What is Addiction and how is it Treated?

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If you think you have a problem with drug or alcohol use, how can you tell whether you might be struggling with addiction? Addiction and substance use disorders affect an estimated 20.2 million adults in the United States, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. However, only 7.5% of these individuals receive professional treatment at a drug or alcohol rehab facility.

Understanding what addiction truly is and knowing common signs can bring you one step closer to getting the help you need to become healthier, happier, and drug-free.

What Is the Real Definition of Addiction?

Addiction is a brain disorder and chronic disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and drug use despite negative and harmful consequences, as defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Regular use of drugs and alcohol can change the way your brain works. These changes can last for a long time and cause problems with behavioral and mental health. Many people who suffer from addiction are unable to stop using drugs and alcohol on their own despite their best intentions to get sober, and they often need professional treatment at a drug rehab to achieve long-lasting abstinence.

What Are Common Signs of Addiction?

There are a countless number of signs that can indicate addiction, such as decreased performance at work or school or smelling like drugs and alcohol on a regular basis. The NIDA reports that symptoms of addiction and substance use disorders fall into four major categories: impaired control, social impairment, risky use, and physiological criteria (tolerance and withdrawal). However, not all people who suffer from addiction will exhibit all 11 diagnostic criteria.

Here are the 11 diagnostic criteria for addiction:

1. Using substances in larger amounts and for a longer time than intended.

2. Unsuccessful efforts to control or stop substance use.

3. Spending lots of time obtaining and using substances, as well as recovering from effects.

4. Cravings and strong desires to use drugs and alcohol.

5. Inability to fulfill important obligations at work, school, or home.

6. Social and interpersonal problems associated with persistent use of drugs and alcohol.

7. Loss of interest in important social, occupational, and recreational activities.

8. Using drugs and alcohol when it is physically hazardous to do so.

9. Using drugs and alcohol despite physical or psychological health problems.

10. Increased tolerance level for drugs and alcohol.

11. Withdrawal symptoms when not using drugs and alcohol.

Is Addiction Possible Without Dependence?

Drug and alcohol dependence is characterized by a set of withdrawal symptoms you may experience when you abruptly stop using these substances. Many substances can cause dependence, including alcohol, heroin, painkillers, and benzodiazepines. However, it is possible for some people to be addicted to a substance psychologically without being physically dependent. They may feel as if they need substances to deal with stress, wind down, or to feel better, even when their bodies are not truly physically dependent. Addiction treatment can help these individuals develop healthier coping methods that do not involve substance use.

How Is Addiction Treated at Drug Rehab?

Drug and alcohol rehab centers offer a wide range of treatment programs for both dependence and addiction. Drug detox, alcohol detox, dual diagnosis therapy, and inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are some of many services offered at a drug rehab center like Purpose Healing Center.

Drug and alcohol detox manages the physical symptoms of withdrawal to help people overcome physical dependence. Medications are often used in medical detox to relieve and eliminate symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and drug cravings. Medical detox reduces the risk for withdrawal-related complications, like seizures and irregular heart rate, and takes place in a safe, stable medical environment where patients are closely monitored by nurses and doctors.

Following drug detox, patients can transition to drug rehab programs to receive treatment for psychological addiction. Patients who do not require detox can start receiving therapy immediately to learn new skills for managing triggers and staying sober. All patients receive individualized treatment plans based on their addiction type, the severity of the addiction, and unique recovery needs.

Purpose Healing Center is accredited by the Joint Commission and is recognized for being a leader in Scottsdale, Arizona for addiction and behavioral health treatment. Contact us today at 480-579-3319 to learn more about our many safe and high quality treatment options.