A Guide to Addiction Therapy and Treatment
What is Addiction?
Addiction is essentially a complex disease that makes victims dependent on the substance to which they are addicted. They feel an overwhelming, overpowering pull to continue using the abused substance, even though they know it isn’t good for them.
In general, addiction of any sort – drug, alcohol, etc. – is characterized by the addict’s compulsive desire to satisfy themself through the substance they’re abusing. They have little-to-no control to fight the urge and would often go out of their way to get a needed high.
Although there is no cure for drug and substance addiction, there are various ways to treat the condition. Effective treatment of drug addiction is important for helping addicts take back control of their lives and fulfill their potential.
A Serious Epidemic
Addiction is a huge epidemic sweeping across the United States, affecting millions of people from hundreds of thousands of families across all genders and races. In recent decades, addiction to alcohol, opioids, heroin, Meth, cocaine, and other dangerous substances has gained momentum. Invariably, addiction and substance use disorder (SUD) is a matter of medical health emergency.
According to statistics, drug overdose fatalities have rippled since the 1990s, while government intervention towards drug and alcohol addiction is put at $600m every year. Furthermore, Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol, even though addiction is a crisis that cuts across all ages and gender.
Addiction is inimical to the success of inimical as well as families and society. It can cause grief and untold hardship, not just to addiction sufferers but to those around them as well. In the final analysis, when a person is suffering from any form of addiction, the impact is often felt by those providing care to that person, emotionally, psychologically, and financially.
One of the most commonly abused substances is opioids, apart from alcohol. Opioids belong to a class of illicit drugs that numb feelings of pain whilst increasing feelings of euphoria. Because they are parts of the components found in a lot of prescription drugs, opioids are easily accessible, and they pose a significantly high risk of addiction.
Furthermore, addiction can destroy homes, marriages, families, friendships, and careers and impair a person’s health significantly. In extreme cases, it can be fatal.
Alcohol: Addiction Statistics
- Alcohol is the most widely abused substance in the United States
- Alcohol abuse kills 1 out of 20 (or 5.3 %) people yearly globally
- Over 300 million people globally have one form of alcohol disorder
- 88,000 in the US die due to alcohol addiction and abuse each year
- About 6% of adults in the United States have an alcohol use disorder, and only about 7% of those people ever get treatment
- More than 90% of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they became 18
Opioids: Addiction and Abuse Statistics
- About 130 Americans die every day from opioid overdose
- The sale of opioids has increased by as much as 300% since 1999
- About 10% of people who misuse prescription opioids eventually become addicted to opioids
- At least 2.1 million Americans have an opioid use disorder
- Typically, people addicted to opioids eventually migrate to drugs like heroin and meth
Heroin: Addiction and Abuse Statistics
- Around 0.3% of American adults use heroin
- There are at least 100,000 new heroin users each year
- Up to 28% of opioid overdose cases in 2019 were linked to heroin
- There were at least 14,000 fatalities linked to a heroin overdose in 2019
- Between 2010 and 2019, the rate of fatalities linked to heroin has more than doubled, even though generally, heroin-related deaths are on the decline
Meth: Addiction and Abuse Statistics
- About 774 thousand people in the US use meth regularly
- About 16,000 people who use meth are between the ages of 12 and 17
- Meth addiction in the US stood at over 110,000 in 2019
- Meth overdose fatalities increased significantly between 2015 and 2019
Inhalants: Addiction and Abuse Statistics
- Up to 23 million Americans have used an inhalant at one time or the other
- About 556,000 people in the US use inhalants frequently
- In 2018, about 9% of students in the 12th-grade admitted to using inhalants
- 15% of all suffocation deaths in the US annually can be attributed to the use of inhalants
Nicotine: Addiction and Abuse Statistics
- Over 34 million people in the United States are smokers
- Up to 480,000 fatalities in the US are directly linked to cigarette smoking each year
- Anyone from age 21 can purchase and smoke cigarettes in the US
- Over 1500 new smokers emerge each day in America
- People who are poor or have educational deficiencies are more likely to become smokers.
