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)
Changes in the brain chemistry also increases the risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking. As mentioned, alcohol impairs the way in which the brain functions and it can interfere with the way in which it communicates messages and chemical signals around the body. It slows down signal transmissions, which explains why you might experience sedation and sleepiness when intoxicated.
As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.

Aftercare services are primarily designed to help recovering alcoholics maintain their sobriety once their treatment has finished. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a good after-care service can make a who difference to whether a person's alcoholism treatment is successful. Some states provide sober houses, which provide somewhere to live for people who are trying to stay sober. While it is not formal treatment, staff members who supervise the houses will remind individuals if they have a therapy appointment or support group meeting. They also, along with other residents, offer support and the chance to live in a completely alcohol-free environment.


Drugs affect the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and how they look. But substance use disorders are often accompanied by co-occuring mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. Some people may use drugs as a form of self-medication for these issues, while other people may develop a mental health disorder after taking substances. Either way, it’s important to look out for psychological and behavioral changes in friends or loved ones who might be struggling with addiction:
One study tracked the weekly drug use among individuals who attended residential treatment centers. After one year post discharge they discovered that there is a correlation between retention rates and the length of stay at a facility. Individuals coming form programs of 90 days or more showed a lower relapse rate than those coming from programs of less than 90 days. Drug Addiction : How to Help Someone with a Meth Addiction
Lastly, drug rehab is important because it affords participants the opportunity to construct new habits. One of the more common characteristics of addicts is poor self-discipline and care. Rehab provides these individuals with the chance not only to set goals but to accomplish them as well. Routinely achieving goals provides addicts with an improved sense of self-worth and resolve.
Methamphetamine, or meth, is a chemical stimulant with effects that are similar to cocaine. Like cocaine, meth speeds up all of the body’s vital activities, including heart rate, breathing, and metabolism. But the rush of a meth high can last longer than the high of cocaine — up to half an hour, compared with several minutes for crack. Meth is sold as a white or crystalline powder that can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Powerfully addictive, meth can quickly lead the user into dependence and addiction. Meth users have been known to go on extended binges, using the drug for days or even weeks without stopping to sleep or eat.

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. 
The patient's response determines the physician's next step. If the patient denies the problem, recommending joining AA will not work. Involving the family and/or suggesting a trial of abstinence is useful, and, importantly, the physician should follow up with the patient in a few weeks. The patient might be angry initially and storm out of the office, but then the patient might recall the physician's warning months or years later and stop drinking. For patients who recognize a problem and will consider referral, the cheapest (free) and most accessible option is AA.
With a U.S. economy inching laboriously back from recession with a flagging job market in tow, we should be sensitive to hidden costs of this “lifestyle choice.” In a perfect world, we would weigh the right to drink excessively against the $94.2 billion in tax dollars that we spend every year to pay the costs of alcoholism. We should weigh the collective choice against the 1.9 million public school teachers we could hire with that $94.2 billion — or the million public parks that money could build for communities across the country, or the million students we could put through school. And we’d think hard about what cultural shift could moderate this “lifestyle choice” before it becomes disease.

According to the NIAAA around 20 - 25-percent of people who receive medication and therapy will recover from alcoholism and never touch alcohol again. A further 10-percent will recover and only drink alcohol in moderation or very occasionally. Unfortunately, the relapse rate for alcoholism is high, especially in the first 12-months. This means engaging the alcoholic individual in relapse prevention therapy while in treatment is important. This should reduce the person's chances of returning to drink, once the treatment has ended. There are also other factors that can influence a person's chance of making a successful recovery and it is nothing to do with any kind of treatment. It is believed that people who are on a low-income and come from areas experiencing economic decline, are more likely to relapse than an individual who lives in an effluent area. This is because escaping stress and anxiety is one of the major reasons why people turn to drink. Worrying about money, being unemployed or potentially losing

Addiction is a complex but treatable condition. It is characterized by compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even if the user is aware of severe adverse consequences. For some people, addiction becomes chronic, with periodic relapses even after long periods of abstinence. As a chronic, relapsing disease, addiction may require continued treatments to increase the intervals between relapses and diminish their intensity. While some with substance issues recover and lead fulfilling lives, others require ongoing additional support. The ultimate goal of addiction treatment is to enable an individual to manage their substance misuse; for some this may mean abstinence. Immediate goals are often to reduce substance abuse, improve the patient's ability to function, and minimize the medical and social complications of substance abuse and their addiction; this is called "harm reduction". Best Drug Rehabilitation Graduation
However, your participation can make a big difference. Based on clinical experience, many health providers believe that support from friends and family members is important in overcoming alcohol problems. But friends and family may feel unsure about how best to provide the support needed. The groups for family and friends listed below under Resources may be a good starting point.
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. Overcoming Addiction ► How To Prevent Relapse
One study tracked the weekly drug use among individuals who attended residential treatment centers. After one year post discharge they discovered that there is a correlation between retention rates and the length of stay at a facility. Individuals coming form programs of 90 days or more showed a lower relapse rate than those coming from programs of less than 90 days.
State-funded programs are more likely to cover a full range of treatment options, though they may not yet have access the very latest in cutting-edge treatment technology or treatment center amenities that some private programs are able to offer. Despite the likelihood of having more basic or standard recovery settings, these state programs still provide effective treatment as well as valuable post-treatment support.
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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