Below please see our most asked and answered questions about addiction and substance abuse information – Please click on the + plus sign to see the answer to any question.
Some “drugs” that are used for recreation may not be prescription meds, or over-the-counter medications, or even street drugs. They can be common, everyday chemicals. For example, people inhale glue or solvents to get high. People want to have a mood change, to feel good.
Professional drug counselors will tell you that any use of illegal drugs is drug abuse. Those drugs are illegal because they are potentially very addictive and harmful to a person’s health. That broadens our definition of drug abuse even more. Therefore, any illegal drug use, or any use of prescription or non-prescription medication use beyond what is prescribed by a medical professional, or any use of a chemical to get high, is drug abuse.
Almost any substance can be abused and abuse or addiction is possible. Cigarettes, caffeine and other common, legal substances are abused by people every day. Sometimes the line between use and abuse is fuzzy.
For example, people might go to the bar after work and have a couple of drinks with their friends. Is that abuse? Some might argue that it becomes abuse when it becomes a regular, daily occurrence. Too many cigarettes, too much coffee, too many diet sodas; the line is determined by the person.
Problems associated with an individual’s drug addiction can vary significantly. People who are addicted to drugs come from all walks of life. Many suffer from mental health, occupational, health, or social problems that make their addictive disorders much more difficult to treat. Even if there are few associated problems, the severity of addiction itself ranges widely among people.
A variety of scientifically based approaches to drug addiction treatment exists. Drug addiction treatment can include behavioral therapy (such as counseling, cognitive therapy, or psychotherapy), medications, or their combination. Behavioral therapies offer people strategies for coping with their drug cravings, teach them ways to avoid drugs and prevent relapse, and help them deal with relapse if it occurs.
The best programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet the needs of the individual patient, which are shaped by such issues as age, race, culture, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, parenting, housing, and employment, as well as physical and sexual abuse.
Medications, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or neuroleptics, may be critical for treatment success when patients have co-occurring mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or psychosis.
Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, in many different forms, and for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment often is not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and attempts at abstinence.
Research has shown that long-term drug use results in significant changes in brain function that persist long after the individual stops using drugs. These drug-induced changes in brain function may have many behavioral consequences, including the compulsion to use drugs despite adverse consequences — the defining characteristic of addiction.
Understanding that addiction has such an important biological component may help explain an individual’s difficulty in achieving and maintaining abstinence without treatment. Psychological stress from work or family problems, social cues (such as meeting individuals from one’s drug-using past), or the environment (such as encountering streets, objects, or even smells associated with drug use) can interact with biological factors to hinder attainment of sustained abstinence and make relapse more likely.
Most drug addiction treatment programs encourage patients to participate in a self-help group during and after formal treatment.
I am an educated professional who developed an opiate addiction after an injury. With my inability to control my addiction, I had fallen into a state of despair, guilt and moral bankruptcy. Through my 5 week residential stay I was able to interact with a group of wonderful staff who are committed to the recovery of others. I can honestly say I feel that I have received a great start for my future and it has taught me how to live life with a new and more positive outlook.
I am most fortunate to have attended this program. I have come to realize many of my personal issues which lead me to my present addiction. The program has not only helped me but has helped my family to cope with my illness.
I never thought I could live happily without using, but I knew I wasn’t happy with the way I was living. When I came to ARR, they educated me on addiction, showed me how to live sober and happy.
It is a sincere pleasure and honor for me to submit the highest possible personal and professional recommendation for Addiction Recovery Resources, Inc. ARR saves lives, changes lives, and teaches one how to rediscover one’s true self. An extremely grateful recovering Advance Practice Registered Nurse.
My experience at ARR has been life saving, literally. The counselors and staff have helped me dig deep into my past to allow me to be able to deal with emotional pain and negative experiences. I feel very blessed and loved as I leave here today. The feelings of peace and wholeness fills my soul.
Trust their process! Addiction Recovery Resources, Inc. gave me the tools and resources to use so I can live a healthy and sober life. I would definitely recommend ARR to others. With some of the best addiction doctors New Orleans has to offer, I truly believe that the people at ARR care about my well-being. Being in IOP has been by far one of the most positive things I have experienced.
Today, I am confident about the future and eager to move toward it. I have not forgotten from where I came, nor the pain I have caused myself and others. But, I have a plan. I have the tools. I have the desire. I have the clarity and spirit needed to succeed.
I have been given another chance to succeed and be a responsible, productive member of society as well as a dependable mother, fiancé, and daughter. Thanks to all the staff here at ARR, Inc.
Starting with detox for my opiate addiction, I received all the support I needed from all the staff and counselors to make me feel good about myself. They helped me realize how much I wanted my sobriety. I want to thank the staff for guiding me in the right direction, and for providing such great treatment.
Coming to Addiction Recovery Resources, Inc. was the best decision I have made in years. It is unlike any typical rehab facility. Here, you are allowed to take control of your own recovery, become active in the community, and experience first-hand what it feels like to live in sobriety. The counselors are, by far, knowledgeable, yet teachable. They help you to get well, and do not try to “fix” you. Through Dr. Roy’s experiences, I found understanding and empathy. He knows our struggles with our addictions, and over time, became a model for ways to lead easier, safer ways of life.