Why HOLY Addiction Care Center?
About Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a disease. People who are addicted to Drugs have become physically dependent on a drug and need that drug in order to function normally.
It is true that for most people the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary.
But for some people, drug use turns to drug abuse without them being aware of it happening. Addiction to Drugs can occur in a matter of days and it can happen to anyone.
Medical research has discovered that addiction is a developed disease that produces biochemical changes in the brain. These changes in brain chemistry are the major factors in the physical symptoms of substance dependence that produce cravings and withdrawal.
Our outpatient treatment program offers hope to individuals and families suffering from the disease of drug dependence. Treatment is the beginning of a new and better way of life.
Our program provides services that promote healing of the mind, body, and spirit.
Each year, the disease of drug addiction affects more than 20 million Americans, their families, friends, and loved one. Without proper treatment, the prognosis is poor for those suffering from drug addiction: the body deteriorates, the mind is damaged, and the spirit is crushed.
Long-term drug addiction can cause one’s personality to change. This is called the Biochemical Personality. Some of the characteristics are:
- Mood swings
- Unable to finish projects
- Unexpressed resentment and secret hatreds
- Lies to family, friends, employers
- Withdraws from those who love him. Isolates self
- May appear chronically depressed, anxious and paranoid
- May begin stealing from family and friends
REMEMBER YOUR LIFE BEFORE COCAINE, METHAMPHETAMINE, HEROIN, MARIJUANA OR ALCOHOL.
I can’t Write
I Can’t Sing
I Can’t Think
I Can’t Remember
I Can’t Deal with it
I Can’t Handle it Anymore
Please Help Me!
UNDERSTANDING SUBSTANCE ABUSE
When you first realize that your substance use has become a problem, it is natural to ask “why me?” and “how could this happen?” The more urgent question is: what can you do to get the treatment you deserve?
To understand the significance of the treatment, it is important to understand the neurochemical mechanisms by which people become addicted to a chemical substance, whether it be alcohol, heroin, marijuana or a stimulant like cocaine and methamphetamines.
The place to start is in the brain, where a number of reinforcement mechanisms exist “reward pathways” that depend on several different biochemical substances called neurotransmitters for normal functioning. The neurotransmitters are dopamine, serotonin, opiate peptides and gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA). Neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating mood.
Dopamine, serotonin, GABA and opiate peptides are necessary to experience feelings of euphoria, energy, self-esteem and a sense of well being. Substances of abuse, such as heroin, cocaine,marijuana and alcohol, cause a magnification of the effects of these neurotransmitters by overstimulating the receptor sites in the brain associated with each neurotransmitter. The elevation in mood caused by this over stimulation is so pleasurable that it creates a desire for continued use of the substance. However, when overstimulation occurs, the brain reacts by reducing production of the neurotransmitters to attempt to maintain a normal level of neurotransmitter activity.
Consequently, more frequent and higher doses of the substance of abuse are necessary to induce pleasure. Furthermore, when the pleasurable “high” from the substances wears off, the brain experiences more acutely the lack of neurotransmitters caused by reduced production, and symptoms such as depression, anxiety and paranoia begin. At this point, memories of the euphoric experience of the abused substance cause a craving for more of the substance, and the cycle of use continues.
How Could This Have Happened?
Why do some people become addicted, while others do not?
No single factor can predict whether or not a person will become addicted to drugs. Risk for addiction is influenced by a person’s biology, social environment, and age or stage of development. The more risk factors an individual has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction. For example:
|•||Biology. The genes that people are born within combination with environmental influences — account for about half of their addiction vulnerability. Additionally, gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may influence risk for drug use and addiction.|
|•||Environment. A person’s environment includes many different influences–from family and friends to socioeconomic status and quality of life in general. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, stress, and parental involvement can greatly influence the course of drug use and addiction in a person’s life.|
|•||Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person’s life to affect addiction vulnerability, and adolescents experience a double challenge. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it is to progress to more serious misuse. And because adolescents’ brains are still developing in the areas that govern decisionmaking, judgment, and self-control, they are especially prone to risk-taking behaviors, including trying drugs.|
Consequences of Addiction and Drug Abuse
The consequences of drug addiction are numerous, severe, and affect all aspects of life:
Continuous use of drugs leads to physical dependence and adverse symptoms such as nausea, constipation, sedation and weakened immune system. Upon stopping use without proper treatment, you can expect to feel intense withdrawal symptoms that include diarrhea, anxiety, depression, nausea and sleeplessness.
