Friday, March 9, 2012


According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, a broad-based definition of addiction is a chronic disease of the brain circuitry controlling reward, motivation and memory.  Simply put, addiction is the continued use of an addictive substance, or the continued engagement in an addictive behavior despite adverse results.

A main factor in the onset of substance abuse such as drug addiction and alcoholism is that of self-medicating.  Self-medicating is when people suffering from anxiety, stress, or depression attempt to dull the unpleasant feelings by turning to chemical coping mechanisms.  Although these substances seem to aid in the feelings of stress and anxiety, the relief is short-lived, as those who become addicted rapidly find out.  Because drugs and alcohol cross the blood brain barrier and change the chemical composition of the brain, more and more of the substance are quickly needed in order to obtain the same level of high that was first enjoyed.  This physical and psychological dependence quickly spirals out of control, becoming an addiction.

Substance addictions are normally treated in several ways.  For drug and alcohol abuse, there are several voluntary 12-step programs that can be successful in long-term treatment.  Therapy sessions in either a group setting or one-on-one can also be a means of breaking the addiction cycle.  In the case of an opioid (heroin) dependence, patients can go through the accelerated opiate detox available through The Coleman Institute which will stabilize patients and relieve withdrawal symptoms.  In a similar fashion, the Coleman Institute also detoxes patients off of methadone and suboxone. The dosage can gradually be dialed down, resulting in a slow recovery from an addiction.

Those who avoid or delay treatment in order to remain active drug addicts normally end up dead, incarcerated, or institutionalized.  Those who successfully complete a 12-step-program or some other form of intensive treatment have a better chance of survival and eventual recovery.  If you suffer from opiate, alcohol, or benzodiazepine dependence, please call The Coleman Institute at 1.877-77.DETOX.  They want to help you get clean and stay clean!

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