Addiction treatment is something that is becoming more prevalent in the United States with each passing day. Americans are developing strong addictions to alcohol as well as prescription pills and various illegal substances. A multitude of services is available for people who have developed addictions. However, only a small portion of those individuals receives such care. The following are some statistics regarding addictions and the treatment of such in the United States:
- Approximately 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and other drugs
- Only 2.5 million Americans receive the proper treatment for their addictions
- Americans spend more than 50 billion dollars per year on illegal narcotics
- Alcohol, heroin, prescription drugs, and cocaine make more than 80 percent of addiction facility registrants
- Seventy nine percent of hospital emergency room visits involve drugs
Reasons for failing to obtain proper services for addiction may include embarrassment, lack of funding and desire to continue the detrimental activity.
What is Drug Addiction?
Drug addiction is a physical and psychological dependence on a particular substance. Such a substance could be prescription medication, illegal drugs, aerosol sprays and alcohol. Addiction occurs when a person’s body becomes accustomed to him or her ingesting, injecting or inhaling the substance on a regular basis. At first, when a person uses the substance, he or she feels the full effects of it. A person who drinks for the first time might become lightheaded, sociable and happy. Someone who tries heroin for the first time may become nauseated and then feel euphoric afterward. A person who takes prescription pain pills for the first time might feel euphoric, calm, and free of pain and despair.
Some people enjoy the feeling that prescription pills give them, and they continue to take the drugs even after their symptoms have faded. In the case of alcohol, the person may start to drink every day to feel its effects. He or she may use it to reduce anxiety in social situations, or to wind down after a hard day of work. A cocaine user might start using the drug to stay up late hours for school or work.
Eventually what happens is the body adjusts to the foreign substance and begins to think that it is a natural part of its processes. The body then needs a certain amount of the substance to function at a normal level. Once this adjustment occurs, the individual will need more of the drug to feel the high that he or she originally felt. This process is called tolerance, and once the body builds up a tolerance for something, addictions develop.
An addicted person will think that he or she cannot go another day without the substance, because the brain gets used to the changes the drug causes. Additionally, the addicted person will go through a series of painful physical and psychological symptoms if he or she skips a session of taking the drug. These uncomfortable bodily and mental reactions are called withdrawal symptoms. Examples of withdrawal symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, shaking, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, anxiety, depression, hysteria and psychosis. The only way an individual can cure himself or herself from these effects is to seek help and obtain addiction treatment.
Types of Addiction Treatment
Several types of addiction treatment exist. A person who has an addiction for a certain substance can get help at doctor’s offices, hospitals, and inpatient drug treatment centers. The best type of facility to visit is an inpatient drug treatment center. An inpatient program is one in which the affected party temporarily resides within the facility for a certain number of days or months. During this time, the affected person is disassociated from negative environmental factors and poor influences. The inpatient center provides the person with a serene and safe environment in which he or she can relax and recover.
The most common type of drug treatment is detoxification. Detoxification is a process in which a person spends time purifying himself or herself and removing the substance from the body. A treatment center may allow the person to do this naturally, or it may assist with medications, vitamins or minerals. Until the detoxification period is complete, the individual will feel a range of emotions and experience withdrawal symptoms. Detoxification must occur before other forms of treatment will be effective.
Another type of addiction treatment is group counseling. Group counseling is a program in which a main counselor and a group of addicted persons meet in a room. During these sessions, the members share information about their trials and tribulations with the drug addiction, and they try to help each other to heal. Group counseling is a great way for an addicted person to establish friendships and support systems.
Individualized therapy is also available in drug treatment centers. This program is more of a one-on-one meeting between the therapist and the addicted person. The therapist tries to help the individual get to the root of the addiction and develop proper coping strategies for cravings. The Therapist will also encourage the person to create positive activities that can replace drug or alcohol usage, so that the person will continue a clean and sober existence after the program ends.
Some facilities offer additional services such as exercise and nutritional programs. The more sophisticated facilities will also offer aftercare or post-release support. A person with an addiction will fight such an addiction for the rest of his or her life. Therefore, the individual needs to have people with which he or she can connect during difficult times.
Getting Addiction Treatment
Getting addiction treatment is not a difficult task. Anyone who needs help or knows someone who needs help can simply ask for it. Anonymous services are available for people who want to establish trust before registering with a facility. Online mediums and telephonic mediums are available for such communications. Once a person feels comfortable with arranging a consultation with a facility administrator, the establishment will be waiting for the person with love and care in mind.