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Drug Addiction: Abuse, Brain Effects and Treatment

Drug addiction comes in many forms. It can take hold of anyone and often has devastating consequences for family, friends, and the community.

What Is Drug Addiction?

Drug Addiction is a condition that describes a compulsive behavior of drug-seeking and abuse, despite its harmful consequences. Continuous and repeated drug use can lead to brain function changes that compromise and interfere with the ability to resist powerful drug urges. Most drugs affect brain chemistry, specifically the “reward circuit.” Regular drug use affects dopamine levels which also control the reward system. It interferes with the body’s ability to feel pleasure on its own. Additionally, it can motivate a person to continue the abuse to feel the pleasurable “high.”

Long-term drug use often affects essential functions that can change one’s life path. Some of these functions include:

  • The ability to learn.
  • Make a sound decision.
  • Judgment
  • Control stress.
  • Memory
  • Responsible behavior.

Despite being aware of the adverse outcomes, many people continue to take drugs, some of the most common signs of addiction.

It is important to understand, that drug addiction is a complex condition, and quitting takes more than good intentions and strong will. It is not a lack of moral principles or willpower. Drugs change the brain chemistry to such an extent that makes stopping the use extremely difficult, even for those who want to.

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Drug Addiction Contributing Factors

Drug addiction is a significant health issue and has far-reaching implications for society and law enforcement agencies worldwide. Addiction itself is complex. Users can have physical and/or psychological dependence on substances ranging from illegal “street” drugs to prescription and over-the-counter medications. Illegal drugs could include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamines, LSD, or other substances. Many prescription drugs are abused, and addiction develops quickly with painkillers like OxyContin, Fentanyl, and methadone. In fact, the rates of prescription drug use and addiction are soaring. Over-the-counter drugs could include pseudoephedrine, which has a restriction on its sale because it’s used to make methamphetamines.

Compulsively using a substance can lead to drug addiction and drug dependence. Factors that can lead to drug addiction include genetics, peer pressure, emotional distress, depression, anxiety, experimentation, a history of other abuse. Furthermore, even patients who have legally prescribed opioids for chronic pain can also become addicted. Drug addiction can cause intense cravings for the drug, both mentally and physically. Many users experience very unpleasant physical effects when they try to stop using.

More importantly, Not every person who uses drugs becomes addicted, and some drugs are more addictive than others. No single factor can genuinely predict if a person will become addicted to drugs. The more risk factors a person has, the higher the chance that taking drugs repeatedly will eventually lead to addiction.

Drug Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a behavioral disorder and tends to have a high relapse rate, meaning users slip back into old habits and patterns. This behavior can happen during treatment or even after it has ended. One of the biggest reasons people delay seeking help is for fear of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can include intense physical discomfort, anxiety, muscle spasms, flu-like symptoms, tremors, hallucination, and delirium. Some people try to quit opioid drugs independently but realize they need help from detox and/or rehabilitation facility.

Denial is typical among substance users who may need family and friends to intervene before they seek help. Many treatment programs are available, including in-patient, out-patient and residential. Most drug rehabs use therapy and behavioral modification to help users achieve and maintain sobriety. Some people choose to quit on their own or follow a 12-step program. Rapid detox programs are also available to help individuals through the withdrawal process humanely.

Waismann Method of Rapid Detoxification

Fortunately, scientists know more than ever about how drug addiction can affect brain function, and some treatments can help people recover successfully and lead productive lives. The Waismann Method of rapid detox launched in the late 90s and had treated thousands of patients worldwide with much success. Anesthesia Assisted Accelerated withdrawal symptoms occur within minutes instead of days, as with other more traditional drug detox methods. Patients receive inpatient recovery care and a daily dose of non-addictive Naltrexone. Naltrexone is an antagonist medication, which eliminates physical cravings.

From the hospital to our recovery center, patients have their private rooms and receive utmost respect.  Professionals have the opportunity to work on their laptops in the privacy of their room while resting and obtaining a full recovery. Waismann Method Private Drug Treatment Center offers an unparalleled recovery experience in an exceptional upscale facility. Our treatment program has become the primary option for anyone wanting privacy and comfort through an opiate detox.

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