Addiction is a compulsive need to continue using drugs or alcohol despite repeated negative consequences. You may want to quit using, but addiction can cause powerful cravings that make it difficult to quit without help. Cravings can continue for weeks, or even months after you stop using. Since addiction is a chronic condition, you must learn how to manage and control your symptoms throughout your life. Rehabs can help you address co-occurring disorders through dual diagnosis, develop coping strategies and create a relapse prevention plan.
Substance abuse disorders, addiction, and alcohol affect more than 20% of Americans, however only a small percentage ultimately seek help and treatment. Treatment can substantially improve your chances of achieving recovery.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic, incurable mental health disorder that causes you to use drugs and alcohol even if you desire to quit or experience negative consequences from using. Drugs and alcohol compel your brain to release excessive amounts of neurotransmitters, which causes the euphoric and powerful highs you experience during intoxication.
Unfortunately, when the substance wears off, your brain is depleted of things like dopamine, GABA and serotonin, which can cause you to feel depressed or anxious. Over time, your brain becomes dependent on drugs and alcohol to release neurotransmitters and begins craving your substance of choice. Your brain begins rewarding you by releasing pleasurable neurotransmitters, making recovering from addiction difficult.
Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning that early signs of substance use can significantly differ from symptoms of addiction.
Some signs of addiction can include:
- Changes in appearance, such as pale skin and weight loss
- Changes in behavior, such as avoiding social engagements
- Sudden or unexplainable financial problems
- Regularly losing jobs
- Inability to control your drug or alcohol use, and using drugs or alcohol alone
- Experiencing blackouts and memory loss when you use
What is a Relapse Prevention Plan?
Following treatment, your drug and alcohol tolerance drastically decreases, which can make relapsing particularly dangerous. Returning to drug or alcohol use after a period of abstinence increases your chances of experiencing a fatal overdose. A relapse occurs when you resume abusing drugs or alcohol following a period of abstinence. A relapse treatment center can help you create a relapse prevention plan, which prepares you for things like cravings and triggers.
Cravings are typically caused by triggers. Many times, relapse prevention Houston offers teaches you ways to deal with negative emotions, like stress, in a healthy manner. For example, if feelings like stress cause cravings, you may learn during treatment that working out or meditating can help you relax.
Are You Recovering from Substance Abuse?
Recovering from a substance abuse problem or addiction is a life-long process. Developing an effective relapse prevention plan and participating in treatment greatly improves your chances of recovery. Serenity House Detox Houston, a leading substance abuse treatment center, offers you a supportive, compassionate environment led by a dedicated and experienced treatment team. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about our treatment programs, call us today at 866.516.8356.