Addiction is defined as the repeated use or abuse of a substance with no regard for physical or mental effects. The addictive nature of a substance varies from substance to substance. There is much debate on what causes addiction. Generally, it is agreed that addiction is a combination of physical and physiological factors. Addiction and detox go hand-in-hand because when a person is addicted to drugs, alcohol, etc., physical cravings must be lost before they can fully begin the recovery process.
Addiction is a complex disease and research is continuously being done on different treatment methods. At this point and time, there is no cure for addiction; however, much like diabetes and hypertension, addiction can be managed through lifestyle choices. The treatment methods employed by Pathways and the Pathways Extended Care programs can be viewed on our Treatment Methods page.
There are warning signs and symptoms that are good indicators of drug addiction. Many individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol attempt to hide the addictive behavior.
Warning signs that a friend or family member is abusing drugs can be physical, behavioral or psychological. Physical warnings are bloodshot eyes, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, deterioration of physical appearance or grooming habits, tremors, slurred speech or impaired coordination. Behavioral warnings signs include a drop in attendance at school or work, unexplained financial problems, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors, frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents or illegal activities). Finally, psychological warning signs can appear as unexplained change in personality or attitude, sudden mood swings or angry outbursts, periods of unusual hyperactivity, a lack of motivation or displays of fearful, anxious or paranoid behavior.
A theme in alcohol addiction is a strong and overpowering urge or desire to consume alcohol. It can also be categorized by the inability to stop drinking once alcohol has been consumed.
Drug addiction is something that can affect anyone at any time. It is not unique to a particular group, race, social standing, educational level or gender. Addiction is a universal problem that has been around since the beginning of time.
First, look at the environment of a quality addiction counseling center. A place of peace and balance is a common theme where harmony resides and focus can be obtained. The facility should be clean, of course, but provide a conducive atmosphere that motivates and allows the client to create a focal point toward recovery. It makes sense that you need a space that is free of unnecessary clutter, confusing patterns and harshly loud, both in color and noise. The environment should make the individual feel as though being free from the past is not only possibly, but truly an available option.
Addiction counselors take many forms, and although credentials are important, seek out drug rehab centers that hire staff based on their ability to exhibit compassionate ethics and high standards not only for their own personal achievements.
Do your research. What are the success rates of recovery for the counseling center? Will you be allowed back if the initial treatment was not enough to keep you from chronic relapse? Do the counselors offer a variety of treatment options such as traditional and nontraditional recovery methods? What is available to you aside from the hour or so you may be spending with the actual counselor? Do they offer nutritional counseling? Support groups? Is the center looking at you as a whole (mind, body, spirit) or is the focus solely on just the “bad” behavior.