Addiction is not just a moral failing born out of mental weakness, it’s a complex brain disorder that affects millions around the world.
Luckily, there are many addiction treatment options out there that are personalized to each patient’s needs.
Read on to learn more about how you can get your life back on track at Long Island Treatment Center.
Table of Contents
- Understanding Addiction
- Types of Addiction
- Recognizing the Need for Treatment
- Assessment and Diagnosis
- Components of Effective Addiction Treatment
- Types of Addiction Treatment Programs
- Challenges in Addiction Treatment
- Relapse Prevention
- The Role of Family and Friends
Let’s start off by explaining how addiction affects your brain.
Addictive substances and behaviors mess with your brain’s reward systems. When you partake in such substances or behaviors, you feel rewarded. As a result, you want to achieve the same feeling, which makes you more likely to engage in the same behavior or substance again.
That rewarding feeling occurs due to your brain’s dopamine and opioid signaling systems being activated.
You may wonder why some people are more prone to addiction than others. The answer revolves around various social and psychological factors.
Peer pressure is a common social factor that fuels addiction. Spending a lot of your time with people who take a certain drug or engage in certain behaviors makes you more inclined to do the same. In many cases, this can lead to addiction.
On the psychological front, those who experience traumatic events during their childhood or are brought up in an unstable family are more susceptible to addiction.
The terms dependence and addiction are often used interchangeably—which is a mistake.
Dependence refers to a person being mentally or physically reliant on a substance or behavior. It becomes an addiction when this person starts to show uncontrollable behavior to obtain and use a substance.
Addiction thrusts people into a self-destructive cycle. Their tolerance for the addictive substance rises, so they start to take more of it to achieve the same feeling. This downward spiral often leads to overdoses and possibly death.
There’s a common misconception that addiction can only be to substances. In reality, this isn’t true.
Substance addictions are just one type of addiction. They involve prescription, over-the-counter, or illicit drugs. Millions of people are also addicted to other substances like alcohol or tobacco.
There’s the behavioral variant of addiction too. People can get hooked on social media, gambling, and sex.
Just as there’s more than one type of addiction, there are numerous treatment approaches.
Some of these approaches are suitable for both addiction types, such as counseling and behavioral therapies.
On the other hand, treatment strategies like detoxification only apply to substance addiction.
The first step to overcoming addiction is to realize you have a problem. For this to happen, you should learn to recognize the symptoms of addiction and the impact it can have on your life.
The symptoms of addiction include:
- Cognitive impairment and memory issues
- Irritability and mood changes
- Issues with maintaining focus
- Impulsive behavior
These symptoms deteriorate a person’s physical and mental health. They also ruin their relationships and diminish their quality of life.
Unfortunately, many people in modern society still see addiction as a moral failing, not realizing that this affliction can affect anybody.
In reality, addiction is a disease just like any other. Deciding to seek help and get your life back on track is the ultimate sign of maturity, self-awareness, and strength.
Having an accurate assessment and diagnosis of your condition is essential to successful addiction treatment. Here’s why:
The primary goal of professional assessments is to determine how severe a person’s substance or behavioral addiction is. However, there’s another equally important objective.
These evaluations allow counselors and medical professionals to have enough information to curate the most suitable treatment plan for a patient.
Once they know how severe the problem is, they can determine the right type of treatment and the intensity of treatment needed for recovery.
While some people only suffer from substance or behavioral addiction, others can suffer from both those primary addictions as well as a mental illness.
This situation is known as a co-occurring disorder.
Knowing the extent of a person’s addiction is also important to gauge their level of risk. People with severe addictions can be a danger to themselves and those around them. In such cases, in-patient treatment is the best course of action.
At Long Island Treatment Center, we have a wide array of treatments to offer our patients. Here are some of them:
The goal of detoxification programs is to help patients navigate through the withdrawal symptoms they experience when they stop taking a drug or engaging in a certain behavior.
These withdrawal symptoms are most intense during the first few weeks of abstinence. That being said, it’s important to go through detoxification under close medical supervision to avoid relapse and complications.
Long Island Treatment Center also offers patients behavioral counseling and therapy techniques, such as:
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a technique we use to tackle addiction at its roots since in many cases, the primary cause of addiction is mental health issues.
As such, this type of therapy helps patients infuse more positivity into their thought patterns, doing wonders for the recovery process.
This is because thoughts and emotions are what drive behavior. So, a person who can control their thoughts is less likely to fall back into drug use or destructive behavior.
Dialectical behavioral therapy is quite similar to cognitive behavioral therapy.
It, too, addresses the connection between addiction and emotional or mental health. DBT teaches patients to deal with the ups and downs of life in a more sustainable and emotionally mature way.
In turn, the patient is less likely to relapse and learns how to build healthier relationships.
Medication-assisted treatment involves using a range of FDA-approved medications to help patients deal with withdrawal symptoms and cravings during the recovery journey.
Long Island Treatment Center has a mental health clinic with trained staff and experienced social workers. These professionals work with patients to address the mental illnesses that are part of what’s causing their addiction.
There are many types of addiction treatment programs at Long Island Treatment Center. The one most suitable for you depends on your specific situation.
When people think of in-patient treatment, they get apprehensive about its highly hands-on nature.
However, it’s that same high-involvement approach that makes in-patient treatment highly effective due to the 24/7 emotional and medical support it offers.
When you enter an in-patient treatment program, you get a disciplined environment that keeps you on the fast track to recovery with no distractions or relapse triggers.
In-patient treatment isn’t for everyone though. It may not be practical in some cases where the patient simply can’t be away from home for so long.
In contrast to in-patient programs, outpatient treatment doesn’t involve spending your nights at the treatment facility. Instead, you go there for a set number of days per week at scheduled time slots.
You’re tended to by professional counselors who address your condition using the treatment types mentioned in the previous section.
12-step programs have traditionally been used by millions to overcome their drug and alcohol addictions. These programs involve adhering to 12 simple rules and joining groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous on the journey to recovery.
Holistic treatments involve addressing the mind, body, and spirit through practices like meditation, yoga, and acupuncture. These activities help clear the mind and relieve the body from withdrawal symptoms.
You’ve probably heard of sober living homes before under a different name: halfway house.
These facilities are for those who’ve completed in-patient programs but aren’t ready to go back out into the world just yet.
As expected, treating addiction isn’t easy. There are many challenges that arise along the way.
The biggest challenges are often internal, such as denial, and fear of societal stigma and withdrawal symptoms.
In some cases, a person is willing to start treatment but isn’t able to due to financial limitations.
Another significant challenge is maintaining sobriety after treatment is done. This is why it’s essential to have ongoing post-treatment support.
To avoid falling back into old habits, you should have a relapse prevention plan in place.
This involves learning to recognize the signs when you’re close to relapsing, knowing how to navigate triggers and manage your cravings, and joining support groups.
And remind yourself:
Relapse doesn’t equate failure, and that the path to sobriety is seldom linear.
Having strong support from your loved ones during the recovery journey is essential. It can be the difference between the success and failure of treatment.
Additionally, the effect that a person’s addiction has had on their family and friends shouldn’t be swept under the rug.
If you have a friend or family member who’s an addict, we encourage you to join Al-Anon and similar groups that help you cope with the negative effects of a loved one’s addiction on you.
Due to the complexity of addiction, the best addiction treatments tackle the issue using multiple approaches to achieve effective treatment.
If you or a loved one suffers from addiction, the time to start your journey to recovery is now.
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