The Delray Recovery Center Addiction Recovery Guide
Drugs of Abuse
An addiction treatment facility such as Delray Recovery Center often treats clients who are addicted to more than one drug. The types of drugs with a significant potential for addiction is very large, but the majority of them can be classified into a few basic categories. These categories include alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids and stimulants. Our addiction recovery guide gives you the tools and information you need to understand the challenges of overcoming addiction.
The specific mechanism that causes a person to become an alcoholic are not well understood, although a variety of risk factors for alcoholism exist. These include age, environment, ethnic group, family history, gender, stress. Alcoholism is more common in men, although this proportion has begun to even out in recent years. Genetic factors account for 50 to 60 percent of the risk for alcoholism and environmental factors comprise the remaining 40 to 50 percent. Alcoholism typically develops during late adolescence or early adulthood. The long-term abuse of alcohol causes a variety of changes that result in the physical dependence and tolerance of alcohol. These changes maintain a person’s addiction to alcohol and cause withdrawal symptoms when the consumption of alcohol is discontinued.
Benzodiazepines increase the effect of gamma-amino butyric acid, which is a neurotransmitter. This action generally makes these drugs useful as sedatives, muscle relaxants and sleep aids. Physicians commonly prescribe benzodiazepines as a treatment for anxiety, convulsions, seizures and spasms. They may also be used to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The duration of benzodiazepines can vary greatly such that the length of their effect determines their specific use. For example, short-acting benzodiazepines are used to treat insomnia while long-lasting drugs in this class are used to treat anxiety.
Benzodiazepines are generally safe and effective for short-term use, with cognitive impairments being the most significant side effect in therapeutic dosages. These effects include decreased alertness, drowsiness and a loss of concentration, which can be especially dangerous while driving. Dizziness and a loss of coordination can also increase the risk of traffic collisions and falling, especially among the elderly. Additional side effects of benzodiazepines include loss of libido and impotence. The long-term use of benzodiazepines is more controversial due to their potential for abuse and addiction. They can also produce severe withdrawal symptoms when their use is suddenly discontinued.
The primary medical use of opioids is the treatment of acute pain, such as that experienced by clients after an operation. Physicians may also prescribe opioids to treat chronic pain, especially when it is caused by terminal conditions such as cancer. The use of opioids for non-terminal causes of chronic pain has grown significantly in recent years, which has led to an increase in the abuse and addiction to opioids.
The most common side effects for therapeutic dosages of opioids include constipation, drowsiness, dry mouth, itching and vomiting. Rare side effects of opioids include the following:
• Muscular rigidity
• Respiratory depression
• Urinary retention
Opioids can increase the amount of pain that clients experience in rare cases. This typically occurs when the dosage for a long-term client is increased suddenly. The most common response to this effect is to rotate through multiple opioids, rather than administrating a large dose of a single opioid. The long-term use of opioids also compromises the immune system and it is likely to reduce testosterone production, especially in men.
The first commercial amphetamine was Benzedrine, which was introduced 1932. It was used to treat a variety of ailments including the common cold and asthma. Amphetamines were also used extensively during World War II to keep military personnel alert during long missions. Amphetamines were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1944 for the treatment of alcoholism, allergies and depression.
The commercial use of amphetamines increased dramatically during the 1950s, especially for the treatment of obesity. The use of amphetamines as a recreational drug also became popular during the 1960s due to the proliferation of illegal laboratories. The manufacture of amphetamines in the home became practical during the 1990s, and this remains a common method of obtaining amphetamines illegally.
The high potential for addiction has gradually reduced the approved medical uses for amphetamines. The only two medical uses of amphetamines currently approved by the FDA are attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and morbid obesity. Amphetamines are also clinically effective for the treatment of narcolepsy, although this use does not have FDA approval.
The withdrawal symptoms of amphetamines can be severe and prolonged, which is the primary reason for the high relapse rate of this type of addiction. These symptoms typically include the following:
- Appetite increase
Get the Motivation to Seek Help
Statistical data of the cost of addiction is difficult to obtain due to the illegal nature of these activities. However, addicts with a stable habit can easily calculate the direct cost of their individual addiction. For example, a modest heroin addiction can easily cost $30 per day. This is equal to a cost of about $200 per week, $800 per month and $10,000 per year. Cocaine is slightly cheaper than heroin, since it requires less processing. A dosage of amphetamines typically costs less than half that of heroin since the ingredients for making amphetamines are readily available.
An accurate calculation of the cost of drug addiction must also include the cost of lost productivity. Drug abuse typically results in greater absenteeism and an increased risk of losing one’s job. The cost of obtaining insurance is also dramatically higher for someone who abuses drugs. The average number of convictions for driving under the influence is 1.4 for someone with a drug problem, which can quadruple the cost of car insurance. The increased risk of illnesses and injuries can also increase the cost of health insurance.
