Today, addiction is seen as a disease, not just an issue of self-control. There are many different types of addiction that are developed over time, but they all have the same underlying causes. Today, there are many more people being diagnosed with mental disorders than ever before. This means that addiction is also on the rise—and it’s becoming a huge global problem. Addiction can be costly to both the individual and society as a whole.
The reason why some people develop an addiction while others don’t has to do with genetics. Some people were born with the gene for addiction, which makes it much easier for them to develop an addictive disorder if exposed to drugs or alcohol at a young age—or even if they’re exposed to addictive behaviors or activities.
In the past, addiction was treated with a punishment model that ignored the root causes of addiction and just focused on punishing addicts for their behavior. Modern methods of treatment focus on prevention through education, early intervention and counseling, as well as maintenance programs such as support groups to help addicts stay clean long-term.
Researchers have found that detoxification alone isn’t enough to stop addiction—many addicts must go through rehabilitation before they can get better. There are also many different types of rehabilitation programs depending on what type of drug or behavior the addict is addicted to.
Finally, there’s a difference between physical dependence and addiction. Physical dependence occurs when the body has been exposed to a chemical for an extended period of time and it adapts by building up a tolerance to the drug. Addiction, on the other hand, is mental and emotional—it’s due to compulsive behavior that can’t be controlled.
Physical dependence has nothing do with addiction—it’s a separate problem that needs to be addressed in its own way. When it comes down to it, addiction is treated through therapy and medications, while physical dependence is treated by slowly lowering the dosage of the addictive medication over time until it no longer affects the user at all.
Most people think they’re less likely to develop an addiction if they experiment with drugs or alcohol when they’re young—but this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, there have been several studies that have shown that experimenting with these substances at a young age greatly increases the risk of addiction. This is especially true if the person already has a genetic proclivity for addiction—if they drink or do drugs at a young age, their brain chemistry may change and predispose them to developing an addiction later in life.
Most addiction treatment programs are designed to take 28 days, but it can be argued that this is not always enough time. While the initial detox process only tends to last for about 5 days, post-acute withdrawal symptoms may linger on for weeks or even months. These symptoms typically include anxiety, depression , irritability and other flu-like symptoms.
Many addiction experts regard these lingering post-acute withdrawal symptoms as one of the biggest obstacles towards staying sober in early recovery. Although these feelings are relatively mild in severity, they have a knack for creeping up unexpectedly when least expected. This causes many people who have already completed their formal rehab program to relapse back into drug or alcohol abuse.
There are three primary factors which play a role in determining the duration of post-acute withdrawal symptoms:
1) The Severity of the Addiction
If someone has been abusing drugs or alcohol for long periods of time, there is a good chance that they will experience more significant disruptions in their brain chemistry. The drug or alcohol abuse itself has caused physical changes (i.e., sensitization) within the brain which may remain even after quitting cold turkey. In turn, these changes not only make it much harder to deal with mental cravings , but also prolong the negative physiological effects from both short and long-term substance use.
2) Other Forms of Drug Abuse
Someone who was addicted to substances such as cocaine or heroin may have been using doses that were several times higher than a “normal” person would use. If this is the case, it can be expected that their post-acute withdrawal symptoms might last longer than the usual 28-day timeframe.
3) Length of Substance Abuse
The longer someone abuses drugs or alcohol, the more damage they are likely to do to their body and brain chemistry. As a result, they will probably need more time for these problems to subside before they feel like themselves again.
Experiencing Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms Even after completing drug rehab , some people still experience lingering mood changes and mental cravings . Although these effects may be relatively mild in comparison with pre-treatment levels, they are usually intense enough to make sobriety seem unbearable at times. Fortunately, counselors and medical professionals are usually aware of this issue. As a result, they can make appropriate adjustments to the addiction treatment program in order to reduce the risk of relapse.
There are also some coping strategies which can help people stay sober through these difficult times. Some people find it helpful to join self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous . These social support systems offer regular meetings where individuals can discuss their personal struggles with staying clean and sober. If someone is feeling particularly agitated , distracting themselves by taking part in an outdoor activity may be beneficial as well.
If you need information on how to find a reputable addiction treatment center, or if you are looking for advice about what to do after completing an addiction rehab program, please feel free to check out some of the articles available on this website. In addition, if you would like some tips for finding an appropriate self-help group such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, please click here . Furthermore, those who have been affected by drug abuse or addiction can participate in our recovery forums and knowledge center. All of this information is completely free, so please do not hesitate to take advantage.