- At least 16 million Americans suffer from one smoking-related illness or another.
Cocaine: Addiction and Abuse Statistics
- About 5 million people in the US use cocaine regularly
- About 2% of Americans experimented with cocaine in 8th grade, while around 1% of them used crack in 8th grade
- Cocaine-related deaths reached well over 14,500 in 2018 alone
- People between 18 and 25 years use and abuse cocaine more than any other age group in the US
Marijuana: Addiction and Abuse Statistics
- Over 30 million people in the US smoke marijuana
- About 43% of Americans have experimented with marijuana at one point or another
- Studies show that about 30% of people who use marijuana have a marijuana use disorder.
- Based on statistics, about 17% of those who started experimenting with marijuana early becomes addicts in the long run.
- At least 10% of marijuana users are addicted to marijuana
Hallucinogens: Addiction and Abuse Statistics
- About 1.4 million people across the US use one form of hallucinogen or the other regularly
- About 144,000 users of hallucinogens are minors between the ages of 12 and 17
- At least 8% of kids in the 12th grade have tried a hallucinogen at least once
- About 20 million people in the US have used an LSD
What Causes Addiction?
Addiction doesn’t just happen; it’s the result of consistent and uncontrolled drug or substance use, which over time, affects the brain’s reward, motivation, and memory centers. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) notes that the disease’s origin is connected to the limbic system of the brain that is responsible for learning about rewarding activities.
The limbic system is the function of the brain that releases important chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine whenever the body carries out activities like sleep, eating, sex, etc.; since the chemicals are released, the brain gets used to those activities that trigger the release of those chemical, there is a compulsion to return to those activities.
In general, this affects the brain’s normal functions and compels a person to repeatedly use substances that they even know are harmful to their health.
So, what are the factors that push people to the tip of addiction? Check them out:
One of the strongest influences that could cause, and fuel addiction is the environment. People are usually affected by the circumstances and prevalent lifestyles of their external surroundings. So people who lived on the street or in a rough neighborhood, or grew up with parents, who abused substances, are more likely to fall into the same behaviors than those who didn’t have these lifestyles around them.
Most young people who started to use drugs early learned the habit from their friends at school or in the community. People who grew up around pain and poverty and who have experienced mental and psychological abuse and depression are also likely to experiment with substances.
This is another important factor that could lead a person to use and abuse substances. In many cases, people who have a history of drug abuse running in their family are very likely to become addicts themselves sooner or later, especially if they already started using substances.
So essentially, people can inherit certain predispositions from their families. That is because “there is a biological trigger that causes drug users to switch over to compulsive acts of addiction. if a parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, there is a higher chance that addictive tendencies will be passed on to their children,” according to drug addiction specialists.
Addiction Treatment and Therapy
Holistic addiction treatment should address not just the addiction itself but the underlying factors that triggered substance use and abuse in the first place. A lot of the people who start using drugs and other substances do so due to some underlying reasons, to fill a gap that could be emotional, social, legal, or psychological. So the best treatment methods should be built around these concerns and solutions.
People looking for a rehab facility either for themselves or their loved ones should take into account the type of treatment being provided at the centers and how effective those methods have been over time. As spelled out by the National Institute on Drug Abuse in its 13-step guide, there are important considerations when deciding on a treatment center.
Types of Addiction Treatment
There are two main methods used in treating addiction: the evidence-based method and the alternative therapy method. Typically, the treatment of addiction is not a one-cap-fit-all approach. With different patients, the process of treatment and results obtained may be different.
The importance of the first method – evidence-based – is to reference proven methods that worked in the treatment of addiction patients since some treatments and therapies are more successful than others. Medical personnel and therapist must know what works and how they can be used in treatment for specific cases.
Undergoing medical detoxification is important for people being treated for any type of drug and substance abuse. Typically, the type of detox a patient will be put through will depend on the particular type of addiction in question and how severe the situation is.
The purpose of detox is to flush out as much residue as possible from the patient’s system and bring them to a place where they gradually begin to lose their urges for the abused substances. It will also help the patient to cope with withdrawal syndromes that usually accompany getting people off drug and substance addiction. Detox helps is important for helping patients undergoing rehab to be stabilized medically and psychologically.
