Drug & Alcohol Addiction

What is Addiction?


Addiction is a brain disease that has no face. It can happen to anyone. Addiction occurs when someone uses drugs to point where it causes significant damage to their clinical and functional capabilities. The person in active addiction will forego their needs in order to get the high they are craving. This compulsive behavior rewires their brain so they lose their ability to choose whether or not they continue abusing. They may even evolve into cross addiction or cross dependence. Addiction sabotages every aspect of a person’s life.

When people first begin to take drugs, they don’t plan on ending up addicted. They may start out just experimenting for the fun of it and end up getting hooked. After using drugs for a long time people can build up a tolerance, which requires them to use more and more to receive the desired high. When the individual keeps using, the drug eventually takes over his or her brain and makes them behave in ways they wouldn’t have otherwise.

The Addicted Brain

Why Me?

If you struggle with an addiction, you may ask yourself how you got there. You may feel as though something is wrong with you or you are a bad person. The truth of the matter is that addiction doesn’t discriminate. It will come after anybody.

What causes addiction?

Addiction is caused by a myriad of factors. Most importantly, however, addiction isn’t something that happens to bad people who want to hurt others. However, a combination of genetics, trauma and environment can combine to make addiction possible.

Brain’s Reward System

Drugs impact the brain’s reward system through dopamine. The brain feels like it’s rewarded whenever someone does drugs. However, it’s a synthetic, false reward.

Dopamine and Addiction

Dopamine and Addiction: Dopamine is stimulated by drug use. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in creating feelings of pleasure that our brains generally relate to eating and sex.

plus iconSigns of  Addiction


When someone begins to fall into addiction, it should become obvious to the people around them. They will exhibit several signs that point to the fact that their brains are rewired. One of the most obvious signs of addiction is a loss of control. They don’t have the ability to quit using drugs or alcohol even when it gets to the point of hurting themselves or other people. Another sign that someone has developed an addiction results in avoiding or dropping activities. For instance, someone who stops participating in family activities and events all of a sudden. Or if an individual begins stops going to work or school.

Risk taking increases when a person has an addiction. They will do whatever it takes to get their drug of choice even if it means hurting others or breaking the law. In active addiction, a person’s brain is rewired in a way that makes them put using at the top of their hierarchy of needs. It literally becomes their means of survival. As such they will do anything to obtain it.

As someone delves deep into their addiction, they will inevitably go through relationship issues. They might become hostile or aggressive with the people they care most about. They can turn into a whole different person. This becomes especially apparent when someone attempts to call them out on their addiction issue. They might feel like someone is attacking them when the person simply wants to get them help.

People who develop an addiction need to maintain a lot of lies. They often have to try and hide their addiction from others so that they don’t have to stop. Because of this, they might start lying about seemingly simple things. Watch out for secrecy and increased privacy.

When someone uses a drug for a long enough time, it will take more and more of the drug in order to get the desired high. This is known as tolerance. As someone’s tolerance builds up, they will find themselves at an inevitable road block and will have to decide whether or not they want to continue using. As tolerance increases, so do the dangers of someone becoming addicted.

Withdrawal symptoms are another sign that someone has developed an addiction. Withdrawal symptoms happen when the body—after depending on the drug for a period of time—goes through shock as it gets deprived of the drug. The person may experience everything from vomiting to shaking as a result of not using the drugs. This is why people who abuse drugs often get trapped in the vicious cycle as they use to not have to go through the various withdrawal symptoms.

Last, people who have an addiction will continue to use despite any negative consequences that may befall them. They will put using above everything and everyone in their life. It will become something that they have to do—no matter what.

Overall, it’s important to know the signs of addiction so that you can proactively help someone who is suffering. It may not be easy, but your help can be the difference between your loved one getting the treatment that they need or ending up as another death statistic.

