Drug addiction is a very complex disease caused by a person’s dependence on drugs. The person initially takes the drug voluntarily but after repeated use over a period of time, it becomes more an involuntary thing. The intake becomes compulsive and uncontrollable mainly because of the effect the drugs have on the brain. By interfering with the chemicals inside, drugs trick the person to keep taking them in order to feel normal. For example, initially, drugs cause you to feel happy and energetic but eventually they disorient you and give rise to many side effects. In addition to those, if the addict does not take drugs then he will be unable to function properly.
Breaking the addiction isn’t simply stopping the intake of drugs. There are many withdrawal symptoms that cause abusers to relapse to end the pain. These symptoms include, but are not limited to, nausea, depression, panic, shaking of body, difficulty breathing, tightness in chest, diarrhea and in severe cases, heart attacks, strokes and even death. So as these symptoms start showing effect, the person has no choice but to take the drug again, and not only must he continue taking them but he also needs to take it in larger amounts and more frequently as he develops a tolerance for it.
It may seem like an unsolvable problem but it isn’t. There are many rehab centers to help with the process. They start with detoxifying the abuser’s body to rid it of the drug present in it. Medication is given to help ease the pain of the withdrawal, in some cases it is also given to prevent relapse. Such facilities advise patients to take residence so that they are in the presence of doctors and therapists 24/7. It also helps because it is impossible to access drugs and one is able to avoid all temptations. Away from the stress and worries of life, patients are able to focus on their recovery.
The key is to stay for at least three months as the process isn’t purely a physical one but also a psychological one. Therapists are present for that as well as to help with any other mental disorders the person might be having. Disorders like depression and anxiety are often the cause for drug use, so treating them help to prevent the person from relapsing.
There are two types of main therapies that are used: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational enhancement therapy (MET). CBT is mainly about controlling negative thought patterns and preventing destructive behavior, as well as identifying triggers and coming up with better ways to deal with them than turning to drugs. MET is where a therapist helps the patient come up with the motivation necessary to deal with the treatment and stop relying on drugs. In addition to these, there are traditional 12 step programs and nontraditional rehab programs which constitute the main part of the treatment.
Drug addiction is a threat not only to the individual but also to the society as it increases crime rates, domestic violence and a decrease in productivity. But the best way to deal with it is getting treatment early on.