Thursday, May 09, 2019

How to Help a Person Struggling With Drug Addiction?

Overcoming addiction may seem like an impossible thing, but countless people have managed to escape the vicious circle of drug abuse. Many people don’t understand how or why people become addicted to drugs. Some of them have the misconception that addicts lack willpower and moral principles and that they could stop using the drugs.  In reality, it is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes time.

1.    Understanding Drug Addiction

Before fixing the problem of drug addiction, you have to understand it first. It is a chronic disorder in which the sufferer has an urge to seek and use drugs despite the adverse consequences. It is classified as a brain disorder because it affects multiple brains functions including:
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Behavior
  • Decision making
  • Reward
  • Pleasure
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Judgment
The changes in functions mentioned above may last for one or two years after stopping the drugs. Drug addiction is like other diseases. It is dangerous, but it is treatable. However, if the patient is left untreated, it can ruin his/her life.

2.    Effects of Drugs on the Brain

Drugs interfere with the way neurons receive, send, and process signals via neurotransmitters. Drugs flood the person’s brain with a chemical called dopamine. It gives a feeling of pleasure that keeps the drug addict high. Over time, the mind gets used to the extra dopamine, and needs to take in more of the drug to enjoy the same feeling.

When a person uses drugs for a long time, it can cause changes in the brain’s other chemical systems. Drugs can hurt the brain’s working process. These changes in the brain can drive a person to seek out and take drugs in ways that are beyond his/her control.

3.    Signs and Symptoms

Drug addicts tend to show signs of diseases. The most common signs of the problems are given below.

Physical Symptoms

Changes in a person’s appearance can be a clue to possible drug use and may include:
  • Bloodshot or glazed eyes
  • Constricted or Dilated pupils
  • Abrupt weight loss
  • Changes in sleeping schedule
  • Unusual body odors
  • Looking unkempt
Behavioral Symptoms

Drug use can change a person’s habit and behavior. Some drugs can impair the brain’s ability to think and focus clearly. Following changes in behavior can indicate a problem with drug abuse:
  • Irritability or Increased aggression
  • Changes in personality and attitude
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Changes in social network
4.    Rehabilitation Centers to Help Addicts

Rehab centers help people recover from addiction. Addicted people often need additional care to go back to their healthy lives.

However, they must choose between inpatient or outpatient programs once they decide to overcome any reservations and are ready to enter treatment.

There are two types of rehab centers:
  1. Outpatient Rehab Centers
  2. Inpatient Rehab Centers
Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment requires drug addicts to live at the treatment facility during their treatment. It is the recommended option for the patients who want to get away from their current temptation and focus on getting sober without any distraction.
Inpatient treatment includes:
  • Supervised detox
  • Group and individual therapies
  • Outing to beach, restaurants, or movies
  • Medically assisted treatment
  • Safe recovery environment
Outpatient treatment

It involves some sort of therapy at clinic or treatment centers that allows a patient to go home after receiving treatment. There are many options for those who are struggling with drug abuse. These clinic centers are an excellent option for those who need help for drug abuse, but they are unable to attend them.

You should not feel shame to join any rehab center if you or your beloved one is suffering from this problem then. There are several treatment centers in Virginia helping their patients to stop drug abuse. They provide group and individual counseling, aftercare monitoring and behavioral therapies to their patients.

Outpatient treatment includes:
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Medication management
  • Relapse prevention education
5.    When to Go for Help

Drug addiction keeps increasing with time. You shouldn’t wait to go for help. Other people feel reluctant to enter treatment due to lack of cost, support or fear. Treatment can help you or your loved one get out of this misery. Your treatment may include medicine, counseling, or both. You can ask your doctor to figure out a plan which gives you help to fight it.

This is a guest blog entry.

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