Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS DRUG ADDICTION?
Drug addiction is a chronic disease that changes the brain circuits, including those responsible for governing self-control and other behaviors. Quitting drugs, even with the best intentions and strongest will is very difficult, since drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse.
What is alcoholism
Alcoholism is when you have trouble controlling your drinking, you are preoccupied with alcohol, you continue to use alcohol even when it causes problems in your life (job, relationships, health, etc.), you have to drink more to get the same effect, or you have withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.
Why do drug-addicted persons keep using drugs?
Drug addiction is a biological problem that causes changes in the brain after long term drug abuse, making it difficult to abstain from drugs without getting treatment.
Can alcoholism and addiction be cured?
Alcoholism and addiction are chronic diseases that can be managed successfully with ongoing treatment. Treatment has helped millions of people stop drinking and drugging, rebuild their lives and live a life in long-term recovery. Like other diseases, it is not always cured.
Will treatment work or will I relapse?
Treatment works and has helped millions of people rebuild their lives. Addiction has physiological and behavioral components, thus successful treatment involves changing deeply rooted behaviors. There are times when there is an underlying mental health issue that does not get treated and thus the person may turn to drugs again, causing a relapse. Relapse means the treatment needs to be either reactivated or another type of treatment needs to be utilized.
How do I know if someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol?
When the person keeps using drugs even after the negative affects upon their life, such as loss of job, relationship issues, debt, or physical problems. When their addiction is impeding their life and it doesn’t matter what you say or how bad the situation gets. When drugs are more important than anything else in their life.
Why do some people become addicted to drugs or alcohol, while others don’t?
Like other diseases, conditions differ from person to person. Common risk factors for addiction and alcoholism include genetics, the age when you began using alcohol or drugs, your family situation (such as abuse, trauma, neglect), your social environment (where you live, who you hang out with, ease of access to alcohol or drugs) and the type of drugs that are used.
What is dual diagnosis
Dual diagnosis, also referred to as co-occurring disorder, is when someone experiences a mental illness (bipolar, anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc.) and a substance abuse problem simultaneously. Either substance abuse or mental illness can develop first. Someone with a mental health condition may turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate and try to alleviate their mental health symptoms, making the condition even worse. Substance abuse can also lead to mental health problems because of the effects drugs have on a person’s moods, thoughts, brain chemistry and behavior. People with co-occurring disorders need a specialized form of treatment, referred to as integrated services or dual diagnosis treatment.