The official diagnosis of drug addiction by the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (2000), which makes distinctions between drug use, abuse, and substance dependence, is flawed. First, diagnosis of drug use versus abuse can be arbitrary and reflect cultural norms, not medical phenomena. Second, the term substance dependence implies that dependence is the primary pharmacologic phenomenon underlying addiction, which is likely not true, as tolerance, sensitization, and learning and memory also play central roles. It is ironic and unfortunate that the Manual avoids use of the term addiction, which provides the best description of the clinical syndrome.

Nicole Lee works as a paid consultant in the alcohol and other drug sector. She has previously been awarded grants by state and federal governments, NHMRC and other public funding bodies for alcohol and other drug research. She is a member and past President of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy. She is a registered Psychologist who has previously worked in private practice.
We understand that withdrawal is uncomfortable. We also realise that the unpleasantness of withdrawal is that which persuades a lot of alcohol addicts to forgo treatment. The staff at our treatment facilities do their best to make patients as comfortable as possible and to help them through the difficult moments of withdrawal. The good news is that withdrawal is only temporary. It will eventually pass if you are willing to let it run its course.
Nicole Lee works as a paid consultant in the alcohol and other drug sector. She has previously been awarded grants by state and federal governments, NHMRC and other public funding bodies for alcohol and other drug research. She is a member and past President of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy. She is a registered Psychologist who has previously worked in private practice.

Assess how you’re experiencing the craving. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in a relaxed position. Take a few deep breaths and focus your attention inward. Allow your attention to wander through your body. Notice the part of your body where you’re experiencing the craving and what the sensations are like. Tell yourself what it feels like. For example, “My craving is in my mouth and nose and in my stomach.”

What emerges from relationships with poorly defined boundaries is a survival mentality where family members assume roles to help cope with stress. Though these roles can temporarily lessen stress, they increase confusion and anxiety because the underlying issue of the substance use is never directly dealt with. Rehab can help you understand where these boundaries get tangled up and show you ways to keep them healthy.

contribute to mental illness including depression and anxietycause significant liver damage, ultimately preventing the liver from functioningcontribute to developing one of several different kinds of cancerincrease your chances of developing heart diseaseincrease your chances of using other drugscontribute to developing chronic hypertensionlead to the loss of your job and, as a result, financial instabilitydo irreparable harm to your marriage/family relationshipslead you to a life controlled by addictionlead you to a life of crime as you seek to support your addiction.


A detoxification rehab program stipulates that before patients can begin healing, they must remove all drugs and toxins from their body. It is much easier to detox from drugs under the care and supervision of trained medical professionals, as opposed to attempting to do it on your own. Medical professionals could provide patients with safe drugs that could help ease withdrawal symptoms.
^ Robison AJ, Nestler EJ (October 2011). "Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of addiction". Nature Reviews. Neuroscience. 12 (11): 623–37. doi:10.1038/nrn3111. PMC 3272277. PMID 21989194. ΔFosB has been linked directly to several addiction-related behaviors ... Importantly, genetic or viral overexpression of ΔJunD, a dominant negative mutant of JunD which antagonizes ΔFosB- and other AP-1-mediated transcriptional activity, in the NAc or OFC blocks these key effects of drug exposure14,22–24. This indicates that ΔFosB is both necessary and sufficient for many of the changes wrought in the brain by chronic drug exposure. ΔFosB is also induced in D1-type NAc MSNs by chronic consumption of several natural rewards, including sucrose, high fat food, sex, wheel running, where it promotes that consumption14,26–30. This implicates ΔFosB in the regulation of natural rewards under normal conditions and perhaps during pathological addictive-like states.
You should also speak with an addiction specialist who can give you a wider-range view of treatment options both in your area and further away (some people choose to place quite some distance between their recovery and the environment in which they have been abusing drugs), and who will be able to give you the benefit of more specialised experience and insight than your GP.

Addiction is an all-consuming disease, using much of an individual’s time, energy and resources. There are many physical, mental and emotional signs of addiction. If you or a loved one are experiencing a combination of these signs, treatment may be a stepping stone for long-term recovery. Looking for signs and symptoms of drug abuse can be the first step toward identifying an addiction: Inside NHS detox centre - Victoria Derbyshire
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