What Addictions Can Be Treated?

What Types of Addictions Can I Receive Treatment For?

While substance use disorders are often the first to come to mind, addiction exists in many forms, including behavioral addictions. Most addiction treatment centers will employ the basic principles of recovery in all types of treatment plans. However, could be to your benefit to find a program that specializes in your particular type of addiction. Traditional rehab facilities can effectively treat addictions to alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription drugs. There are also addiction treatment facilities that specifically target various behavioral health issues, including a range of eating disorders and behavioral addictions, such as sex, love, gambling, work, shopping, and the internet.

  • Experiencing strong urges or cravings to use substances or participate in the preferred activity.
  • Continuing to use substances or participate in the activity, even after negative consequences have been experienced.
  • Having difficulty fulfilling duties at work, school, or home due to the addiction.
  • Continuing to use substances or participate in the activity even when situations can become physically dangerous, such as while driving.
  • Continuing to use substances or participate in the activity after facing repeated or persistent issues with social relationships that are due to or made worse by drug use.
  • Using the substance or participating in the activity for longer than originally planned
  • Being unable to control one’s use of a substance or participation in the activity, or having a strong desire to cut back on use or participate less.
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the substance, or spending a large portion of the day involved in the preferred activity.
  • Cutting back on or stopping important actions due to substance use or active participation, such as occupational, social, or recreational activities.

Each addiction is unique. It is essential to find a treatment center that will address the specific addiction on an individualized basis, tailoring treatment plans according to what a person needs at that point in his or her recovery.

Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Recovery from alcoholism can be difficult and can be a life-long process. It can, however, be made easier with effective treatment and the proper support.

Alcohol use is common in social situations, although some individuals may cross the line from casual use to alcohol abuse – or an alcohol use disorder – which can range from mild to severe. One of the hallmark signs of addiction is a loss of control over drinking. For instance, individuals may engage in illegal acts that are out of character, such as driving while being intoxicated, behaving violently, or even stealing. Some of the hallmarks and potential outcomes of addiction include:

  • Physical dependency.
  • Developing a tolerance.
  • Consequences of addiction.

Not all alcoholics develop a physical dependency, but heavy drinkers are at much higher risk of becoming physically dependent on alcohol, especially when drinking occurs on a daily basis. This occurs when the body becomes so accustomed to consistently receiving certain levels of alcohol that its new balance is upset in absence of continued drinking, often resulting in subjectively unpleasant if not physically dangerous consequences.

When alcohol intake is suddenly stopped or drastically reduced, a person will experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can include hand tremors, sleep disturbances, rapid heartbeat, perspiration, nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, anxiety, agitation, restlessness, and even seizures.

While withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, it is vital to detox in a medically supervised environment because withdrawal from alcohol can be life-threatening. There are medications that can ease the withdrawal process and minimize the risk of seizures. Adjunctive behavioral therapies, as part of a formal treatment program, can further help manage withdrawal and reduce the risk of relapse.

Continued use of alcohol can lead to a development of tolerance.  This occurs when the brain and body become desensitized to the effects of alcohol, and require increasing amounts to achieve the same desired effect.  Developing a tolerance, especially if it spurs ever-increasing alcohol use to compensate, can be a warning sign of a budding addiction.

The effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism are far-reaching, often affecting every area of one's life. From finances and career opportunities to family, romantic, and social relationships, it can be difficult for an alcoholic to maintain order in any area of life.

In addition, alcohol use and addiction wreak havoc on the brain and body, causing a variety of health issues such as nutritional deficiencies, cirrhosis, brain damage, heart issues, damage to the digestive tract, increased risk of certain types of cancer, and an increased likelihood of fetal injury and post-natal complications when alcohol is ingested during pregnancy. Individuals who abuse alcohol are also more likely to get into automobile accidents, cause personal bodily injury, and commit suicide.

Substance abuse treatment at an professional alcohol rehab facility can help one regain health and begin to overcome alcoholism. Those who undergo treatment are much more likely to achieve and maintain sobriety than those who do not.

Alcohol rehab facilities offer effective treatments for alcoholism, giving patients the tools they need to maintain long-term sobriety and repair their lives. This generally begins in a medically supervised detox facility, where medication may be prescribed to ease the withdrawal process and ensure the safety of the patient.

It is essential to follow detox with further treatment, such as inpatient or outpatient treatment, and many recovering alcoholics find additional support and benefit in self-help meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery.  There are also a number of FDA-approved medications, such as disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone, for treating alcohol dependence as part of a medication-assisted treatment approach following successful completion of alcohol detox.

Recovery from alcoholism can be a difficult, life-long process. It can, however, be made easier with effective treatment and the proper support.

Drug Abuse and Addiction

Drug addiction, both to illicit drugs and prescription drugs, is a common issue in the United States and worldwide. The line between illicit and prescription drug abuse is becoming less distinct as a growing number of legitimate prescriptions become diverted to the illicit market. All forms of drug abuse, illicit or otherwise, place individuals at high risk of developing substance use disorders, and should be addressed immediately.

Each of the classes of commonly abused drugs is associated with different characteristics signs of abuse and addiction. Despite the distinctions, it is important to note that all drugs can cause negative health effects as well as serious detriments to a person's life. Treatment plans will vary according to the drug in question. However, many forms of drug addiction benefit from both professionally supervised detox and therapy programs in treatment.

Prescription drug abuse occurs when anyone takes a prescription drug in a manner other than medically indicated, such as taking more than prescribed, more frequently than prescribed, crushing the pills up to snort or inject, or when taken without the supervision of a medical professional for the mere purposes of getting high.

It is important to seek help immediately for prescription and illicit substance abuse and addiction alike. Withdrawal from many of the common street and prescription drugs can be uncomfortable, painful, or even life-threatening. In many cases, it will be important to detox in a medically supervised facility, where medications can be prescribed to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. In the case of drugs like heroin, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, specific treatment medications such as Suboxone are approved for use in facilitating detox and for longitudinal treatment of opioid dependence. As with alcoholism treatment, detox should be followed up by further treatment to address any underlying causes of addiction and develop relapse prevention skills.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction of any kind, contact us today. Our rehab placement specialists can connect you with a high-quality addiction treatment facility that can help you get on the path to a healthy, sober life. We can help to match you with a rehab program that has extensive experience in your specific addiction type and to be best for your individual needs.

Behavioral Addictions

Addictions to specific behaviors, rather than substances, are known as process addictions or behavioral addictions. These addictions are no less serious than substance addictions and can be equally damaging to one's life and health. In fact, eating disorders are some of the most life-threatening behavioral issues encountered in the addiction treatment sphere today. Prompt treatment is essential to preserve one's health and happiness.

Each behavioral addiction is treated differently, depending on the disorder itself and the individual in question, tailoring the treatment to the specific needs of each individual. All treatment plans will work to find and address the issues that led to the disorder so the patient can learn to live without repeating the detrimental behavior in question.

Most behavior therapy programs incorporate various therapy approaches, such as group talk sessions, cognitive behavioral therapy, individual counseling sessions, art therapy, animal-assisted therapy, exercise, or meditation, and may include medication-assisted treatment as needed. Behavior addictions require specialized therapeutic interventions, and recovery involves effectively managing triggers and preventing relapse. Treatment programs that offer follow-up sessions or support groups can be incredibly helpful to long-term health and recovery.

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