, if any, medical interventions are needed. Detox is primarily a time to flush the chemicals from your body, which can be an uncomfortable experience without the right medical care to help ease discomfort and/or drug cravings. Hazelden Betty Ford medical staff will work with you to evaluate your level of discomfort and provide you with medications, if needed, to address any discomfort or cravings.
Scientific research since 1970 shows that effective treatment addresses the multiple needs of the patient rather than treating addiction alone.[citation needed] In addition, medically assisted drug detoxification or alcohol detoxification alone is ineffective as a treatment for addiction.[3] The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends detoxification followed by both medication (where applicable) and behavioral therapy, followed by relapse prevention. According to NIDA, effective treatment must address medical and mental health services as well as follow-up options, such as community or family-based recovery support systems.[5] Whatever the methodology, patient motivation is an important factor in treatment success.
The different types of rehab facilities fall into two categories or “settings.” The two settings are inpatient (full-time rehab) and outpatient (part-time rehab). Inpatient means the client lives at the facility, and each step of the rehab process is typically completed there. Patients who attend an outpatient facility return home after treatment each day and often complete the steps of rehab at different facilities. Below is a comparison of the most common program options within those two rehab settings.
Medical detox in an addiction treatment center takes place in a fully-staffed medical facility where patients are monitored around the clock, and treatment for the side effects of withdrawal is provided as needed. Medications to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms may be administered, and patients will not be released from detox until they are symptom-free and physically and mentally well enough to handle the daily routine of an addiction treatment regimen. Best Detox Program
That characterizes the vast majority of people with addictions. They initially think a few tweaks of their schedule will help them stop their use of substances, but they fail to realize the compulsive nature of addictions and the strong grip it has on their life. Rehab can help you set short and long-term goals in the areas most important to a strong recovery. These areas include goals for your physical and emotional health, relationships, occupational and spiritual aspirations.
Because Ecstasy affects the brain’s response to the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin — naturally produced chemicals that affect mood — the drug can also cause mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Ecstasy is often thought to be non-addictive, but research shows that regular users experience the signs of physical and psychological dependence, including increased tolerance to the drug and the compulsive need to obtain and use it.
This quote might best sum up the topic of proclivity for acquiring a drug addiction: “Most people who become addicts are subject to a combination of risk factors.” Anything from childhood trauma and having alcoholic parents to being exposed to drugs at an early age can influence whether a person takes their first hit or their first drink. And whether addiction will develop.5

^ Nestler EJ (August 2016). "Reflections on: "A general role for adaptations in G-Proteins and the cyclic AMP system in mediating the chronic actions of morphine and cocaine on neuronal function"". Brain Research. 1645: 71–4. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2015.12.039. PMC 4927417. PMID 26740398. These findings led us to hypothesize that a concerted upregulation of the cAMP pathway is a general mechanism of opiate tolerance and dependence. ... We thus extended our hypothesis to suggest that, particularly within brain reward regions such as NAc, cAMP pathway upregulation represents a common mechanism of reward tolerance and dependence shared by several classes of drugs of abuse. Research since that time, by many laboratories, has provided substantial support for these hypotheses. Specifically, opiates in several CNS regions including NAc, and cocaine more selectively in NAc induce expression of certain adenylyl cyclase isoforms and PKA subunits via the transcription factor, CREB, and these transcriptional adaptations serve a homeostatic function to oppose drug action. In certain brain regions, such as locus coeruleus, these adaptations mediate aspects of physical opiate dependence and withdrawal, whereas in NAc they mediate reward tolerance and dependence that drives increased drug self-administration.

Biological factors that can affect a person's risk of addiction include their genes, stage of development, and even gender or ethnicity. Scientists estimate that genes, including the effects environmental factors have on a person's gene expression, called epigenetics, account for between 40 and 60 percent of a person's risk of addiction.27 Also, teens and people with mental disorders are at greater risk of drug use and addiction than others.28

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Don’t wait until those consequences occur; if you suspect there is a drug problem present in your loved one, talk to them and/or seek professional help if you deem that it is needed. Never let the addict downplay the seriousness of their addiction or convince you that they can change without help. Drug addiction is a disease and recovering from it is rarely as simple as just putting down the drug and being done with it for good, no matter what promises the addict in your life may make to you or how earnestly they may make those promises. Heroin Addiction, Recovery and No Shame | Crystal Oertle | TEDxColumbus
Medical detox in an addiction treatment center takes place in a fully-staffed medical facility where patients are monitored around the clock, and treatment for the side effects of withdrawal is provided as needed. Medications to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms may be administered, and patients will not be released from detox until they are symptom-free and physically and mentally well enough to handle the daily routine of an addiction treatment regimen. How to Detox from Alcohol - How to stop drinking - Part 1
If a program doesn’t include these type of approaches, or claims to use “new” strategies, ask to see an independent evaluation of their program outcomes. An evaluation should measure whether the service has had a positive impact (on drug use, dependence or mental health) and what the completion rates are. It can be conducted by independent specialists, or sometimes by the service itself.
Group therapy tends to involve a licensed professional and multiple patients. Although group therapy sessions can occur at inpatient facilities, they are more likely to happen in the other rehabilitation programs. Group therapy sessions can last up to an hour. These sessions tend to be particularly useful because they help confront one of the primary issues of addiction.
In addition, take the time to find out whether the rehab program offers services that encompass a broad spectrum of needs, including psychological, medical, vocational and social. It is also important to find out whether the program employs a variety of strategies, including linkage to aftercare services, to help increase the chances of long-term success.

3. The meat of the program (psychotherapy and behavioral treatments) – This is one of the most important phases of rehabilitation, as it begins to give you a base for future sobriety. During this phase, you work with an alcohol counselor to address your current mental and emotional condition and understand where it’s coming from.  Then, you can start to make behavioral and attitudinal changes to remain sober, prevent relapse, and start living a happy life. If you are dedicated – the chances for your alcohol rehab program to work are increases and you have made significant steps towards becoming sober long-term. Best Drug Rehabilitation Programs Backed By Research. Find Out Why.
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