Drug addiction can also cause additional financial difficulties. These can include late payment fees when the addict spends money on drugs instead paying off debt. This can also result in additional consequences in the form of reduced credit scores and higher interest rates. This can affect the cost of many purchases such as a car or house, and the loss of savings can have long-term effects on a college fund.
Drug addiction can also take an emotional toil on the family members of an addict. This includes the anger and resentment that family members feel when the addiction causes problems within the household. Family members may also experience shame and embarrassment when the addiction becomes public knowledge. A family with a drug addict must take precautionary actions against the addict’s behavior. This typically includes removing the addict’s name from family assets such as credit accounts and bank accounts.
A drug addiction also tends to reduce the quality of life for families. The addicted family member must spend time looking for drugs rather than spending time with the family. The time lost due to drug use also reduces the amount of time available to spend on the family, friends, learning new job skills and exercise.
Legal problems are also a common reason for entering a drug treatment program.
Drugs such as heroin and cocaine are generally illegal to take under any circumstances. Many other drugs are legal to take with a prescription, but an addiction typically requires the user to commit a crime in order to obtain a sufficient quantity of the drug. This may involve forging prescriptions, doctor shopping and outright theft. In addition, drug-related behavior such as driving under the influence is generally illegal.
Courts in the United States are increasingly more willing to explore alternative sentencing in cases involving drug use. However, this practice has also led to successful lawsuits on behalf of defendants who were sentenced to rehabilitation. These lawsuits generally have the greatest merit when the specific rehabilitation program has a religious basis such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Some courts have ruled that sentencing a defendant to this type of program violates the part of the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution that deals with the separation of church and state.
An addict’s compulsion to use drugs can be very difficult to overcome without professional help. This often requires treatment at a rehabilitation center such as Delray Recovery Center, where the client can be closely monitored. This is especially important during the detoxification phase to ensure the withdrawal symptoms do not become life threatening. A residential treatment facility is also helpful for restricting a client’s access to drugs during the rehabilitation phase of the recovery process.
An Overview of the Program
Treatment centers provide multiple programs for drug addiction. The basis of these programs is the 5-phase step-down model, which provides a comprehensive continuum of care. The first phase is the most restrictive and each successive phase provides the client with more freedom. Individuals move through the phases at their own pace. Psychological counseling is also an essential part of formal rehabilitation. After-care includes the part of the client’s recovery that occurs after being released from inpatient treatment. The specific treatment plan can also be customized to meet an individual’s needs, and may include a variety of recreational activities.
Our 5 Phase Step Down Model
How 12-Step Programs Work
The original 12-step program was used to treat alcoholism and was published in 1939. This program has since been adapted for a wide variety of drug addictions and other forms of compulsive behavior. A 12-step program takes the view that individuals are powerless by themselves to control their addiction. This form of behavioral modification therapy requires participants to take specific steps to remain sober, such as admitting their addiction, renouncing their addictive lifestyle and seeking the support of a social network. A 12-step program also requires participants to believe in a higher power that can help them remain sober. This religious component is one of the greatest criticisms of 12-step programs.
Outcome studies for 12-step programs show that the one-year follow-up is an effective measure of success. This generally means that a client who remains sober for one year after completing a 12-step program is likely to remain sober. A 12-step program is most effective in the treatment of alcoholism and least effective in the treatment of opioid addiction, which is typically treated with maintenance therapy.
Psychological Therapy Helps Heal
Psychological therapy may also be part of a drug treatment program, especially for individuals with an underlying psychological motivation for their addiction. The specific therapy offered by treatment centers such as Delray Recovery Center may be categorized into traditional, alternative and holistic options. These sessions include 12-step sessions, life skills training and educational classes.
Person-centered therapy explores healthy and fulfilling lifestyles that increase self-awareness. Psychoanalytic theory uses the client’s childhood to determine the influences on his or her current personality. Reality objectification seeks to provide clients with an objective viewpoint of the external world. The goal of this type of therapy is to develop healthy methods of dealing with situations beyond the client’s control. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy focuses on identifying irrational thought processes. The client can then replace these thoughts with healthier ways of thinking.
Relapse therapy deals specifically with identifying the cause is of a client’s relapse. This type of therapy primarily takes the form of REBT, in which the therapist discovers the relapse triggers so that they may be managed or eliminated, usually through the development of new coping skills and behavioral modification. Relapse therapy must also address the feelings of guilt and shame that a client feels after a relapse.
Success is in Your Hands
A successful treatment plan for drug addiction requires a combination of good facilities and treatment specialists. These specialists must have professional training in addition to a sensitive, caring attitude. It is also important that they not be critical or judgmental of their clients.
Success is difficult to measure in a drug treatment program because drug treatment experts disagree widely on what “success” is. Treatment centers also do not publish their records in many cases to protect the privacy of their clients. The relapse rate of a treatment program is one measure of success, but this can be misleading since drug addicts often relapse after the end of their formal treatment.