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Article Summary


Addiction is one of the many consequences of so-called .casual. drug and alcohol abuse. A loss of control over drugs and alcohol can be driven by physical or psychological factors. Sometimes it can be driven by both. Physical addiction takes place when the body needs a drug to function normally. If the drug is not taken, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms will occur. The only way to avoid the withdrawal symptoms is to take more drugs. Psychological addiction takes place when an individual comes to rely on a drug to supply good feelings such as relaxation, self-confidence, self esteem, and freedom from anxiety. Psychological addiction is not just a casual desire, it is a powerful compulsion.

Addictive Drugs

The list of addictive drugs is almost endless. Heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, opium, alcohol, GHB, and barbiturate prescription drugs are just a few drugs that can cause addiction. When an user is addicted, their body requires the drug on a daily basis in order to achieve a sense of balance. If they were to stop taking the drug, their body would go through withdrawal. Withdrawal is characterized by a variety of uncomfortable and painful symptoms.

Other drugs such as marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, and ketamine are often used in a party or club setting. These drugs are not considered physically addictive but often create a psychological addiction or craving in those who use them. Users attempt to recreate the .magic. or the fun of previous occasions by repeatedly using these drugs with a recreational intent. This habitual use can take as much of a toll on health, mental well-being, and productivity as a true physical addiction.

Many individuals believe that recreational use of drugs will not leave them at risk for addiction. Once someone becomes involved in the drug scene, even on a limited basis, it becomes increasingly easy for them to come across a drug that really hooks them. Sadly, this is often the case.

Negative Effects of Addiction

When drugs and alcohol begin to hold a more prominent position in someone's life, many negative effects ensue. Below are some examples:

Risk to personal safety - danger of death or injury by overdose, accident, or aggression.

Damage to health - including brain damage, liver failure, mental problems, etc.

Legal consequences - risk of imprisonment, fine, and criminal record.

Destructive behavior - that can harm self, family, and friends.

Loss of control - when the impulse to use is overwhelming and takes precedence over other priorities.

In many cases, addicts come to a point at which they realize that their use has gotten out of hand and it is a threat to their life and well-being. At this point, they may make some efforts to reduce their drug intake. It is very common for such efforts to end in total failure, much to the utter bewilderment and dismay of the individual concerned. He or she finds that they are unable to reduce their drug intake.

They're now faced with the fact that their drug abuse is beyond their control. It has taken on a destructive force of its own. He or she now needs help to deal with this addiction problem.

Treatment Options for Addiction

There are various medical and therapeutic options for those who need help to get a handle on their lives and recover from addiction.

Many instances require a medical detoxification process in a hospital or medical facility. For example, individuals with an addiction to heroin are often treated with the drug methadone in order to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is dangerous, however, because of its own addictive properties. The tragedy of methadone treatment lies in the transition of addiction from one drug to another.

Medical detox is essential in many cases but a follow-up plan is crucial for recovery. Individuals may not recover fully from their addiction from detox alone and will not be able to restore their life to its healthy state. Continued treatment after medical detox is a wise choice for those who desire and need a structured program to ensure lifelong results.

Outpatient rehabilitation is one option for addiction recovery. Outpatient rehabilitation offers courses, support meetings, and activities several times a week. This type of program is designed to assist people in identifying their addictions, developing a plan of recovery, and taking personal accountability for their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This form of rehabilitation proves to be insufficient, however, for many people who need a more intensive approach in order to completely reclaim their lives and develop the right skills and frame of mind required to do so.

Inpatient rehabilitation is the answer for those who desire to make a strong commitment to bettering their lives and ensuring that they completely recover from their drug addiction. At a residential rehab, there is no interruption in the program to recovery. Counseling is available on a daily basis. People benefit from a 24-hour a day, supportive, drug-free environment, and build life skills that will prevent drug use and addiction in the future as well as lead to accomplishment as a human being.

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