Commonly Asked Questions about Addiction and Treatment
Why do drug abusers live in denial?
"Denial is a common characteristic of many people struggling with substance abuse. It involves refusing to accept the reality of their addiction and its damaging consequences. There are several reasons why this denial occurs:
Fear: Admitting a problem means confronting the reality of addiction, including the perceived pain of withdrawal, the work of recovery, and potential stigma. Fear of these challenges can drive a person to deny their problem.
Guilt and Shame: Addiction often brings feelings of guilt and shame. Denial serves as a defense mechanism to avoid these difficult emotions.
Cognitive Impairment: Substance abuse can physically alter brain function, impairing judgment, memory, and self-awareness, making it harder for individuals to recognize or admit they have a problem.
Perception of Normality: If substance use is a daily occurrence, it can seem normal to the person doing it. They may think everyone else is doing the same or that their usage is acceptable or controlled.
Rationalization and Minimization: Individuals with substance use disorders often rationalize their behavior ("I only use on weekends") or minimize the consequences ("I still have my job, so it's not a problem").
Avoidance of Responsibility: Acknowledging the addiction implies a responsibility to change. Denial helps avoid this responsibility.
What are the symptoms of opioid withdrawal?
Opioid withdrawal can be a challenging process that presents both physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on factors like the type of opioid used, the duration and intensity of use, individual health status, and genetic factors. Here are common symptoms that might be experienced during opioid withdrawal:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Restlessness and agitation
- Runny nose and teary eyes
- Excessive yawning
- Goosebumps (hence the term "cold turkey")
- Abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Intense cravings for opioids
These symptoms can begin as early as a few hours after the last dose of the opioid and typically peak within 72 hours, though they may persist for a week or more. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms, which are primarily psychological, can continue for weeks or even months.
It's important to note that while opioid withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, it is generally not life-threatening. However, complications like severe dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea can occur, which is why medical supervision is recommended during the withdrawal process. Furthermore, the risk of relapse is high during withdrawal, and using opioids again after a period of abstinence can lead to a potentially fatal overdose, as tolerance may have decreased.
Does Medicaid pay for a person to go to a drug rehab?
Yes, Medicaid, the U.S. government's health insurance program for individuals with low income, does cover substance use disorder services, including drug rehabilitation. However, the specific services covered and the extent of coverage can vary from state to state, as Medicaid is a joint federal and state program.
Commonly, Medicaid coverage can include services such as:
Screening and assessment: This helps to determine the level of addiction and the most suitable treatment plan.
Outpatient counseling: This can include individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy.
Inpatient care: This includes residential treatment programs where individuals receive intensive care, usually for severe addictions.
Medication-assisted treatment: Medications can be used to help manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and treat any co-occurring mental health conditions.
Follow-up care and long-term maintenance: This could include case management services, peer supports, and other recovery services.
It's important to note that while Medicaid does cover drug rehabilitation services, there might be certain eligibility criteria to meet or pre-authorization requirements. Furthermore, not all treatment centers accept Medicaid, so it's crucial to check with the specific facility about their payment options.
For the most accurate information, individuals should contact their state's Medicaid office or visit the official Medicaid website.