Substance Abuse Rehab
There are many misconceptions about substance abuse. Many of these misconceptions serve as obstacles that prevent those suffering from an addiction from seeking the kind of treatment they need in order to live a more fulfilling life.
One of the misconceptions about substance abuse is that it is an indication of lack of moral principles on the part of the addict. These attitudes affect how people treat addicts and also affects how addicts see themselves in the world they live in. For example, the addict may feel a sense of shame about their substance abuse problem and may choose not to admit that they have a problem, which is the first and most critical step towards getting treatment.
What Is Substance Abuse?
Here at Chiron Recoverys we treat drug addiction as an illness. More specifically, it is a chronic illness that is caused by the continuous use of a given substance. The brain experiences chemical changes as a result. These chemical changes eventually compel the user to seek the drug actively in order to recreate the experience they get from these substances.
If substance abuse is an illness, can it be cured? Substance abuse cannot be cured, but it can be managed through the application of evidence-based treatments. The changes that occur in the brain can persist for a long time even after the patient has stopped abusing drugs. This is part of the reason an addict is said to be recovering even after they leave an addiction treatment center.
However, the relapse is part of the reason why we have an aftercare program. We monitor our patients even after they leave our facility. In fact, a relapse can provide deeper insights on the environmental and psychological factors that may have led the addict to start abusing substances. In case a patient has a relapse, it could mean that there are more factors that need to be addressed.
What Happens to the Brain During Substance Abuse?
The reason most drugs are addictive is because they change the brain’s reward circuit. The abused substance floods the reward circuit with dopamine. The reward circuit is designed to keep one motivated. It compels you to repeat some of the activities needed for survival such as eating and socializing. When the reward circuit is flooded it leads to an overstimulation of the reward circuit which compels one to seek the drug continuously.
Unfortunately, when the abuser continues to take the drug some physiological changes take place in the brain. The brain begins to adjust to the increase in dopamine neural activity, by releasing lower amounts of dopamine. At this point, the abused substance does not give the high that it used to before. The abuser begins to take more and more of the drug in order to get the same high they got when they first used the drug.
Substance abuse causes chemical changes in the body. Our medical detoxification program helps to rid the body of toxins. It is done by qualified professionals who are aware of the health risk of withdrawing from alcohol and substance abuse without professional help. Medical detox is a cornerstone of rehabilitation and it is one of the first steps an addict has to take when he begins his rehabilitation program.
Medical detox is important for dealing with alcohol withdrawal. Many people are unaware of the serious health risks of withdrawing from alcohol cold turkey. The symptoms can range from nausea and headache to severe delirium tremens (DTs). Severe delirium tremens is accompanied by seizures and hallucination and in special cases, it can lead to death.
At Chiron we take our clients through the detox process for three main reasons:
- To manage withdrawal symptoms in order to beat addiction.
Factors that Lead to Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is caused by several factors. Multiple factors can increase the risk of drug addiction. It is not easy to pinpoint one factor that caused it. Here are some of the main ones that increase the risk of drug addiction:
Genetics is one of the factors that can account for an increased risk towards substance abuse. However, just because one is genetically predisposed towards substance abuse doesn’t mean that he will become an addict. Multiple factors can add up to make an individual susceptible to substance abuse. Someone who is genetically predisposed to substance abuse can experience more intense withdrawal symptoms if they abuse substances. Overcoming addiction may prove to be a little bit more challenging for that individual.
Environmental factors also can lead to substance abuse. These factors include family, friends, quality of life, exposure to drugs, peer pressure, and physical and sexual abuse.
However, an inpatient program may not be suitable for people who have tons of responsibilities that they simply cannot break away from. For people facing these circumstances, Chiron offers an intensive outpatient program. It is designed to equip those trying to overcome substance abuse with life tools that will help them deal with life’s challenges without resorting to drugs.
The mental health of an individual is one of the most prominent risk factors for substance abuse. Research suggests that most addicts have a co-occurring mental health condition. These conditions can range from stress, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, amongst other factors.