Residential (Inpatient) Treatment
During the in-patient treatment, patients are required to live on-site at a treatment facility for the duration of the treatment or until the medical therapist determines they can leave the facility. The in-patient treatment method is usually prescribed when the addiction is at an advanced stage, and a full-time treatment schedule is required.
Usually, the treatment is intense and could run for anything between 30 and 90 days. With residential treatment, the idea is to take them away from access to the abused substances and provide them with thorough and holistic care, which will help to minimize or cancel out their chances of relapse afterward.
After the process of residential treatment is done, the next phase is outpatient treatment. However, in some cases where the addiction is considered less severe, patients may be placed on outpatient care from the beginning without the need to have them live in the facility. Outpatient treatment allows the patient to live with his family and carry out his regular life while still being treated.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment
This type of treatment is necessary for people who need to be placed on comprehensive treatment and monitoring without them having to live on site. Patients on IOP are required to spend between 9 and 20 hours a week on treatment. They are allowed to report to the treatment facility as specified, and it allows them to practice what they’re learning at the facility in real-time.
However, before placing patients on IOP, the therapists and the client themselves must be sure that they don’t live or work in an environment where they can be easily influenced or tempted to return to the substance of their addiction.
PHP is the type of addiction treatment that requires a patient to commit to 20 hours and above every week to treatment. With this type of treatment, attendance and commitment are compulsory, and the process is intense.
It is important to note that once a person is placed on treatment, they must ensure to follow through till the end. Treatment should go on for as long as is required for their mental and psychological well-being. It’s often tough breaking the chains of addiction, so a half-hearted or inconsistent approach to treatment just will not suffice.
Types of Drug Addiction Therapy Programs
To effectively treat drug addiction and substance abuse in people, the need to put them through therapy sessions cannot be overemphasized. During the sessions, the goal is to teach the clients the required recovery skills they need to get off addiction and stay sober.
There are various types of addiction therapies which include the following:
- Individual, Group & Family Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Contingency Management (CM)
- Motivational Interviewing (MI)
- Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
- Seeking Safety & Other Trauma-Focused Therapies
- Matrix Model
- 12-Step Facilitation
Drug and alcohol addiction usually happens after some years when a person has sufficiently used a particular substance to the point where they can no longer function without that substance. The person finds himself or herself in a position where they are unable to exercise restraint or reason in using the particular substance, alcohol, or drug. Over time their body chemistry adjusts to relying on the abused substance to maintain balanced brain function.
When a person is suffering from addiction, the process of treating them and getting them to be free from that addiction should be deliberate and gradual. They can’t just decide to stop using the substances they have been addicted to at once. Otherwise, they may feel uncomfortable.
In severe cases, addicts suffer agonizing withdrawal symptoms, especially in cases where the abuse has been on for years. Addicts don’t just stop being addicts overnight. It is best for people to self-appraise from time to time because there’s a thin line between being sober and being controlled by addiction. It starts gradually until you’re hooked and find it hard to turn back.
So when you notice that your dependence and need for certain drugs or substances are growing, it’s time to start slowing down and back-peddling. To take it a step further, people who notice quickly that they’re beginning to depend on substances should inform a counselor, a therapist, or a doctor who can assess them and proffer helpful tips to help them make a U-turn.
If you or your loved ones are battling addiction, it is not advisable to try to stop by yourself without the support of a trained medical therapist. In some cases and with certain types of drug addiction, the withdrawal symptoms can be severe and life-threatening.
Don’t Delay! Get Help for Addiction Today
Addiction to drugs, alcohol and any other illicit substances is a crisis that should not be ignored. It’s not going to fix itself, either so the earlier you seek professional help for yourself or your loved ones, the better. If you leave the addiction untreated, it can potentially wreck your life in very significant ways.
There are many rehab facilities in cities across the US that can offer you quality treatment and therapy to help you take back your life. So don’t linger. Talk to someone today. Call the addiction treatment and therapy center in your center, and they will guide you with the information you need.