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Information on Addiction from our Addiction Recovery Consultants

About Addiction & Recovery

A drug can be defined as any substance taken to modify, change, or heal something within the body. There are both legal and illegal drugs. Prescription drugs have medicinal value and are legally prescribed by doctors. Street drugs have no medicinal value and can only be purchased illegally. For the purposes of addiction rehabilitation, make no mistake, alcohol is also considered a drug, and one of the most dangerous. Regardless of the type of drug, many are physically addictive and all share the potential to be psychologically addictive. Drugs can be classified and put into groups according to the effects produced on the brain.

Recovery from Addiction - Call for help, you are not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from some sort of addiction. It's important to find the best treatment program and not to do it alone.

Drug treatment and alcohol rehab centers exist to provide a safe place for individuals suffering from drug addiction, alcoholism, dual-diagnosis disorders, eating disorders, and other behavioral health issues. Please visit our other resource pages for more information.

Chronic Pain - Chronic pain needs to be addressed when addressing ones addiction. Specialty tracks are available and important to prevent relapse.

Some facts about chronic pain:
Chronic pain is a significant healthcare problem affecting at least 75 million Americans each year. While acute pain has the positive effect of alerting the body to acute or potential organ damage, chronic pain can be a debilitating condition for the individual, affecting almost every aspect of daily living, from sleep to self esteem. Non Malignant chronic pain is a common occurrence in today's society. A small subset of this group is the chemically addicted, chronic pain patient who represents anywhere between 3% to 18% of the chronic pain population. These patients tend to have a genetic predisposition to rapid tolerance to narcotic analgesics and find themselves having to take ever increasing doses of medication to achieve any therapeutic effect.
Pain medication addiction treatment begins with medically managed detoxification designed to effectively treat withdrawal symptoms and protect from breakthrough pain. Traditional chemical dependency treatment is then supplemented by additional issue focused groups and techniques designed to create an alternative pain management treatment strategy to replace the use of narcotic analgesics. Alternative pain management methods are introduced while in chemical dependency treatment under the direction of the medical director.

Premier treatment center for the above Older Adults and Chronic Pain client is www.hvrc.com.  Please visit their website for more information.

Older Adults - Special Tracks are available for older adults. It's important that each person is treated on an individual basis and being comfortable with ones environment is very important.

Some facts about older adults:
Society is only beginning to realize the pervasiveness of substance abuse among people age 55 and older. Until recently, alcohol and prescription drug misuse, which affects as many as 17% of older adults, was commonly ignored by health care professionals and often not identified by family members and loved ones. Prescription medication misuse is the most common substance related problem among older adults, with alcohol running a close second. Often healthcare providers and others attributed symptoms of substance abuse and dependency to common issues of aging explaining away the possibility of a substance problem. 87% of older adults see a physician regularly, but it is estimated that 40% of those at risk of substance dependency are not diagnosed. In addition, older adults are more likely to hide their substance abuse and less likely to seek professional help than others. Many are ashamed of the problem and choose not to address it. The overall result is that thousands of older adults who need treatment do not receive it.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends older adult treatment settings that incorporate the following six features:

  • Age-specific group treatment that is non confrontational and aims to build or rebuild the patient's self-esteem
  • A focus on coping with depression, loneliness, and loss
    A focus on rebuilding or establishing a social support network
  • A pace and content of treatment appropriate for the older person
  • Staff members who are interested and experienced in working with older adults
  • Linkages with medical services and other supportive services

 

How can we tell if someone is abusing or addicted to drugs? Most treatment professional use the DSM code noted below.

Criteria for Substance Dependence Diagnosis.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - III - R
[DSM-III-R is not currently used but has historical utility.] At least three of the following are necessary; some of the symptoms of the disturbance must have persisted for at least one month or have occurred repeatedly over a longer period of time:

  • Substance is often taken in larger amounts or over longer period than intended
  • Persistent desire or one or more unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use
  • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to get the substance (e.g., theft), taking the substance (e.g., chain smoking), or recovering from its effects
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced because of substance abuse
  • Continued substance use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, psychological, or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by use of the substance
  • Marked tolerance: need for markedly increased amounts of the substance (> 500/ increase) in order to achieve intoxication or desired effect, or markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount
  • Characteristic withdrawal symptoms
  • Substance often taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms
  • Frequent intoxication or withdrawal symptoms when expected to fulfill major role obligations or when use is physically hazardous

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - IV

A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:

  • Substance is often taken in larger amounts or over longer period than intended
  • Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use
  • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance (e.g., visiting multiple doctors or driving long distances), use the substance (e.g., chain smoking), or recover from its effects
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced because of substance abuse
  • Continued substance use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent psychological, or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by use of the substance

Tolerance, as defined by either:

  1. need for read amounts of the substance in order to achieve intoxication or desired effect; or
  2. markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount
  3. Withdrawal, as manifested by either:
  4. characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance; or
  5. the same (or closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms

International Classification of Diseases - 10
[ICD-10 research criteria differ from the clinical diagnostic quidelines listed here.] Three or more of the following must have been experienced or exhibited at some time during the previous year:

  • Difficulties in controlling substance-taking behavior in terms of its onset, termination, or levels of use
  • A strong desire or sense of compulsion to take the substance
  • Progressive neglect of alternative pleasures or interests because of psychoactive substance use, increased amount of time necessary to obtain or take the substance or to recover from its effects
  • Persisting with substance use despite clear evidence of overtly harmful consequences, depressive mood states consequent to heavy use, or drug related impairment of cognitive functioning
  • Evidence of tolerance, such that increased doses of the psychoactive substance are required in order to achieve effects originally produced by lower doses
  • A physiological withdrawal state when substance use has ceased or been reduced, as evidence by: the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance; or use of the same (or a closely related) substance with the intention of relieving or avoiding withdrawal symptoms.

Note: The above is a suggested resource. It is not meant to be a complete list. All information provided is free of charge and is not intended as a substitute for professional or medical advice.

Call our addiction recovery consultants (free of charge) now to learn about our substance abuse referral services for the right drug rehab referral.