The choice to take on a drug or alcohol addiction is not one made lightly. For the millions of recovering addicts, it is also a lifelong commitment. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, about 20 million Americans used an illicit drug in the last month. More than 65,000 users die annually.
Another 88,000 people die from excessive use of alcohol while 40 percent of emergency room beds filled with patients with alcohol-related issues. It is a reality that Aspire knows all too well despite the increasing number of users. The facts about drugs and alcohol rehab remain misconstrued.
There is no easy answer for drug and alcohol addiction regardless of popular opinion. It has nothing to do with willpower or morality. Drug and alcohol abuse is deeply entrenched in brain activity, genetics and social environments, which makes them so much more complex than one thinks. Recovery is also complicated as it is a lifelong commitment to maintaining sobriety.
What Is Addiction?
Professionals define addiction as the chronic use of drug or alcohol that affects self-control, brain function and interference with abilities to control the urges to use. Both drugs and alcohol are considered diseases that are inherent with relapses, which is why those in recovery have a higher probability of returning to drug or alcohol rehabilitation centers for treatment.
Does Treatment Work?
Drug treatment and relapse are not mutually exclusive because addiction is always a constant reality. The brain adapts chemically to social behaviors, drug use and lifestyle choices. As it adjusts during sobriety, it may cause someone to crave harmful substances. It can also affect judgment, memory and critical thinking skills which rehab helps users adjust long-term.
A person can live a sober life for many years and relapse at any given moment because of a trigger that affects the brain’s chemical response to dopamine. Overstimulation of dopamine will also derail sobriety which is why those suffering from addiction should not discount after-care treatment plans that cater to lifestyle choices that trigger changes.
What Factors Determine Probability of Addiction?
Did you know that half of your genetic makeup can raise the probability for addiction? The greater your risk, the more probable the chance of addiction.
A few factors include:
- Biological makeup, a history of mental illness, ethnicity and gender raises the risk that someone will become addicted to drugs or alcohol.
- A socio-economic environment will also factor into addiction since there is a commonality between familial usage, economic condition and peer pressure.
- Physical, mental, and sexual abuse are exponential risk factors since many of these abuses begin in and disrupt early childhood development stages.
There is no cure for drug or alcohol addiction. There are highly skilled treatment plans that help people recover and maintain their sobriety. There is also no one-size-fits-all rehabilitation since everyone is different. For most patients, it comes down to a close analysis of mental and physical health as well as drug abuse history. As medical professionals factor in a patient’s health and history as part of a recovery plan, long-term sobriety is possible.