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Addiction, opioid epidemic, drug abuse—we hear about these things so often, but we still don’t really understand what they mean. It’s hard to deal with problems you don’t understand, and so we are going to try and fix that.
By providing more information about these issues, we can begin to empathize with people who are dealing with them and we can also begin to help. This is helpful if you have a loved one who is fighting addiction as well. But perhaps most importantly, we can keep ourselves from becoming a part of the problem. We can then dedicate our energy towards helping others get back to living a sober life.
The Biggest Misconception
So the first thing you need to know about drug use and addiction is that it’s not purely caused by a lack of moral principles or willpower. Drug addiction is a condition that keeps them from quitting. Many people think that addicted individuals are simply choosing not to recover.
But with the intense cravings, severe withdrawal symptoms, and the overwhelming effects of drug use, it is extremely difficult to quit without relapsing, putting your life in danger, or both.
Addiction treatment—a proper, comprehensive treatment plan that caters to the patient’s specific needs—is necessary to defeat this complex disease. It takes more than just courage and a strong will.
Fortunately, addiction treatment has come a long way, and researchers know more about drug addiction more than ever.
What is Drug Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic disease that is described as drug-seeking behavior. This behavior is compulsive. The addicted person will seek out their drug of choice, even when they are already experiencing its negative effects.
While the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, repeated drug use can lead to changes in the brain that will lead to addiction. It interferes with self-control. It interferes with their ability to resist the urge to take drugs.
Some drugs are more habit-forming than others. Some are more potent. Some are more dangerous.
People also have different ways of processing the drug. They have different methods of administration. They will have different drug habits. And so tackling addiction is very complicated, because everyone experiences it differently.
The various health effects, mental and physical, will vary depending on what drug they took, how often they took it, along with other different factors.
Drug addiction is considered a relapsing disease. People in recovery are always at risk of returning to their addictive habits. This is why treatment is more than a physical thing.
How Does Addiction Treatment Work?
While treatment works based on the person’s specific needs, there are two main components in a treatment program. Medical detox focuses on the physical effects of addiction. On the other hand, behavioral therapy focuses on the addictive behavior itself—the root cause of drug abuse.
Medical detox is all about getting the drug off of a person’s system so that they can go through withdrawal more easily. We can assume that most addictive individuals will go through withdrawal at some point because we are removing something that has been present in their system for a very long time. It’s more than just kicking a habit. It’s about training the system to function again without it.
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And so withdrawal symptoms are to be expected, but medical professionals will be there to provide the proper care that patients need. Proper detox also makes withdrawal easier. Without professional help, withdrawal can be life-threatening, in some cases.
Behavioral therapy takes into consideration the emotional and mental effects of addiction—even the social effects of drug use. It ensures that the person can cope with the sober lifestyle so that they don’t just go straight back to abusing drugs.
Look for an addiction treatment center near you today and find out more about addiction treatment.