Addiction is a chronic disease whereby drug seeking and usage becomes compulsive, or difficult to control, which can often lead to dangerous consequences. At first, the decision to take drugs may be voluntary, but The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repetitive drug use leads to changes in the brain which seek to challenge an the individuals self-control and can often interfere with their ability to abstain from taking the drugs. These changes in the brain can be relentless, which is why it has such high chances of a relapse, even if a large time has passed when they used the drugs. Despite a relapse, as with many other health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and be designed specifically to the patients needs. These needs are constantly changing, so it’s important that treatment plans are also adapted to suit.
Stages of Addiction
At first, the drugs taken may totally recreationally; the user may experience feelings of relaxation, pleasure, and euphoria, like they have never felt before. However, as time goes one, they will almost certainly build up a tolerance that means they will have to increase the dose to experience any of those same feelings again. This is where the brain changes occur.
It’s not just illegal drugs that may be exclusive to an addiction – prescribed drugs can quite easily have the same effect. And due to the increasing number of ways these drugs become accessible, they won’t necessarily be prescribed to you personally.
If you’re worried that your drug usage may have transcended into addiction, consider the following:
Are you taking drugs more frequently?
Would you say it has perhaps taken over your life?
Do you need to take more to get the same hit?
Have you tried to stop taking the drugs, and experienced withdrawal symptoms? For example: headaches, nausea, anxiety, shaking and depression.
There are a huge number of risks that come with drug addiction. Obviously these differ with the type of drug being abused, but they are all extremely dangerous. Consequences include: high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, strokes, seizures etc. Not only that, but injected drugs also leave the user susceptible to blood related conditions such as HIV and hepatitis, not to mention the psychological effects.
Drug Addiction – Treatment
Luckily, however bad it may seem – drug addiction can be treated successfully. Initially, it is the detoxification which will remove the toxins from the system. Withdrawal, as you may know – may be fatal. That is why it should always be carried out under medical supervision. Drug addiction is treated most efficiently in a residential setting, however is this is not possible, home detox provides a good alternative.
A rehabilitative period is essential for full recovery from drug addiction, no matter how determined one may be. It’s key to help them understand the behaviours behind their addiction, so therefore they can conquer it. There are a number of treatments involved within the rehab period, these include: CBT, relapse prevention, counselling, group work etc. Again, rehabilitation for drug addiction is most effective in a residential treatment centre, with a rigorous, well thought-out treatment program.
‘When you can stop, you don’t want to, and when you want to stop, you can’t’.