Addiction Effect Everyone
Addiction effects everyone in an addicts life not just the addict themselves. Beating any addiction whether it be to alcohol or drugs can feel like an impossible task. The addict may feel as if they are travelling down a long, winding road without an end in sight, but even though the journey may seem long it is attainable. If an addict is ready to stop drinking or taking drugs, and are willing to get the needed support addiction can be overcome. An addict need not wait until they “bottom out” before reaching out to someone, they can make the decision to change at any time.
Treatments For Alcoholism And Recovery Time
Step 1: Admit to yourself that you have a drinking or a drug problem. The vast majority of alcoholics and addicts don’t make the decision to stop drinking or using out of the blue or change overnight. Its a gradual process and the alcoholic or addict may initially deny their drinking or drug problems.
Step 2: Set an exact date to quit drinking or taking drugs. After an addict makes the decision to quit, then the next step would be to set a clear drinking or using goals as to when you’ll actually stop drinking or using drugs. Be specific, realistic, and clear with your goal. For example, write down “I will quit drinking or using drugs on _____ date or ” I will only have 4 drinks or use drugs during the weekend.”Cut back gradually and you have a greater chance for success.
* Get rid of any alcohol or drugs and other drug or drinking reminders in your home or at your office.
* Tell your family and your friends or co-workers of your plan to stop drinking or using drugs and if they drink or use drugs as well ask them to respectfully not do it in your presence to support your decision to quit.
* Stand up for yourself and make it very clear that you will not allow drinking or drug use in your home and that you may not be able to attend social gatherings where there may be drinking or drug use or where alcohol or drugs may be present.
* Stay away from anyone who influences you to drink or use drugs and who doesn’t support you in your efforts to quit. Understand that this may involve giving up certain friends or breaking certain social relationships.
* Think about what attempts you’ve made in the past to quit drinking or using drugs. What helped? What didn’t work for you? Focus on what you can do differently to avoid backsliding.
Medications Used To Treat Alcoholism And Drug Addiction
While there is no magic cure to stop drinking and drug use these FDA approved medications can help.
* Antabuse: Over 50 years ago it was first used and as such it is one of the oldest drugs out for this purpose. Antabuse works by interfering with the body’s ability to absorb alcohol. This medication inhibits the production of an enzyme that allows the absorption of an alcohol breakdown product called acetaldehyde. Without the ability to breakdown acetaldehyde it builds up in the body after even a fraction of alcohol is drunk causing nausea, heart palpitations, and flushing.
* Campral: This is a tablet that is taken 3 times a day by mouth and it reduces the symptoms an alcoholic may experience when they do not consume alcohol for a prolonged periods of time such as anxiety, insomnia, mood changes, and restlessness. Campral was shown to increase the level of alcoholics who were able to abstain from drinking for several weeks or months at a time.
*Naltrexone: This medication is taken as a pill one time a day or as a monthly injection and it helps to reduce the cravings for alcohol and the pleasure that is received from drinking. It does this by using the receptors in the brain for endorphins which are proteins which help to elevate mood. These receptors also take narcotics such as heroin or morphine.
* Topamax: Is a medication used to treat seizures and has an action much similar to Campral.
For Opioid Addictions
There are Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone. These act on the sections of the brain that heroin and morphine do. Buprenorophine and Methadone relieve the craving for the drug and suppress the drugs withdrawal symptoms. Naltrexone blocks heroins effects as well as other opiate drugs at the receptor sites in the brain, but should only be used if the addict has already been detoxified.
* Suboxone: This medication is effective in treating addiction to pain pills such as OxyContin as well as heroin.
* Baclofen: This muscle relaxant is used in the treatment of heroin, cocaine, and other opiate addictions, but is in its early stages of use.
Also being tested is an “addiction vaccine”. Supposedly when an addict is vaccinated and then relapses and uses cocaine the drugs effects are muted and then the addict doesn’t feel the effect of the drug. The theory is that the addict will be able to get their normal life back. The vaccine works in the blood not in the brain. It binds to the cocaine before it can cross the blood brain barrier and this prevents or at least drastically reduces its ” feel good” effects.
By Carter Relyea