The National Institute on Drug Abuse states, “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” Addiction can result from a variety of factors and catalysts, including genetic predisposition, circumstances, environment, trauma and mental health disorders. While addiction often starts with drug abuse, it is not an indication of a person’s moral status or stability. In fact, many addictions spring from prescription drug use or casual use of legal substances.
Cocaine is often viewed as an elite drug, associated with movie stars, models, and other celebrities; however, the destructive consequences of cocaine addiction are anything but glamorous. Produced from the leaves of the South American coca plant, cocaine can be snorted as a powder, or diluted with liquid and injected into the bloodstream. In the form of crack, cocaine can be smoked for an intensified rush of energy. As a central nervous system stimulant, cocaine accelerates the activities of the brain, nerves, and heart, putting even healthy users at risk of heart attack or stroke.
Many soldiers in the Vietnam War were introduced to heroin and many developed a dependency to the substance which survived even when they returned to the US. Technological advances in travel meant that this increased demand for heroin in the US could now be met. Furthermore, as technology advanced, more drugs were synthesized and discovered, opening up new avenues to substance dependency k.[41]
This subtype represents only 9 percent of U.S. alcoholics, yet more members of this group seek treatment (almost two-thirds) than any other category. Chronic, severe alcoholics have fought a long battle with this disease, and most are now middle-aged. The majority of people in this group have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorders. Many also abuse other drugs, like cocaine or opiates.

As alcohol abuse progresses from dependency to addiction, your need for alcohol will become increasingly overwhelming. You may start to spend more and more of your time drinking or thinking about drinking, leaving little time for anyone or anything else. This can affect your ability to take care of responsibilities at home and work, and can have a negative impact on your relationships with family members, friends, and work colleagues. Addiction Recovery: 12 Steps and Beyond (TTA Podcast 321)

“Most drugs start off being rewarding,” former National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Dr. Glen Hanson told DrugRehab.com. “That gets the person interested in them… As the addiction proceeds, then some of that shifts. It goes from the reward being the attraction to a compulsive behavior. Compulsive behaviors aren’t necessarily rewarding behaviors.” *** ABOUT MY TIME IN REHAB: ALCOHOL REHAB STORIES


After physical dependency comes addiction. At this stage, you are drinking because you have a physical and psychological need to do so, and not for pleasure or because you want to. You will crave alcohol and it will be interfering with your ability to enjoy life. It is likely to be having a negative impact on your relationships with others as well as on your health and finances. Even knowing the harm that it is causing will not be able to stop. You will be compelled to drink and will be powerless to resist.
Heroin is generally considered the most addictive drug in the world. Studies have shown that just one dose of heroin can put a person on the fast track to addiction. It’s estimated that nearly 25% of all people who try heroin at least one time will become addicted. Heroin causes euphoria, eases pain and numbs the brain and body by acting on an area of nerve cells within the central part of the brain known as the nucleus accumbens. When repeatedly subjected to this flood of opiates, the dopamine receptors within these nerve cells become exhausted from overstimulation.13
For people living in poverty and those who are unemployed, even homeless, and struggling with the physical, emotional, and financial cost of addiction, the idea of entering a treatment program seems impossible because there is simply no money available. Because many treatment programs are beyond the ability of these individuals or their families to afford, some of them attempt a potentially dangerous cold-turkey or at-home detox, or other treatment methods that are not evidence-based. Some of these individuals, even though they want to move past their addictions, give up on the idea of rehab altogether simply based on the inability to pay.
6. Finally, supportive social services – During this final step of alcohol rehabilitation, rehab staff help empower a patient by connecting her/him with services outside the treatment facility in order to maintain abstinence from alcohol and begin to create a network of supportive people to influence in the patients life. These services can include housing, health care, social service, child care, or financial and vocational counseling.
For people living in poverty and those who are unemployed, even homeless, and struggling with the physical, emotional, and financial cost of addiction, the idea of entering a treatment program seems impossible because there is simply no money available. Because many treatment programs are beyond the ability of these individuals or their families to afford, some of them attempt a potentially dangerous cold-turkey or at-home detox, or other treatment methods that are not evidence-based. Some of these individuals, even though they want to move past their addictions, give up on the idea of rehab altogether simply based on the inability to pay.

Of those treatment methods that are medically approved, not all are equally effective in terms of providing the best possible basis for a permanent recovery. It’s generally agreed that residential rehabilitation – “rehab” – is the best approach to treating addiction, and has consistently delivered the highest rate of success. Of course, every addict is unique and responds differently to different types of treatment, different therapy models, different medications et cetera; however, the medical and therapeutic staff at rehab have experience of working with countless individuals and their expertise can be invaluable when it comes to optimising your own journey to recovery.
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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