Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence. A number of effective treatments are available and people can recover from addiction and lead normal, productive lives.
People can develop an addiction to:
- PCP, LSD and other hallucinogens
- Inhalants, such as, paint thinners and glue
- Opioid pain killers, such as codeine and oxycodone, heroin
- Sedatives, hypnotics and anxiolytics (medicines for anxiety such as tranquilizers)
- Cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants
Substance use disorders can cause changes in the brain’s wiring creating more intense cravings for the drug, affect decision making, and make it hard to stop using the drug despite being aware of the consequences of their behavior. Brain imaging studies show changes in the areas of the brain that relate to judgment, learning, memory and behavior control.
Effective treatments for addiction are available.
We have health professionals with special training in addiction that can conduct a formal assessment of symptoms to see if a substance use disorder exists and develop a safe and effective treatment plan. We may recommend medication, counseling, group theory or support groups as part of your recovery. If a medically supervised detox is needed for your safety or if there is a high risk of relapse, we may recommend a higher level of care such as hospitalization, therapeutic community, intensive outpatient program, or support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous) as well as those for family members (Al-Anon or Nar-Anon Family Groups).
Because addiction affects many aspects of a person’s life, multiple types of treatment are often required. For most, a combination of medication and individual or group therapy is most effective. Treatment approaches that address an individual’s situation and any co-occurring medical, psychiatric and social problems can lead to sustained recovery.
Medications are used to control drug cravings and relieve severe symptoms of withdrawal. We can prescribe medications that can ease the symptoms of withdrawal, address underlying psychiatric conditions that may contribute to substance abuse, and help reduce cravings. This includes Buprenorphine (Suboxone/Subutex), Vivitrol, and Antabuse.