The word “addiction” is often used to refer to any behaviour that is out of control in some way.
You can be addicted to many things in life; a TV show, shopping or food. The word is also used to explain the experience of withdrawal when a substance or behaviour is stopped. Drug addiction is a very complex disease that can affect both our behavior and the way our brains function. Withdrawal from drugs or alcohol is also a very unpleasant experience and sometimes a dangerous medical situation.
One simple way of describing addiction is the presence of the 4 Cs:
- Loss of Control of amount or frequency of use
- Compulsion to use
- Use despite harmful Consequences.
Medical Detox is the crucial first step in overcoming drug and alcohol abuse.
Once you stop the use of the drug of choice, the body reacts to its need for the drug by expressing a series of symptoms that the person cannnot tolerate. Some of these sypmtoms might be life threatening. It is highly recommended not to go through these symptoms without the help of professionals. Without medical supervision and medication, the detoxing process probably fails, despite the willingness to stop, due to the intolerable symptoms. Medical Detox is where the body gets rid of the chemical used without feeling many of the symptoms of withdrawal due to the tailored treatment administered to alleviate such symptoms. This sets the stage and preliminary groundwork for all subsequent recovery efforts.
Substance use can be hard to stop.
Substance use can be hard to stop. One thing that makes stopping so difficult is that the immediate effects of substance use tend to be positive. The person may feel good, have more confidence and forget about his or her problems. The problems caused by substance use might not be obvious for some time.
The person may come to rely on substances to bring short-term relief from stressful feelings or physical pain . The effect of substances can make problems seem less important or make pain disappear. The person usually comes to a point where he or she cannot function or make it through the day without drugs or alcohol. When substances are used to escape or change how he or she feels, using can become a habit, which can be hard to break. For this reason, as in any other disease, the earlier seeking treatment the better the outcome.
Continued substance use, can cause changes in the body, brain and mood. These changes may explain why people continue to crave the substance long after they have stopped using, and why they may slip back into using. A person who develops physical dependence and then stops using may experience symptoms of withdrawal which urge the body to use again.
Even with willpower, neuroscience has proven that the reward circuitry in susceptible person's brains can be hijacked by repeated use of booze or drugs, essentially overriding the users free will to stop. The choice to not use is much more complicated than a lack of willpower.
There are two important signs that a person’s substance use reached a risky level, or is already a problem:
The consequences of substance use can range from mild (e.g., feeling hungover, being late for work) to severe (e.g., homelessness, serious diseases). While each time a person uses a substance may seem to have little impact, the harmful consequences can build up quickly over time. If a person continues to use despite these consequences, he or she may have a substance use problem. That is why it is advisable to seek help the earlier the better.
The harms of substance use can affect every aspect of a person’s life, or life of others. They include:
- Injuries while under the influence and/or diseases due to use (HIV, Hepatitis, malnutrition ...among many others…)
- Ongoing anxiety, irritability or depression
- Trouble thinking clearly
- Problems with relationships
- Spending money on substances rather than on food, bills or other - essentials
- Legal problems related to substance use
- Loss of hope, feelings of emptiness, suicidal thoughts
Loss of control
Some people may be aware that their substance use causes problems but continue to use, even when they want to stop. They may use more than they intend, or in situations where they didn’t want to use. Withdrawal symptoms, or fear of withdrawals, might keep them from stopping the use. Some people may not see that their substance use is out of control and is causing problems. This is often referred to as being in denial. This so-called denial, however, may simply be a lack of awareness or insight into the situation. Whether people realize it or not, loss of control is another sign that substance use is a problem.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to addiction treatment.
Choosing the appropriate model and accordingly increasing chances for success, depends on many factors. Most addiction treatment modalities start with medical detoxification (medical withdrawal management) which is considered the first and most important stage of treatment whatever the following treatment option would be. At NeWorld we know that the best type of treatment varies for every case. We personalize such treatment to fit the client, either through the detox phase or while choosing the recovery protocol post detox. We work with you to match treatment protocol to your specific needs and life style. We beleive this is crucial to gaurantee a high rate of success and long term sobriety.
The most common approach to the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction includes :
Withdrawal management (Medical Detox)
When you are using some type of drugs or alcohol your body and mind are dependant on such substances to function. Stopping the use of such chemicals will result in what is called withdrawal symptoms. This is how your body reacts to low levels of the abused substance. Symptoms of such withdrawal are dependant on the drug used but may include agitation, anxiety, muscle aches, tearing, lack of sleep, shaking, tremors (among others). Other symptoms might be life threatening and need special medical attention. Withdrawal symptoms are one of the reasons the person continues the use. Medical detox is the most professional approach to dealing with such withdrawals to help overcome them smoothly and safely. This is acheived by administration of professionally adjusted doses of medications to help alleviate these physical symptoms to the minimum, under a medical supervision. These medications are then tapered gradually coinciding with physical symptoms until stopped. Once the medical detox process is completed, the person is independent of any drug use. This process should be followed by other treatment modalities that deal with the psychological aspect of addiction (counselling programs).
Counselling comes in a variety of forms and modalities, delivered in either individual sessions, group meetings, couples and family therapy among others. Counselling generally aims to increase a person's awareness of how substance use affects their lives, what trigger's them to use and how to prevent relapse. Help examine user's thoughts and emotions and learn how these inner experiences affects behaviour, interaction with others and how others see them promote physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. Manage cravings and temptations to use substances. Develop a healthy lifestyle find ways to meet people and form relationships that aren’t focused on substance use reduce stress. NEWORLD believes in the importance of counseling programs post detox as an essential step in addiction recovery. We will plan with you the next step before discharge, to guide to the most fitting program to your case. We need to get our clients into the best program and treatment model to increase chances of success.
NEWORLD MEDICAL DETOX. We specialize in Medical detox. We open a new world for our guests to further treatment. While detoxification alone does not address the psychological and behavioral problems associated with addiction, our psychosocial team will work with you to decide your counseling treatment program post detox.
At NEWORLD we follow our detox protocol with a psychosocial assessment and accordingly recommend the perfect program that suits your assessment results.
Could not stop using on your own?
You might have tried and failed. Withdrawal symptoms are hard and sometimes dangerous. Why suffer? Get help from our professional medical team to pass symptoms as safely and comfortably as can be.
On a methadone or suboxone program and want to get off?
At Neworld, we have a special detox protocol for methadone and suboxone clients. Our physician will help you get off your daily dose. Walk out to a New World with no narcotics!
Why commit to a long term residential program early on?
Not ready to make such a commitment? There are lots of options for your treatment recovery post detox once withdrawal is behind you. NEWORLD will help you decide.