Drug Addiction Treatment Defined
Most scientists now consider drug addiction a brain disease: a condition caused by persistent changes to brain structure and function. Using drugs repeatedly over time changes brain structure and function in fundamental and long lasting ways that can persist long after the individual stops using them. After a certain amount of a drug is consumed, and that amount is different for everyone, it is as if a switch in the brain is flipped from normal to addict. At this point drug addiction treatment becomes neccessary.
Drug Addiction is defined as uncontrollable, compulsive drug craving, seeking and use even in the face of negative health and social consequences. Very few people are able to return to occasional use after becoming addicted.
What does understanding drug addiction as a brain disease mean?
Many people believe that drug addiction is a failure of will. Research contradicts this. However, this does not mean the addict is simply a hapless victim, nor does it absolve the addict of responsibility for his or her behavior. But it does explain why an addict cannot stop using by sheer force of will alone.
How do you treat drug addiction?
Research finds that the best form of drug addiction treatment is long-term treatment that heals the entire individual, combining medication, behavioral therapy, social services and rehab treatment. Also, different drug addictions (such as crack cocaine addiction, prescription drug addiction, OxyContin addiction, methadone addiction, meth addiction, opiate addiction, heroin addiction and others) require specific and unique approaches to detox, treatment and rehabilitation.
Another crucial finding on drug addiction treatment is that it does not need to be completely voluntary to work. In fact, studies suggest that increased pressure to stay in treatment — whether from the legal system, or from family members or employers — increases the amount of time patients remain in treatment and improves their treatment outcomes.
What you can do to help a person with drug addiction?
1. Understand that while a person who is addicted to drugs made the choice to try the drug, they did not choose to become addicted. An addicted person’s brain is functioning abnormally and their drug use is out of their control. They need and deserve the same medical treatment as anyone else with a chronic illness would receive.
2. Find them a treatment program that treats all of their individual problems together, such as drug addiction, behavioral issues, mental illness and/or life skills.
3. Since treatment does not have to be voluntary to work, consider involving the justice system, employer or other intervention.
Many issues come up in early sobriety that can be difficult to handle. The staff at Pat Moore Foundation is on call 24-hours and understands this, and is eager to help at any time of the day or night. Our goal is to enable each person who enters our doors walk the road to a healthy and happy recovery.
Pat Moore Foundation’s drug addiction treatment programs are licensed and certified by The State of California. Pat Moore Foundation patients have access to opiate and opioid detoxification provided by a third party medical corporation that uses suboxone. Our individual homes are on a unique co-ed campus where we offer gender specific treatment. We are located in Costa Mesa, in Orange County, Southern California, close to Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, and only an hour’s drive from Los Angeles and San Diego. To speak with a counselor, please call us 24-hours or if you’d like us to contact you, send a confidential message online by filling out our online form.
Note: All medical services are administered by medical professionals, which are facilitated and operated solely under the jurisdiction of a separate medical corporation.