Nearly all drug addicts have a comorbid psychiatric disorder, most commonly anxiety, psychosis and mood disorders.
In the brain, activity of serotonin receptors is affected, which in turn leads to depression, lethargy, and moodiness. This chemical addiction necessitates continued use of the drugs in order to feel “normal.”
Less time is spent with friends and family. Parents lose touch with kids. Married people lose touch with their spouses. Kids lose touch with friends and family. Work or school becomes secondary to the addiction. Careers are damaged as people lose their jobs. Students fail classes and sometimes drop out of school altogether. Families fall apart.
The cost of addiction to drugs can be hundreds of dollars per day. Money intended for food, clothes, bills, etc., is spent on drugs. Society also pays for drug addiction because of increased hospital fees, increased law enforcement and judicial expenses, and prison costs.
Accidents, violence, legal problems and even death are associated with continued drug use. The effort to obtain illicit pain medication or drugs often lands people in jail or other legal trouble. The incidence of death from overdose and drug-related accidents among people who abuse drugs is disproportionately high.
Use, Abuse, and Dependence
Almost everyone tries alcohol or other drugs at least once. For an unlucky few with strong genetic or environmental risk factors, the first exposure is enough to create an addiction. But for most people who develop a substance dependence problem, there is at least a short period of recreational use in which the pleasurable effects seem to outweigh the negatives. The difference between substance use, abuse, and dependence is a matter of degree and time.
- Substance use is the use of alcohol or other drugs that is relatively free of negative consequences.
- Abuse is the use of alcohol or other drugs despite adverse personal, legal, or health consequences.
- Dependence is the physical and psychological changes to your brain, body, and social life that take place as a result of sustained abuse. Substance dependence causes you to crave drugs, need more to achieve the same effects, and have withdrawal symptoms when you stop. Substance dependence and addiction are similar, except the term “addiction” also describes compulsive habits that may not include drug use.
Addicts can not stop using drugs for two reasons:
- The Biochemical Personality caused by drugs and the lifestyle of the addict.
- Cravings caused by drug residues which remain in the body.
When a person continuously uses drugs, his body becomes supersaturated with metabolites (the chemicals the body converts the drugs). These metabolites, although removed rapidly from most bodily tissues, may become trapped in the fatty tissues and remain there for years.
When he tries to quit, these drug metabolites can be released back into the bloodstream. This can trigger drug cravings which is almost impossible to resist.
Presence of these metabolites in the blood, even in microscopic amounts, cause the brain to react as if the addict were withdrawing from the drug. Receptor sites in brain cells that have adapted to large amounts of the drug metabolite are now forced to deal with having only a small amount of the drug metabolite available. The brain “requests” the addict to give it more of the drug. This is called drug craving. The only way to end this is to take more drugs, and the cycle begins all over again.
In past years, the common assumption in the scientific community was that drugs were eliminated from the body within 3-5 days after the last usage. We now know that these drugs can remain stored in fatty tissues for years.
How the HOLY Addiction Care Center Treatment Method Is Different.
HOLY Addiction Care Center Treatment Method is different from drug rehab and 12-step programs:
HOLY Addiction Care Center Treatment Method Treatment Program is different from many of the other treatments you may have heard of including traditional drug rehab centers or 12-step programs, because it integrates medical treatment with nutritional and psychosocial elements.
HOLY Addiction Care Center Treatment Method focuses on the underlying physiology of the disease and targets the brain receptors thought to play a central role in the disease process.
HOLY Addiction Care Center Treatment Method is designed to address the physical symptoms of dependence, such as cravings, withdrawals, anxiety and drug induced Psycho-Emotional problems.
HOLY Addiction Care Center Treatment Method can be used as a complement to traditional psychosocial therapies. Dependence is a complex disease, and the best outcomes are believed to derive from an approach that addresses the physiological aspects of addiction in addition to the psychological and social components.
A person addicted to alcohol, heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine who is freed from the physiological symptoms of their addiction such as cravings and anxiety may be able to attain greater success with traditional psychosocial therapy.