Getting Off Drugs

Life without Drugs?

Drug Abuse | The Problem Today

In 2011 2.5 million people drug poisoning-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) also reported among young adults aged 18-25 in the U.S. in 2017, 14.8% (or 5.1 million) had a substance use disorder in the past year – using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons or ingesting illicit drugs.

Drug addiction is a complex disease, which without treatment could can serious health complications or even death. Mixing prescription drugs with illicit drugs, using them in combination with other substances such as alcohol can permanently damage mental capacity and ability to lead a normal life.

Getting Off Drugs | Types of Addictions

Not all drugs create the same type of addictions. The two main forms of drug addictions, prescription and illegal substances can cause a variety of behaviors and reactions that vary from person to person. The disease is still the same. Treatment for a drug addiction is available and has been proven to help thousands of people beat their desire and craving for drugs.

Types of Drug Addictions:

  • Prescription Drugs | Name/Brand
    • Amphetamine | Adderall, Adderall XR, Dextroamphetamine, and Mydasis
    • Barbituates | Pentobarbital (Nembutal), and Secobarbital (Seconal)
    • Benzodiazepines | Alprazolam (Xanax) and Diazepam (Valium)
    • Dextromethorphan (DXM)
    • Methaqualone | Quaalude, Sopor
    • Methylphenidate | Concerta, Daytrana, Metadate, Methylin, and Ritalin
    • Opiate / Codine / Morphine | Avinza, Kadian, and MS Contin
    • Opiod Hydrocodone | Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet
    • Opiod Oxycodone | OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, and Roxicodone
    • Pseudoephedrine | Used in manufacture of Methamphetamine (Meth)
    • Sleep Medication | Zolpidem (Ambien), Eszopiclone (Lunesta), and Zaleplon (Sonata)
  • Antidepressants
    • Citalopram (Celexa)
    • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
    • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Selfemra, Prozac Weekly)
    • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
    • Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva)
    • Sertraline (Zoloft)
    • Vortioxetine (Trintellix, formerly known as Brintellix)
    • vilazodone (Viibryd)
  • Steroids
    • Testosterone (Axiron, Androgel, Fortesta, Testopel, Striant, Delatestryl, Testim, Androderm)
    • Androstenedione.
    • Stanozolol (Winstrol)
    • Nandrolone (Deca-Durabolin)
    • Methandrosteolone (Dianabol)
  • Illicit Drugs
    • Cocaine (also Crack Cocaine)
    • Fentanyl
    • Heroin
    • LSD (Acid)
    • Methamphetamines (Crystal Meth)
    • MDMA (Ecstasy)
    • PCP
    • Special K (Ketamine)

Some feel ashamed and embarrassed about their drug use. Others feel desperate – if they don’t have enough of the drug on hand they will do anything in their power to obtain it. This usually results in poor choices; stealing, manipulating loved ones or family members, trading sex for drugs and other behaviors puts a drug user at an even higher risk for health and mental problems. Infectious diseases like HIV are more likely to occur with drug users, as the craving for a drug may be so powerful a user will do things they normally would have the will power to say no to.


Drug Addiction Treatment and Therapy Types

There are a variety of treatment options available. The first step in getting over a drug addiction is to go through a detox program. Sometimes Interventions are preformed to help the addict / alcoholic and the family recognize that a problem exists with regard to drinking or using, take corrective measures to change behavior, and to begin the process of arresting the disease.These programs help you to get rid of the drugs that are currently in your system, while teaching you how to function without using them. Sometimes additional medication is used to decrease the effects of withdrawal symptoms, while other programs integrate special techniques that don’t use medicine at all.

The next step is to incorporate a treatment approach that teaches you how to live a balanced life. Structured day programs run a set of activities for a fixed period of time (e.g. 4-12 weeks). Clients attend these services according to a set attendance level (usually 5-7 days a week), as set out in their care plans. There is a timetable of activities which will either be the same for everyone, or be set individually for clients according to their needs. Programs often include group work, counselling, education and life skills, and creative activities and training

Some of these programs include:

  • Intervention:
    • Intervention – While interventions can be done without the assistance of a professional interventionist, it is extremely important to recognize and consider risks inherent in the intervention process.
      Perhaps one of the greatest risks to consider is the nature of the disease itself. Chemical dependency has often been described as chronic, progressive, and, in some cases, fatal. An intervention may be the last chance a family has to save the life of a loved one. the intervention is presented in a loving, caring manner with an eye toward restoring dignity for the patient who oftentimes is living with the shame typically associated with the disease. Treatment is offered as a gift, not as a punishment.
  • Inpatient Therapy (Rehab):
    • Detoxification – Rehabilitation from alcohol and drug abuse begins with proper detoxification from alcohol and or drugs, if necessary. This is the initial step because treatment cannot begin until the patient is stable and clear headed. Once they are safely detoxed, treatment and rehabilitation can begin. Many alcoholics choose not to go into alcoholism treatment because they are unable to deal with the withdrawal symptoms that occur during the detox process. The opiate detox process must be medically supervised and can last from 2 days up to 2 weeks. Treatment and rehabilitation always includes assessment, evaluation, education, many types of therapy, counseling and assignments.
    • Residential Treatment – Patients who enroll in a residential program will likely remain there for 30-60 days for effective treatment. Once at a residential facility a patient will have classes, group therapy, meditation, and possibly even homework to help them learn how to live without using drugs. Residential programs are ideal for those who have a severe or long history of addiction issues.
  • Outpatient Therapy:
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy – This type of therapy could be used in an individual or group setting. Its purpose is to help abusers recognize the damaging effects of drug abuse and teach them what situations triggers cravings and how to combat or get away from those feelings.
    • Family therapy – Primarily used for young adults struggling with a drug addiction, this type of therapy helps families learn how to recognize abuse patterns and how to improve family communication. This type of therapy creates a safer environment for a drug abusers, as family members and friends will know how to respond when an addict is struggling.
    • Motivational interview therapy and incentives – This positive reinforcement therapy focuses on rewards and incentives for completing goals, conquering negative behaviors, and working towards a more balanced life. This type of therapy helps drug users focus on positive change.
  • Aftercare / Alumni:
    • Aftercare – Support offered for life beyond the structured treatment environment. The aim is to maintain the positive changes that clients have made in their treatment, and support them to return to normal life. Examples include support for housing, education, employment, general health care and relapse prevention
    • Alumni – Graduates are encouraged to give back some of what they learned to our newer clients and participate in organized sober activities. The alumni program is a win, win program. It is also one of the most important tenets of recovery.

Conclusion:
While you determine a path for getting off drugs, know that help is available to conquer a drug addiction. Loved ones may even intervene on your behalf. Either way, the good news is that treatment does work, and it can be specifically targeted to your needs. The more a program is tailored to your needs, working to heal you physically, mentally, and emotionally, the better chance you will have at beginning a new life without the fear of succumbing to drug abuse.

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