For those of us who had come of age by the mid-1980s, our lives have been inundated with anti-drug and alcohol messages for the last 25 to 30 years, and rightly so. Unfortunately, drug abuse and alcoholism are alive and well in 2014, despite the untold amounts of money that state, local, and federal governments and non-profit organizations have spent on educating the public about the dangers of substance abuse and addiction.
The tricky part of dealing with any kind of substance abuse is its complexity. The social, psychological, and behavioral factors that lead to abuse and addiction are too strong for many individuals to resist. Thus, even if they are well aware of the dangers of abusing drugs and alcohol, people who abuse drugs and alcohol do not worry about the long-term effects; all they are thinking about is how “good” drugs and alcohol can make them feel right now. The obvious consequences of this mindset can be long-term abuse and dependency.
In the beginning, drug and alcohol abuse is mostly psychological, and usually requires the help of a medical professional who has been trained via a family practice residency geared toward treating chemical dependency. However, when the abuse becomes so severe that the body begins to “look forward” to, and expect, the next round, the abuser is now said to have become physically dependent on whatever substance he or she has been abusing. This is the point where an abuser of drugs or alcohol has officially reached the addiction stage.
When this occurs, if an addict goes without drugs or alcohol for too long, the abuser will begin to experience potentially severe physical withdrawal symptoms. As a result, the abuse is no longer about “feeling good,” but about assuaging the body’s craving for a specific substance. This is when addiction rehab is the only chance that an addict can overcome his or her addiction permanently.
Drug and alcohol detox centers provide the professional resources and support systemd to assist individuals with substance addictions to successfully overcome their dependencies. Oftentimes, a family doctor will have gone through a family practice residency for the specific purpose for treating alcoholism and drug addiction.
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