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Addiction Treatment

The Statistics of Addiction:

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 21.5 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2014.

Almost 80 percent of individuals suffering from a substance use disorder in 2014 struggled with an alcohol use disorder, NSDUH

Over 7 million Americans in 2014 battled a drug use disorder, per NSDUH.

One out of every eight people who suffered from a drug use disorder in 2014, according to NSUDH, struggled with both alcohol and drug use simultaneously.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published that in 2014, almost 8 million American adults battled both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders.

Drug abuse and addiction cost American society close to $200 billion in healthcare, criminal justice, legal, and lost workplace production/participation costs in 2007, the Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) reports.

Addiction & Genetics

Addiction is heritable about 50 percent of the time, the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Genetics and environmental factors are thought to play equal roles in the onset of addiction, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) states.

Abusing drugs or alcohol before the brain is fully developed, any time before a person’s mid-20s, may increase the risk for addiction later in life due to their potential influence on the still-developing brain, the journal Clinical EEG and Neuroscience

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What is Addiction?

Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences. People with addiction (severe substance use disorder) have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as alcohol or drugs, to the point that it takes over their life.

They keep using alcohol or a drug even when they know it will cause problems. Yet a number of effective treatments are available, and people can recover from addiction and lead normal, productive lives. People with a substance use disorder have distorted thinking, behavior, and body functions.

 Changes in the brain’s wiring are what cause people to have intense cravings for the drug and make it hard to stop using the drug. Brain imaging studies show changes in the areas of the brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory, and behavior control.

These substances can cause harmful changes in how the brain functions. These changes can last long after the immediate effects of the drug — the intoxication. Intoxication is the intense pleasure, calm, increased senses, or a high caused by the drug. Intoxication symptoms are different for each substance. Over time people with addiction build up a tolerance, meaning they need larger amounts to feel the effects.

Symptoms of substance use disorder and addiction are grouped into four categories:

Impaired control: a craving or strong urge to use the substance; desire or failed attempts to cut down or control substance use

Risky use: substance is used in risky settings; continued use despite known problems Impaired control: a craving or strong urge to use the substance; desire or failed attempts to cut down or control substance use

Social problems: substance use causes failure to complete major tasks at work, school or home; social, work or leisure activities are given up or cut back because of substance use

Drug effects: tolerance (need for larger amounts to get the same effect); withdrawal symptoms (different for each substance)

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Other symptoms of substance abuse problems include:

Addictions can include a number of substances, such as opioid pain killers such as codeine, oxycodone, heroin, and others, as well as stimulants such as amphetamines, MDMA, and cocaine. Sedatives can be abused as well, such as muscle relaxers, alcohol, and valium-like medication.

Addiction is a disease, not a choice. It is a disease that hijacks the reward systems of the brain, resulting in compulsive use despite negative consequences. If it was a choice alone, I could simply write a prescription that says, “stop it.” and the job would be done.

Depression, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, low mood, mood swings/moodiness, lack of motivation, lack of interest, sleeplessness, excessive sleepiness, fatigue, body aches, lack of energy, lack of concentration, short attention span, increased or decreased appetite, obsessive thoughts, obsessive eating or eating disorders, and changes in weight.

Treatment of your Addiction:

The treatment varies depending on the type of addiction. You will receive a thorough history and physical to determine the nature of the problem so we can devise the best course of action and treatment plan.

As there are multiple addiction possibilities as well as co-occurring mental health issues, you may need to have a referral to evaluate and treat further mental health problems

Web-based visits (telemedicine) are available for continued care, so not all of your appointments need to occur in the office.

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