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Addiction | Drugs

Drug Addiction is a widespread issue with over 24 million people, ages 12 and up, suffering across the United States. If you are struggling or are here for someone you know, we can all agree that drugs are destructive physically, emotionally, and to all around us. It may seem hopeless, like there may be no freedom from the chains of addiction.  And this feeling is the most commonly experienced by those suffering, so you’re not alone in this. Many people have recovered from drug addiction and are now leading healthy and happy lives. All you have to do to put the process in motion is to pick up the phone and ask for help.

Call 877-408-0734 to connect to a drug addiction treatment center that is here to help guide you or your loved one and get you on the right path.

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Alcohol addiction and dependence affects 15 million Americans. Alcohol abuse can lead to profound health and psychological afflictions, and is a chronic, progressive disease. Symptoms of an alcohol use disorder include:

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  • Increased tolerance causes higher alcohol consumption to get prior effects
  • Becoming obsessive about having alcohol available, looking forward to drinking, seeking excuses to drink
  • Lying about how much you drink, hiding alcohol around the house
  • Isolating oneself from friends and family so you can drink
  • Experiencing problems at work, loss of a job
  • Legal problems, such as DUI
  • Negatively impacting relationships
  • Alcohol craving
  • Gaining weight, distended gut
  • Watery eyes
  • Want to stop drinking but cannot
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is withheld, such as hand tremors or nausea

Treatment begins with medically monitored detox after which the addiction treatment commences.


Opiates include heroin, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and hydromorphone have contributed to a national epidemic of overdose deaths over the past ten years. Fentanyl presently poses the most serious threat, as it is 50 times as potent as morphine and often contained in street drugs, unbeknownst to the purchaser. Symptoms of an opiate addiction include:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Constricted pupils
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Nodding off or losing consciousness
  • Euphoria
  • Social withdrawal
  • Financial problems
  • Doctor shopping
  • Compromised immune system
  • Localized abscesses or systemic infection due to injection of drugs
  • Bowel perforation
  • Significant respiratory distress

Treatment for opiate addiction and dependency is provided through a residential rehab program and often includes medication-assisted treatment. These drugs, buprenorphine, naltrexone, methadone, and Suboxone, can help the individual stabilize and improve the quality of daily life. MAT is always closely monitored and the individual is required to also attend outpatient therapy.


Prescription Drugs such as benzodiazepines, Adderall, barbiturates, hypnotic sedatives, can alter brain chemistry and pathways, leading to psychological and physical addiction or chemical dependence. Symptoms of prescription drug addiction will vary between the different drug classes, but symptoms might include:

  • Severe mood swings
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Doctor shopping
  • Stealing pills from friends and family members’ medicine cabinets
  • Angry or hostile behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Foggy thinking or mental confusion
  • Memory problems
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Treatment begins with a medical detox program using a tapering schedule to slowly wean the individual off the prescription drug. Detox can take 2-4 weeks, after which a residential drug rehab program will follow.


Methamphetamine, also called crystal meth or meth, is a synthetic stimulant with highly addictive properties.

Symptoms of meth addiction include:

  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Hypersexuality
  • Mood swings
  • Weight loss
  • Skin sores

Treatment begins with a medical detox followed by a residential rehabilitation program that offers a mix of cognitive behavioral therapies.



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Treatment for drug addiction varies depending on the severity of the addiction. Oftentimes people seek detox and residential treatment programs to start out their recovery due to the intensive treatment and structured daily support during the initial 30-90 days of sobriety. This is the best treatment environment for moderate to severe drug dependency. For an early or mild addiction, the outpatient treatment option is available.

  • Residential Rehab

    A residential program offers individuals seeking treatment for a drug addiction the opportunity to focus on recovery without the daily triggers to use. Most residential programs offer the following therapeutic interventions:

  • Medical detox

    Prior to entering an outpatient or residential treatment program the individual will first complete detox and withdrawal through a medical detox program. Withdrawal symptoms are carefully monitored and medications are provided to ease the discomfort of the detox process.

  • Therapy

    Individuals in treatment for drug addiction will engage in evidence-based psychotherapies. These individual sessions with the therapist allow the individual to explore any unresolved emotional issues that might be causing psychological unrest, fueling the drug abuse. Using cognitive behavioral therapy, clinicians will guide clients to shift disordered thoughts that have resulted in drug use toward more positive thought patterns. These new thought and behavior patterns become foundational coping skills in recovery.

  • Peer group therapy

    Mutual peer support is cultivated in small group therapy sessions. The sessions are facilitated by a therapist or clinician who will provide the topics and guide the conversation, making the meeting constructive for participants.

  • Family-centered therapy

    Family therapy is an important focus of addiction treatment. Many young adults return to the family home in recovery, making it important that family issues are worked out in family-focused therapy.

  • Medication management

    Medication can support recovery for certain substances of abuse, such as heroin, opiates, and prescription opioids. The drugs are designed to bind to the opioid receptors in the brain, reducing the impact of the drug of abuse. This in turns helps to diminish cravings and the desire to use, which can reduce the risk of relapse and allow the individual to stabilize.

  • Education

    Classes are provided that help individuals learn how to manage recovery. They are taught new recovery skills, such as improved communication techniques and conflict resolution skills. Relapse prevention planning is another important aspect of the classes.

  • Holistic therapy

    Because stress is a common trigger for relapse, addiction treatment now includes holistic therapies to assist individuals in learning relaxation techniques that can be easily incorporated into daily life post-rehab. These might include practicing mindfulness, learning deep breathing techniques, or learning yoga.

  • Nutritional counseling and exercise

    A holistic approach to recovery helps to restore the body as well as the mind. Many rehabs now offer nutritional counseling, where individuals can be taught how to improve the nutritional value of their daily diet. Recreation sessions provide opportunities to exercise, engage in team sports, or to enjoy other outdoor activities.

  • Outpatient Rehab

    Individuals who do not require a higher level of care may opt to try therapy or intensive outpatient treatment programs. Outpatient rehabs offer different levels of intensity. The intensive outpatient program usually requires 9 hours of weekly programming, where the partial hospitalization programs, also referred to as day programs, will require daily involvement of about 5-6 hours per day. Outpatient rehabs do offer a less expensive alternative to residential treatment, as there are no housing or meal costs involved. Individuals will reside at home while enrolled in the outpatient program, allowing the flexibility to continue working or caring for children during treatment.

Depending on the number of questions answered and an oral interview, the physician or addiction intake clinician can stage the AUD as mild, moderate, or severe.


Call 877-408-0734 to connect with a treatment center who will offer a free confidential assessment to review the individuals complete drug and alcohol use history, medical conditions, psych-social, and psychiatric conditions. You will receive individualized support and guidance for you or your loved one and get you the help you deserve.


For individuals looking for treatment options for mental health and addiction conditions, offers a confidential helpline that provides assistance. Treatment Specialists are standing by to answer your questions and provide treatment recommendations based on your unique needs.

Calls to The Treatment Specialist website will be answered by a Featured Treatment Program.

If you are looking for a specific treatment provider, you can search our treatment directory and see if they are listed. You can also contact our helpline at 866-644-7911 for any questions, or visit SAMHSA.

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