A number of people in New York and the United States at large don’t get themselves into rehab at the first sign of an addiction problem. Under the mistaken or prideful belief that they don’t have a problem or can take care of it on their own, many people addicted to drugs refuse to seek help. Even so, rehabilitation is a person’s best chance at successful—and more importantly, safe—recovery.
Rehabilitation—What is It?
The process of rehabilitation treatment is intended to end both the mental and physical dependencies which a person has developed toward their drug of choice. Detox cleanses the body of substances and nips physical addiction in the bud, and an intense and thorough regimen of therapy and counseling confront the mental issues. This two-pronged approach is designed to give patients the best chance at remaining drug-free after they depart the rehab center. Many people are confused about the precise nature of rehab and believe that detox alone is enough to “cure” a person’s addiction, but this is a misconception—there are often powerful psychological issues which underlie addiction, and rehab is designed to address these and help a patient learn to combat them effectively.
How can Addiction be Both Mental and Physical?
Some drugs, such as marijuana, can foster mental dependencies even if they don’t engender physical addiction. Many drugs, especially methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, alcohol, and heroin, are both physically and mentally addicting. A person addicted to any of these substances may feel a powerful psychological drive to use their drug of choice, and they also may believe that they must have their drug of choice to function. The prospect of facing a day without their drug of choice may be frightening to them. Cravings, obsessive thoughts, and destructive behaviors are all side effects of mental addiction. Physical addiction occurs when a person feels physically compelled to use their drug of choice—the drug causes a rush of pleasure chemicals (endorphins) in the brain, conditioning the person to associate drug use with pleasure. They may also experience physical discomfort if they don’t get their drug of choice in sufficient amounts. The body becomes accustomed to the constant presence of the drug and cries out for more if the dosage is reduced.
Indicators of Drug Addiction
- Mysterious or unexplained behavior
- Weight loss or gain
- Blood pressure fluctuations
- Secretiveness in word and deed
- Loss of money
- Short-term memory impairment
- Trouble with the law
- Suicidal thoughts or depressive episodes
- Physical and/or mental drug cravings
- Loss of concentration
- Constant tiredness
- Poor work or academic performance
It doesn’t matter whether an addiction is mild or severe—it will get worse, and the individual suffering from it needs immediate medical help. Detox is a good way to start rehab, as it purifies the body of drug residues and eliminates physical dependency issues before rehab begins. Trained clinicians administer medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and oversee the process around the clock to ensure the patient’s safety. Rehabilitation ensues, and may include yoga and art therapy, art or music classes, family counseling sessions, and other restorative treatments and activities.