Putting the pieces back together in Drug Addiction Treatment.

April 7th, 2011

A hallmark of drug addiction is continuing to use drugs despite the negative results. Addicts use drugs no matter what the consequences.
This could be because people addicted to alcohol and other drugs have to keep drinking and using to avoid withdrawal symptoms. It is this physical dependence that compels addicts to use drugs past the point of harming themselves and those around them.
If you or a loved one are addicted to drugs or alcohol please contact us today for practical drug addiction rehab solutions close to where you live.
As a result of uncontrollable drug use the lives of many addicts arriving in treatment have been degraded.  Putting the pieces back together in drug addiction treatment is a slow process, and needs to be overseen by specialist addiction treatment consultants.
Addictive drug use harms all areas of life – physical, emotional, social, vocational, and spiritual.
Physical health is compromised because of the direct effects of the drugs.  The brain is harmed by drug abuse.  One way that the brain is harmed is by causing the “reward system” to be rewritten.
The reward system is a collection of areas of the brain that is responsible for telling us what the outcome of a behaviour will be.  We learn that if we do a certain behaviour we either have a good experience (a reward) or a negative experience (a consequence).  Drug addiction causes the brain to learn that using drugs results in a good experience.  The brains of addicts become rewired to believe that the quickest and most sure way of feeling good is to use drugs.  This brain system will need to be repaired over time.
Other physical problems could be either directly caused by the drug, or indirectly caused by the lifestyle associated with drug addiction.  Sexual promiscuity can be a byproduct of drug abuse and so sexually transmitted illnesses may be a physical problem associated with drug addiction.  This is especially true for addicts who had to resort to prostitution to fund their drug use.
Emotional consequences of drug addiction could arise as a result of the effect drugs have on the brain.  Some drugs cause a temporary sense of euphoria.  The so-called “party drugs” are perfect examples of this.  Speaking very simply we can say that a person’s mood is related to the presence of neurotransmitters which result in certain areas of the brain being activated.  If the balance of these chemicals is disturbed then there will be a detrimental effect on the mood.
The problem with a drug that alters the balance temporarily is that the brain may struggle to regain balance properly.  When the effect of the drug wears off the person may be left with a much lower level of certain neurochemicals than (s)he had before taking the drug.  This will result in a depressed mood.
Putting the emotional pieces back together in drug addiction treatment can require a twofold approach.  Firstly the addict will need to undergo psychotherapy to process any difficult memories.  Secondly a specialist doctor will need to assess whether any medical support may be required.
Drug addiction causes the behaviour of the addict to become very antisocial.  This can lead to a great deal of damage to their relationships.  The obsession with drugs engenders very selfish behaviour that shows no regard for the emotions or needs of others.  Of course other behaviour such as theft and sexual promiscuity also create problems in relationships.
Putting the social pieces back together in drug addiction treatment will happen as a result of examining behaviour and making amends.  Family members may be called in for special conjoint therapy groups together with the patient.  These groups help to heal the damage to relationships and establish new boundaries for the addict to adhere to.
If it feels as if your life is falling apart please don’t let addiction progress any further.  Contact one of our drug addiction treatment coordinators today.  They will help you put the pieces together and reclaim your life.

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