“Addiction VS Dependency ”

Inpatient rehab provides 24-hour residential care to patients, providing group and individual therapy with licensed therapists. The best inpatient treatment care is integrative and incorporates the psychological, spiritual, emotional and physical dimensions of addiction. Inpatient has the best track record of providing people with long-lasting recovery.

plus iconAddiction Doesn’t Discriminate

Substance Abuse Treatment

When someone develops an addiction, they will need to seek out treatment. Treatment can take on many forms. There is hospitalization, inpatient and outpatient—to name a few. The most prominent form of treatment for people seeking recovery is inpatient. Inpatient provides 24-hour residential care for those seeking recovery. With hospitalization, the patient will be stabilized so that they can attend an inpatient or outpatient program. Outpatient programs are for people who have schedules that don’t make it conducive to attending an inpatient, intensive program. In outpatient, the client will

It is the most comprehensive treatment program. When someone first comes to inpatient treatment, they will go through detox in order to cleanse their body of all the harmful toxins accumulated throughout drug use. This period lasts anywhere from 3 to 14 days. Most facilities will provide the client with medication to help assist with the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

After the detoxification period, the client will go through the therapeutic dimension to learn the various skills to recovery. The two main dimensions of therapy are group and individual therapy. These groups teach coping skills and interpersonal dynamics to people. Recovery is a lifelong journey of self-understanding.

Learn More About Substance Abuse Treatment

Underlying Issues of Addiction

Drug or alcohol addiction hurt you from so many different angles. Not only will an addiction diminish your health, but it will ruin your relationships and decay your career options. When someone suffers from a substance abuse problem, they start to put getting loaded on the top of their priority list. Before you know it, they miss family gatherings and other important social meetings. It can be easy for family and friends to run out of patience and give up. Once the feeling of isolation sinks in, getting loaded is the only thing that still makes you feel normal.

The only safe and efficient way to end an addiction is to complete rehab. Because the only other choices are death or prison. An addiction’s main goal is to kill the user. It makes people feel alone and helpless so that it continues to keep get fed. Know that you have options to change your situation. You do not have to keep feeding your addiction. Deciding to go to rehab is brave and you should feel prideful that you are willing to admit that you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Do not miss out on another happy times in your life because of drugs or alcohol.

Learn More About The Underlying Issues of Addiction


Over 88% of individuals with addiction do not get the help they need.

This number is far too high. There are several reasons why people with an addiction do not seek out the help they need. One of the major ones is that they simply don’t want to get help. People in this category may feel hopeless. They might feel like treatment won’t help, so they won’t seek it out. One of the other reasons why people don’t get help for their addiction is because the perceived cost of it. People often think that addiction treatment is too pricey and will not even look into it. However, most treatment plans offer payment plans and scholarships. Additionally, most major insurance companies will pay for most, if not all of the treatment costs.

plus iconIt Can Happento Anyone

Addiction to Alcohol

Alcohol is ubiquitous. It shows up in many cultures, making it hard to escape. The substance itself is a depressant that acts as a stimulant. People often turn to alcohol for comfort. As a depressant it relaxes the body and slows down the mind. It’s natural that people would want to turn to that. However, alcohol use is a slippery slope. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol use causes 88,000 deaths a year. There are three levels of drinkers: moderate drinkers, binge drinkers and heavy drinkers. For moderate drinkers, they will generally have 1 drink a day or drink on special occasions. To fill the requisite for binge drinking, someone would have had to drank 5 or more alcoholic drinks on at least 1 day in the past 30 days. Heavy drinking is the risky type of drinking. It’s when someone drinks 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days.

People must be careful with drinking. In order to receive an alcohol use disorder (the term for when people become addicted to alcohol) they have to meet certain standards. Some of the standards include inability to control intake, tolerance, drinking despite consequences and developing withdrawal symptoms.

Learn More About Alcohol Addiction

Addicted to Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse is at an all-time high in our country. Millions of people are using prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. Many of those people are in the mindset that prescription drugs are not as dangerous as street drugs. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) concluded, through a survey, that 51 percent of people who abuse prescription drugs do so because they are not “illegal.” But using prescription drugs without proper medical authorization can lead to an addiction. Your body can crave pills in a way that is similar to heroin and cocaine.

The top three most abused prescription drug categories are: painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants. NIDA reported that in 2010, 5.1 million people admitted to abusing painkillers. In that same survey, NIDA also found out that 54.2 people who abuse prescription drugs get them for free from someone they know. With easy access to prescription drugs, misinformed people can easily develop an addiction. Many people also believe that rehab is not needed to lay off prescription drugs. Also false. Once a chemical dependency is developed to a substance rehab becomes the only logical answer.

Need a new way? Get help today!

Detox withdrawal symptoms may be painful, severe, and life threatening. Individuals shouldn’t attempt to quit drugs cold turkey. There is a solution. Stop waiting and get the help you need. You are worth it.


