The term ‘addiction’ is often used loosely. An individual with a sweet tooth may call themselves a ‘chocolate addict’, or an avid computer user may say they are ‘addicted to the computer’. But a true addiction is a chronic disorder, much like high blood pressure or asthma. Where high blood pressure affects the circulatory system and asthma affects the lungs, addiction hits the brain, affecting its functioning. It can have a damaging impact on your personal and work lifestyle, on your health, and on the well-being of those around you. And you desire more of it. Not something you can fight off. But it’s not impossible, always know that.
Drug addiction can be termed as a chronic mental disease characterized by compulsive substance seeking and drug use that lingers on despite the damaging effects of drug use. It is a disease because of the brain alterations that are accompanied by ongoing exposure to drugs. These brain changes can be associated with changes in an individual’s ability to make decisions or control actions, which contributes to an inability to stop using the drugs even if it is causing harm.
Individuals who use drugs and alcohol often develop a tolerance to it, meaning that they require increased doses of it to fetch the desired effect. With continued use, the body and the brain become dependent on the presence of an addictive substance. When tried to quit abruptly, the body enters the withdrawal stage, triggering a host of symptoms, which vary by the substance.
Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?
Yes, but it’s not easy. Since addiction is a chronic disease, users simply cannot stop using drugs for a few days and be fixed. Although there is no cure for addiction, and there is always a chance of relapse, it is also highly treatable. Treatment strategies mostly depend on the person and the addiction. Most require long-term care to stop using completely and recover their lives.
We have listed some effective treatments that can be used to help:
- Long-term follow-up to prevent relapse
- Behavioural counseling
- Evaluation for co-occurring mental health issues such as anxiety and depression
- Medical devices
- Treatment programs
- Self-help groups
What Medications Are Available to Help with Drug Addiction?
Medication may be part of your treatment scheme. All medications help patients cut drug-seeking and connected illegal behavior and help them become more visible to behavioral treatments. We have listed some medication-assisted treatments that are available for use:
- Opioids:Naltrexone, Methadone, and Buprenorphine are FDA-approved for the treatment of Opiate Use Disorder.
- Tobacco:A nicotine spray, patch, gum, or lozenge can help. After consultations with the doctor, you can go for varenicline or bupropion. These work more effectively when combined with behavioral treatments, such as group and individual therapy as well as telephone quitlines.
- Alcohol:Three FDA-approved drugs include acamprosate, naltrexone, and disulfiram.
How Are Devices and Medications Used in Drug Addiction Treatment?
Devices and medication can be used to handle withdrawal symptoms, treat co-occurring conditions, and avoid relapse.
Many individuals with drug addictions experience co-occurring mental health disorders. Doctors prescribe medications that are available to treat possible mental health conditions, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that maybe be contributing to the person’s addiction. Psychiatric medications can be used to concurrently handle these mental health issues.
Cravings for alcohol and drugs can put individuals at significant risk of relapse. Medications can be used to help re-establish normal brain operation and lessen cravings. Individuals who use more than one drug, which is very common, need treatment for all of the substances they use. For instance, Disulfiram can prevent drinkers from relapsing because people who take this medication know they will feel sick if they drink alcohol.
Devices and medications can help overwhelm withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Like for instance, sometimes devices are placed to stimulate certain brain nerves to make the brain function better.
Taking the First Steps Toward Treatment
One of the biggest barriers to overcome when considering treatment for addiction is cost. That’s where we at Compass Clinic come into position. We fully work towards helping those struggling with substance use and addiction disorders. We want to make sure that you get the help and support that you need to sail smoothly through these times.
If you are stressed and want to make a healthy modification, you can either speak to our experts or book an appointment with us. We also offer in-person treatment within the confines of your home. All our calls are 100% confidential and there’s no pressure to make a decision right away. We are excited to discuss your path to recovery with us!