For most of us, the mention of a drug addict conjures up all kinds of images. From the wayward teen looking for meth to the military veteran using opioids to escape PTSD, most roles carry a stigma. We see them as negative, and that makes it harder for us to understand and talk about the problem. Addiction is a real illness, and specific drug addiction risk factors make some people more vulnerable.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a shopping trip to the mall, the applause after a performance, or the thrill of skiing down the slope, the brain remembers all kinds of pleasure in the same way - by releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine into the pleasure center of the brain. Addictive drugs create the same surge, but they’re also fast and powerful.
Researchers think dopamine interacts with other neurotransmitters to control the reward center in the brain. This works to our advantage if it’s linked to survival skills, but it's more dangerous in other situations. Substances and behaviors that stimulate the reward center feel good, but they can overload the brain’s circuit.
With repeated exposure, the desire to feel good becomes a compulsion, and users need to repeat the experience. Some drugs lead to addiction more quickly than others. The way the substance is used, whether it's injected, swallowed, injected, or smoked, also plays a role.
Knowing what causes drug addiction is an important part of fighting substance use disorder. These drug addiction risk factors raise the risk of dependency:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Social Anxiety Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
The first step to recovery is a detox program that provides medical supervision and counseling. Holistic detox centers provide traditional care, but they also integrate healthy living and alternative healing practices, such as yoga, meditation, chiropractic, equine therapy, art therapy, music therapy, acupuncture, and massage.
A holistic approach to detox and rehab looks at the initial reason for substance use, a difficult childhood, for example, or a co-occurring condition like depression or anxiety, and searches for the root of the problem. In addition to counseling, medical care, and necessary medications, treatment focuses on restoring balance and self-worth.
Although detox can safely manage the physical symptoms of withdrawal, it is usually not enough for lasting sobriety. Facilities with both detox and rehab programs allow patients to complete their stays with minimal transition pains.
At Enlightened Solutions, our goal is to heal the mind, body, and spirit. If you're interested in holistic detox, contact us for more information.
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