Help for drug addiction can take a number of forms including rehab, therapy and support groups to name a few. If you or a loved one struggles with drug addiction, help is available and should be sought out. Trying to overcome your addiction alone is very difficult and the chance of long term success is low. Because of the complexities of addiction and the powerful influence that substances can have on the brain, individuals should and seek medical help to kick a drug habit.
Drug addiction is a complex condition and can be difficult to treat because it literally changes the way the brain functions.
When a person takes a recreational or sometimes a prescribed drug (usually one to relieve pain), it causes dopamine levels to increase. This causes a euphoric sensation which the brain will want to be repeated. Over time and with repeated use, these sensations take on the same importance to the brain as basic survival needs such as eating and drinking. In addition, the getting high sensation is lost and the person just needs the drug to do perform their regular everyday responsibilities.
While trying to recover from addiction, you should use a network of people who can encourage and support you on your journey to recovery. These may include friends, family members, support groups, members of your faith community. The more people that you have on your team, the better.
Of course, medical professionals should also be included in this network. These may include physicians, therapists, counsellors, pharmacist and other healthcare providers.
When describing addiction or trying to figure out what it addiction is, ask yourself the about the presence of the 4 C’s:
loss of Control
Compulsion to use
use despite Consequences
If a person is addicted to an opiate such as heroin, the attending physician may prescribe a drug such as methadone or Suboxone to help ease the brain off the substance which is being abused. The reason for this is that withdrawal symptoms for opiates can be so intense and painful that another substance is needed to help with the transition to becoming clean.
Methadone and Suboxone should only be used under the direction of a doctor as they can have serious side effects. The success rate of people using Suboxone or Methadone is quite high and many people have been able to turn their lives around.
Admitting that you have a problem can be difficult but it is an important first step in your journey to recovery. Addiction does not have to be a life sentence. With the proper care and support, you can overcome your dependence and get your life moving in the right direction.
If it is not you, but a loved one whom you suspect has a problem with drug abuse you should address them in a caring and non-judgemental manner. The earlier an addict gets help the better his or her chances of recovery are. Do not wait for you loved one to hit rock bottom!