As it gradually unfolds, drug addiction causes structural changes in the brain that distort thinking and perception, specifically in areas related to behavioral control, judgment, decision-making, learning, and memory. Drug addicts suffer enormously negative life consequences as a result of their compulsive and uncontrolled drug use, but that doesn’t prevent them from returning to drugs again and again.
Most drugs affect the brain's "reward circuit," causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.
The intravenous use of heroin not only intensifies the response to this drug; it also increases the risk of overdose, communicable disease, tissue infection, blood vessel collapse, and accidental death. Heroin withdrawal is notoriously uncomfortable, driving many addicts back to the drug in spite of their resolve to quit. Medical detox can significantly reduce the physical and psychological discomfort of heroin withdrawal, making it possible to reach your recovery goals.
Opioids: Methadone (Dolophine®, Methadose®), buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®, Probuphine® , Sublocade™), and naltrexone (Vivitrol®) are used to treat opioid addiction. Acting on the same targets in the brain as heroin and morphine, methadone and buprenorphine suppress withdrawal symptoms and relieve cravings. Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids at their receptor sites in the brain and should be used only in patients who have already been detoxified. All medications help patients reduce drug seeking and related criminal behavior and help them become more open to behavioral treatments. A NIDA study found that once treatment is initiated, both a buprenorphine/naloxone combination and an extended release naltrexone formulation are similarly effective in treating opioid addiction. Because full detoxification is necessary for treatment with naloxone, initiating treatment among active users was difficult, but once detoxification was complete, both medications had similar effectiveness.
Many physicians believe no effective treatment is available for alcoholism; therefore, these physicians do not refer their patients for treatment. However, more than 13 studies representing more than 4000 patients demonstrate that brief interventions make a difference. Most of the patients in these studies drank heavily but did not yet have a problem with alcohol.
If a person is experiencing seizures and hallucinations when attempting to stop drinking, it may be due to a condition called delirium tremens (DTs). This is a serious condition that requires medical intervention to detox from alcohol. Because of the risk of DTs, a person struggling with alcoholism should never attempt to quit drinking altogether. In order to withdraw from alcohol, medical detox is required.
Searidge Drug Rehab is located in the famously picturesque Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia overlooking the Annapolis Basin and just minutes from the seacoast. Throughout the year the lush scenery reflects the healing cycle of nature’s seasons in all their beauty. The serenity of being surrounded by nature on an extensive acreage helps to heal the mind, the body, and the spirit.
Substance abuse therapy: Used as a part of many inpatient and outpatient programs, therapy is one of the cornerstones of drug addiction treatment. Individual, group and family therapy help patients and their loved ones understand the nature and causes of addiction. Therapy teaches coping strategies and life skills needed to live a productive, sober life in the community. For individuals with a co-occurring mental illness, intensive psychotherapy can also address psychiatric symptoms and find the underlying issues that contribute to addiction. Inside Shalom House, Australia’s ‘strictest’ drug rehabilitation | Australian Story
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