Are you or someone you love struggling with an alcohol or substance abuse addiction? When someone suffers from an addiction, his or her brain chemistry changes in response to drugs or alcohol. Understanding addiction is essential to successful treatment.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic but treatable brain disorder. People who suffer from addiction are unable to control their need for alcohol or drugs. When addiction occurs, an individual’s brain chemistry is altered. In the absence of drugs or alcohol, the brain sends out a signal that the body is “starving”. Individuals suffering from an addiction cannot simply “will themselves” to get better. In order to recover from addiction, behavioral counseling and rehabilitation programs are essential. These programs teach addicts coping strategies that help prevent relapse.
Why do Some People Become Addicts?
Addiction is caused by a change in brain chemistry. Many addictive substances affect dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. The dopamine pathway is commonly referred to as the “pleasure pathway”. When this pathway is activated, individuals experience a natural high. Drugs that affect the pleasure pathway flood the brain with a dopamine surge. This surge causes an intense high. Consequently, addicts learn to associate pleasure with their drug of choice, rather than natural happiness. At the same time, drugs and alcohol can re-wire the brain. This changes the way that the brain manages stress, emotion and memory. Long-term drug use leads to fundamental changes to the brain. However, with rehabilitation and prolonged abstinence, it is possible for the brain to reverse these changes.
When is Someone Addicted?
People who are addicted are unable to control their need for drugs or alcohol, even in the face of negative social, legal, mental and physical consequences. Addicts place the need for their addiction above all else, and consequently their behavior may dramatically change. Symptoms of addiction also include tolerance. When tolerance occurs, increasingly larger amounts of a substance are required for an addict to experience the same high. The body learns to cope with the negative side effects, such as a painful hangover. This allows the body to tolerate increasingly greater quantities of the addictive substance. The side effects of addiction can destroy an individual’s life. These include potential incarceration, loss of family, loss of job, and risk of death. Despite these catastrophic side effects, however, addicts are simply unable to control their behavior and say “no” to their addiction.
Parents and Drug Addiction
Many parents blame themselves when their children turn or develop a drug addiction. There are many reasons that an addiction begins, the best plan of action is to address the drug addiction without any blame or anger. Getting the addict help is the most important issue – not who is to blame. Parents often have the financial and emotional burden that comes with drug addiction treatment.
When Should Someone Seek Addiction Counseling? Addiction counseling helps a drug or alcohol addict get to the root causes of their addiction. Understanding why the addiction developed, and dealing with those issues or behavior patterns can assist an individual in the recovery and continued recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.
Drug Addiction Prevention
Can You Prevent Drug Addiction? Many parents especially would like to do everything they can to prevent drug addiction. Education is the best defense against drug prevention. Many addicts do not understand the dangers of developing a drug addiction when they first began to experiment with drugs. Many addicts also do not have a parent or role model that they can discuss openly these types of issues. Many current social campaigns advertise that parents are the best defense against drug addiction. Parents should know the signs and the exposure their children are receiving to drugs and alcohol. The children of addicts are in danger of developing addictions later in life.
How do Treatment Centers Provide Addiction Help?
Treatment centers help addicts detox and address their addiction. These centers provide behavioral therapy to help the addict learn to enjoy natural pleasures, rather than relying on an artificial high for happiness. Many programs also provide counseling services to address underlying issues that may have contributed to substance abuse in the first place. Many people who suffer from initially will initially resist treatment. However, even if an addict resists treatment, bringing individuals to a treatment facility can be beneficial. This is especially true if an addict’s life is in jeopardy from continued substance abuse.
Let therehabadvisor.com Help Today
If a loved one is struggling with addiction, don’t give up. Contact therehabadvisor.com today and start the healing process. Your steady but firm support will ensure that they receive the help they need and overcome their addiction. Rehabilitation and treatment centers work. No matter what struggles an addict is facing, treatment can make a difference. It is never too soon or too late to seek help.