Recovery from Drug Abuse
Many people addicted to drugs are caught up in a hopeless existence of despair and depression with no hope of finding a way out. Their dependency has often resulted in the destruction of their social lives, family relationships and professional careers. Their humiliation and fear can keep them from finding help, and the addiction itself propels them to continue their abuse to stave off painful withdrawals.
Rehabilitation, or rehab, helps people break free from this dependency, and enables them to modify their behavior so they can live a sober, drug-free live. For those substance abusers who refuse to get help or think they don’t have a problem, staging an intervention can be a helpful tool to persuade them to enter a rehab facility.
Consequences of Drug Abuse
The effects of drug abuse on the brain and body are numerous and varied. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, many drugs can cause high blood pressure and heart attacks. Drugs that slow down your functions, like painkillers and heroin, can stop your breathing. Cigarettes and marijuana can cause lung infections, lung cancer and coughing. Opioids can cause nausea, drowsiness, mental confusion and depress respiration. Cocaine and heroin use can damage the kidneys, potentially leading to kidney disease and even death. Inhalants damage your lungs, airways, stop breathing and hurt the kidneys. Meth abuse can damage the brain, forcing brain activity to the center, where the memory is, which causes the brain to make using meth a priority over everything else. Additional damage to the brain from drug abuse includes adversely affecting how a person acts and feels. They can make people hallucinate, make them sad, scared or angry for no reason. Drugs can make people violent and insane. They also affect people’s ability to focus and pay attention. Drug addiction, first and foremost, is a disease of the brain.
The Difference Between Dependence and Addiction
As defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), physical dependence happens when there is chronic exposure to a substance. Addiction may include dependence, but differs in that it involves the compulsive seeking of substances, even when they are detrimental to a person’s health.
Anyone dependent on a substance will experience withdrawals when they abruptly stop their use. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the substance(s) abused, and can typically be managed be medical professionals at a detoxification facility.
Dependence is generally linked to tolerance, or the need a person has to take more of a substance to achieve the desired effect. Tolerance can make it difficult for doctors to evaluate whether a patient does indeed have a drug problem, or they have a genuine need for medications to control their pain and other symptoms. Because of this, physicians need to pay close attention to their patient’s symptoms and behavior to treat them properly.
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If you are struggling with a substance dependency or addiction, and don’t know where to turn for help, give us a call! Our trained specialists are standing by to answer all your questions on rehab, detoxification, and substance abuse addiction.
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