Heroin Addiction

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that’s made from morphine. Morphine is a naturally occurring substance that’s taken from poppy plants. Heroin comes in a brown or white powder and is mixed with sugars, starch, powdered milk or quinine. Highly pure Heroin can even be smoked or snorted, which appeals to a lot of new users due to the stigma of injection.

Opioids such as Heroin, block pain receptors creating feelings of euphoria. People often seek out Heroin as an escape from pain—whether that’s physical or figurative. A lot of people who abuse Heroin begin with painkillers. They might do this because of genuine pain they or feeling or they need an escape. Whatever the reason, painkillers cost a lot of money. If someone develops an addiction to painkillers, they can easily transition to Heroin, which is cheaper and produces a more intense high.

The negative side effects of using Heroin include euphoria, nausea, constipation and depressed respiration. Heroin use has become a national epidemic. People throughout the country are attempting to numb their problems with the Opioid. The Heroin epidemic is partially the fault of relaxed pain killer prescriptions. Doctors are giving out pain killers more freely, which makes addiction a possibility—especially with the highly addictive ones.

Learn More About Heroin Addiction

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a drug extracted from coca leaves. It was originally marketed as a painkiller. People generally inhale the drug. People can also swallow or run the drug into their gums. Some people choose to even inject the drug in order to get a more intense high. Cocaine engages the receptors in the brain which have to do with the reward system. In essence, cocaine makes the brain feel like it’s being rewarded.

As someone continues to use, the brain will develop in ways that make it crave the drug and develop a tolerance. People who abuse cocaine put themselves at risk to a number of potential health and psychological issues. They can experience breathing failures, stroke or heart attack.

If someone has developed a cocaine addiction, they will need to seek out a treatment center. Treatment helps people get control of their lives. It can be difficult to live within the highs and lows of cocaine abuse. There’s no middle or stability when you abuse cocaine. You are either high or low.

In treatment you will learn how to develop healthy coping mechanisms. You will learn about how to access genuine joy. You will learn how to take care of yourself.

Learn More About Cocaine Addiction

plus iconTrue Stories of Addiction

This video series lets you look into the stories of people who were able to fight back and conquer their addiction. Do not feel that you are the only one who is having a hard time with drugs or alcohol. These people were where you are now.
View More Episodes

Meth Addiction

Meth, or Methamphetamine, is one of the most powerful drugs. It comes in a white, odorless and bitter-tasting powder. People take Meth in a number of ways. Meth can be taken orally, smoked, dissolved in water or alcohol and injected or snorted. When someone snorts or injects the drug, it delivers it faster to the brain. Meth is made in superlabs in the United States and Mexico by using pseudoephedrine, which is an ingredient in cold medicines.

Meth increases the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine plays a role in the reward part of the brain and dictates pleasure and such. Methamphetamine’s ability to increase dopamine can create a sense of euphoria for the user. People who use Methamphetamine long-term can experience anxiety, insomnia, confusion and may engage in violent behavior. They might also experience symptoms of psychosis, including psychosis, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. Long-term Meth use can also cause extreme weight loss, intense dental problems and skin sores.

Developing an addiction to Meth can happen slow or quickly. It all depends on the person. When someone has developed a Meth addiction, they will need to seek out treatment. Treatment will help the person learn skills to avoid using. People can overcome Meth addiction.

Learn More About Crystal Meth Addiction

Crack Addiction

Crack Cocaine is the crystal form of cocaine. Cocaine generally comes in a powder form. Crack Cocaine comes in blocks or crystals, which can vary in color from yellow to pale rose or white. To use, people heat and smoke it. Smoking crack has an immediate, albeit short-term high that lasts about 15 minutes. Sadly, people who smoke crack even once can become addicted.

When someone does crack cocaine, they will experience a short, intense high that’s followed by a staggering depression. They will go through an intense craving for the drug again and experience increased heart rate, convulsions and muscle spasms.

When someone develops an increasing tolerance to crack cocaine, it will require more and more of the drug to get the necessary high. When people are continually exposed to Crack Cocaine, they will experience loss of appetite and sleep deprivation. They can even develop psychosis and hallucinations.

When someone develops an addiction—which is easy with Crack Cocaine—they will need treatment. Inpatient treatment is the best for someone with a severe addiction to the drug. Inpatient provides all-encompassing treatment to heal the whole individual in a space where other people are healing. Find your peace from Crack Cocaine addiction.

Learn More About Crack Addiction

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