Drug, alcohol, and opioid addiction are at an all-time high in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people die every day from opioid overdose and 15.1 million people suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder. An addiction treatment center can provide the necessary treatment to help people suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, through a holistic addiction treatment program including medication and counseling.
Addiction Treatment Center: The Causes of Addiction
Addiction has both a physical and emotional component. It is defined as a chronic disease characterized by the compulsive need to seek and use drugs, despite harmful consequences. Drugs become addictive because of their effect on the reward circuit in the brain. The reward circuit is composed of several areas, including the prefrontal cortex, the nucleus accumbens and the ventral tegmental area (VTA). (see NIH Image)
When you do something pleasurable, the reward circuit responds by flooding your brain with dopamine and other neurotransmitters, producing a euphoric sensation. Under normal circumstances, this sensation helps you engage in healthy activities like exercise. However, drugs and alcohol can also become associated with euphoria, leading to addiction.
Another factor that contributes to drug and alcohol abuse is tolerance. Over time, the brain adapts to a drug by reducing the ability of the reward center to respond. Therefore, to feel the same “high”, a greater dose of the drug is required. The brains association of the drug with euphoria, combined with increasing tolerance is what leads to addiction.
Another factor that contributes to addiction includes underlying psychological issues, such as depression, anxiety, etc.. Oftentimes, people will try to escape these negative feelings by using drugs or alcohol, which can further increase the chance of addiction.
The signs of addiction depend on the drug but may include symptoms such as:
- A compulsion to acquire drugs, which may negatively impact work, school or social interactions.
- Irritability or anger when you can’t obtain drugs.
- Spending a lot of time thinking about the drug.
A drug treatment center can help you navigate the issues leading to addiction and help with long term recovery.
Addiction Treatment Center: Withdrawal Symptoms
An additional barrier to ending drug abuse is withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms include a variety of painful sensations, including tremors, nausea and other sensations, that arise when you attempt to reduce your intake of a drug. Withdrawal symptoms occur because the body acclimates to the constant influx of a given drug.
For example, with alcohol addiction, the body becomes acclimated to the depressive effects of alcohol. To compensate, the brain floods the body with excitatory neurotransmitters. When you attempt to stop drinking, you experience withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, irritability, and difficulty sleeping.
An addiction treatment center will help you deal with these withdrawal symptoms using medication. The type of medication depends on the drug you are addicted to, but the general effect is to reduce or alleviate withdrawal symptoms. The doctor will slowly reduce the dosage of the medication, thereby weaning the patient off the addictive drug, with minimal withdrawal symptoms.
Addiction Treatment Center: Treatment Program
An effective addiction treatment center will provide a combination of medication and counseling. In addition to the services listed above, you may also want to explore:
- 12 step recovery program
Serenity House is an addiction treatment center in Houston Texas. We offer addiction treatment programs for a variety of addictions including alcohol, opiates, and many others. We provide a holistic approach, including medication, evidence-based counseling, meditation groups and more. If you or someone you care about is ready to end the nightmare of drug and alcohol abuse and begin taking control of your life, call us at 866.516.8356 today.