Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences.† It is considered a brain disorder, because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control, and those changes may last a long time after a person has stopped taking drugs.11
Drug addiction is a disease of the body and brain. Also called substance use disorder, drug addiction triggers uncontrollable behaviors and renders a person unable to control their use of medication, alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs—whether they are legal or not. Addictive substances such as nicotine, alcohol, opioid medications, and marijuana are considered drugs just as much as heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Once you are addicted to a substance, you will feel compelled to use it, regardless of the damage that use does to your body, your brain, and your life.
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.

Effective and evidence-based psychotherapy is the core of our addiction recovery program. At Searidge our approach includes cognitive behavioural therapy, psychodynamic therapy, rational emotive behavioural therapy (REBT), mindfulness therapy and cognitive bias modification therapy. These are all highly regarded and effective treatments for alcohol addiction and the underlying psychological issues associated with addiction.
One of many recovery methods are 12-step recovery programs, with prominent examples including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Drug Addicts Anonymous[29] and Pills Anonymous. They are commonly known and used for a variety of addictions for the individual addicted and the family of the individual. Substance-abuse rehabilitation (rehab) centers offer a residential treatment program for some of the more seriously addicted, in order to isolate the patient from drugs and interactions with other users and dealers. Outpatient clinics usually offer a combination of individual counseling and group counseling. Frequently, a physician or psychiatrist will prescribe medications in order to help patients cope with the side effects of their addiction. Medications can help immensely with anxiety and insomnia, can treat underlying mental disorders (cf. self-medication hypothesis, Khantzian 1997) such as depression, and can help reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptomology when withdrawing from physiologically addictive drugs. Some examples are using benzodiazepines for alcohol detoxification, which prevents delirium tremens and complications; using a slow taper of benzodiazepines or a taper of phenobarbital, sometimes including another antiepileptic agent such as gabapentin, pregabalin, or valproate, for withdrawal from barbiturates or benzodiazepines; using drugs such as baclofen to reduce cravings and propensity for relapse amongst addicts to any drug, especially effective in stimulant users, and alcoholics (in which it is nearly as effective as benzodiazepines in preventing complications); using clonidine, an alpha-agonist, and loperamide for opioid detoxification, for first-time users or those who wish to attempt an abstinence-based recovery (90% of opioid users relapse to active addiction within eight months or are multiple relapse patients); or replacing an opioid that is interfering with or destructive to a user's life, such as illicitly-obtained heroin, dilaudid, or oxycodone, with an opioid that can be administered legally, reduces or eliminates drug cravings, and does not produce a high, such as methadone or buprenorphine – opioid replacement therapy – which is the gold standard for treatment of opioid dependence in developed countries, reducing the risk and cost to both user and society more effectively than any other treatment modality (for opioid dependence), and shows the best short-term and long-term gains for the user, with the greatest longevity, least risk of fatality, greatest quality of life, and lowest risk of relapse and legal issues including arrest and incarceration.[citation needed] A Cure for Alcoholism? -- The Doctors
People who are addicted to drugs need to be in a drug-free environment with people who will hold them accountable for their goal of getting off drugs. Drug rehab may begin with detoxification, which helps the addict rid his or her body of the drugs and treat any withdrawal symptoms. Not everyone needs to go through detox, but detox alone is not enough treatment to effectively break the addictive cycle long-term. Once detox is completed, the real work of addiction treatment begins.
Most people with a history of drug use have poor discipline and self-care habits. A critical part of self-care for a person in recovery is setting and accomplishing goals. Most people, whether in recovery or not, do not know how to set goals that are likely to be achieved. They begin with sincere intentions that eventually get abandoned because they didn’t approach goal setting with the proper mindset. The repetitive cycle of wanting to change habits but continually falling short gradually weakens a person’s resolve to the point where many stop trying. Alcohol Detox made simple | Alcohol Detox at home
After the physical detoxification process, the next stage of alcohol treatment involves treating the mental health of the patient with counseling and therapy. A psychologist or psychotherapist will work closely with the patient to help identify the reasons that the patient turned to problem drinking. Once these reasons are understood, the next stage is to apply the understanding to the future, giving the patient the tools they need to make better choices and decisions. Part of the treatment process is to break associations with the people and environments that encouraged the patient to drink past healthy levels. Since alcohol is so prevalent in society and even everyday life, treatment will also involve learning how to resist the temptation to drink in socially acceptable situations, and how to deal with the thoughts and memories of the pleasure derived from drinking.
In the precontemplation phase, the individual does not express any interest in the need for change. Many individuals with substance use problems are firmly entrenched in this stage. The options in dealing with patients in this stage are limited and include pointing out the discrepancy between patient action and patient goals, suggesting that the patient bring a family member to the next appointment, and suggesting a 2-week abstinence trial.
Research has identified differences in how the reward center of the brain responds to alcohol in heavy and light drinkers. In either group, alcohol caused the release of naturally occurring feel-good endorphins in the two brain regions linked to reward processing. Once addicted, alcohol withdrawal presents dangerous physical and psychological issues.9
This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. My Story - Jackie's Incredible Journey with Opioid Addiction (Full Story)

