At what level can one be described as addicted to substance abuse? In the simplest terms, drug addiction is a chronic disorder that is characterized by uncontrollable or compulsive drug seeking and use. A person who is addicted continues to use such substances despite understanding the harmful consequences, some of which may be long lasting.

Some of these changes alter brain functioning and can, at times, lead to harmful behaviors, which can be seen in people who abuse drugs. Relapse, return to drug use, happens a lot when one is addicted to drug use.

What makes one be addicted to substance abuse?

Those people addicted to drugs are not born with this disorder. Such people start taking drugs for fun while others want to ‘cool’ their minds. However, as the system gets used to these drugs, such a person loses the ability to decide whether to use the drugs or not.

Looking for drugs and taking them thus becomes compulsive. Such a scenario happens after the brain function becomes exposed to drug use for long. Substance addiction alters several parts of the brain, which are mainly involved in things such as learning and memory, control over behavior, reward, and motivation.

What happens to drug addicts?

The effects of drug abuse may vary from one person to the other depending on the type of drug abused, immune system, and frequency of use. However, some common changes occur to those who abuse drugs. One of the most common negative effects is a weakened immune system that increases the risk of illnesses and infections.

The heart also suffers a lot, and one can suffer from abnormal heart rates, infected blood vessels, collapsed veins, and heart attack, to mention a few. Some of these drugs may even affect gene composition in humans.

How to recover from substance abuse

Drug addiction or other forms of substance abuse is not a death sentence. It is treatable. Do you just decide that you will never use drugs again and get treated? It does not work that easy. You’ll often need professional support with it comes to recovering from any form of abuse, such as alcohol addiction help or a drug recovery program.

Most of the addicts require repeated or long term care to recover from substance addiction. Let us explore some of the approaches:

Attend counselling

Counselors play a very crucial role when it comes to drug addiction. Such people form relationships based on trust with the patients to help in the recovery journey. An addict can become vulnerable in the hands of a counsellor and discuss all the challenges that he or she faces in this life.

However, not every counsellor will fit such a role. The addict should seek help from a professional who specializes in substance abuse recovery. The ideal counsellor is one who empathizes with a patient and gives him or her the attention deserved.

Get certified medication

The nature of medication that one should use will depend on the drugs abused and the period. Medications are aimed at managing withdrawal symptoms, preventing relapse, and treat any condition that may occur when one stops using drugs.

Withdrawal drugs aim at detoxifying the system, which is the first step in the recovery journey. The patient needs to use relapse prevention drugs after the detoxification process. Such relapse prevention medications have traces of the abused drug but in small proportions. Some addicts may suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and fever, which as well require medication.

You do not have to wait until your addiction gets out of hand because some medical insurance providers cover addiction treatment in their plans. The length of medication will depend on different factors, such as the damage to the system and state of the immune system.

Behavioral change

Recovering from substance addiction requires that one makes some lifestyle changes. Some people smoke a lot when stressed. The only way to avoid such impulses is to try to lead a relaxed life. Those who drink a lot mostly have a lot of free time at their disposal.

You can develop a new hobby such as swimming, streaming online games, biking, spend some quality time online or even travelling and reduce the time that you spend drinking. An addict who wants to recover may even have to change friends. You need to start being accountable and responsible for how you spend your free time. Getting a support group will also work wonders in the recovery journey.

It is quite evident that one can seek help for substance abuse and escape its effects. However, it is worth noting the path to recovery may not be that easy. The addict needs to have a support system and be disciplined for such an approach to work.

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