Traditional alcohol treatment programs rely on evidence-based strategies such as psychotherapy, behavioral modification therapy, peer group counseling, nutritional counseling and 12-step programs. Rehabilitation begins with detox, a cleansing process that allows the patient to withdraw safely and comfortably from alcohol. After detox, the patient participates in a structured series of therapies that are designed to help him or her modify destructive behaviors and create a sober life. How to Stop Drinking Alcohol | Recovery 2.0 Protocol


Our medical team of addiction professionals are experienced and qualified with the use of anti-drug addiction medication. Our physicians are licensed to prescribe naltrexone methadone, suboxone, and a variety of other anti-addiction medications that have been proven effective in helping to control cravings and prevent relapse. Our clinical team recognize the benefits of pharmacotherapy and want you to get the most out of your individual and group sessions. We are proud members of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), a US based association and we adhere to the high standards embodied by the NAATP. We are also proud members of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counsellors (NAADAC), the largest association of addiction focused professionals in the US and Canada.
Because prescription drugs are produced in laboratories and prescribed by doctors, they are mistakenly perceived as “safer” than street drugs. However, the risks of overdose, respiratory depression, cardiac arrest, and accidental death are equal to any other opioid narcotic. Withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, with symptoms that resemble a bad flu, such as a runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, shakiness, and cold sweats.
Michael’s House is a residential drug rehabilitation facility located in Southern California. We are a high-end treatment center that helps patients overcome their dependence on drugs and alcohol. Our “whole body” approach to recovery is designed to promote health and wellness on every level. We know how you feel and are ready to help. If you have any questions, please feel free to call right now. If you have insurance, please get your information ready, and we can tell you what forms of treatment are covered. Please take this important step in your recovery today.
NOTE: This fact sheet discusses research findings on effective treatment approaches for drug abuse and addiction. If you’re seeking treatment, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357) or go to www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov for information on hotlines, counseling services, or treatment options in your state. 
To find a rehab center near you, you can start your search with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Use their Directory of Single State Agencies for Substance Abuse Services to find the local resource to contact in your state. Be prepared to verify your income, whether you have any insurance, and any need for financial support before you can enroll.
Support groups provide people with understanding peers and ongoing support, in church basements, community centers, and public facilities scattered all across the country. Here, people can come together to discuss addiction’s difficulties, and they can meet with other addicted people to gain support and insight. Alumni groups are similar, in that they link peers together to discuss addiction, but these groups contain people who all worked within the same facility for help.
It is important to recognise that without expert support, your alcohol addiction has the potential to become increasingly worse over time, resulting in a detrimental impact on all areas of your life including your ability to function, your relationships with others, your performance at work, and your general health and wellbeing. Untreated alcohol addiction may also lead to the development of drug addictions and other behavioural addictions. This why seeking expert help is crucial in order to overcome your alcohol addiction and resume the healthy, fulfilling, addiction-free life that you deserve. Best Drug Rehabilitation Programs Backed By Research. Find Out Why.
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Stimulants, such as tobacco, cocaine or prescription amphetamines, stimulate the brain and nervous system, causing increased alertness. Depressants, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines, slow activity in the brain and nervous system, causing relaxation. Hallucinogens, such as LSD and PCP, drastically disrupt the way the brain and nervous system communicate, causing hallucinations. Rehab: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
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