A lot of people think they’re alone in their addiction, and they feel like they have to hide it. They don’t want anyone to know, so they either try and pretend they’re not struggling with an addiction or keep it a secret from everyone—even those who love them most.
But there’s some good news: You aren’t alone. In fact, there are millions of other people just like you who are struggling with their own addictions or know someone else who is. And sometimes, the best way to deal with something that feels like a big problem is to talk about it.
Whether you’re looking for help or want to offer support, we’re here for you! In the following sections, we will indulge you in an overview of addiction medicine—the science, treatment, and causes of addiction—and provide you with a list of resources that can help you get the support and guidance you need.
What Is Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that affects your ability to control the impulses and desires that govern your behavior. It can also affect your physical health, personal relationships, and quality of life.
Most people who become addicted to drugs or alcohol do so as a way of coping with stress or other problems in their lives— and that’s why it’s so important to get help as soon as possible. The good news is that treatment for addiction can be highly effective—and more and more people are getting the help they need every day.
What is Addiction Medicine?
Addiction medicine is a subspecialty of psychiatry that focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with substance use disorders and behavioral addictions. It involves a holistic approach to care that addresses not only the substance use itself but also the underlying psychological, social, and medical issues that may contribute to the development and maintenance of the addiction—and the consequences of that addiction for the individual and his or her family.
The objective of addiction medicine is to help individuals with substance use disorders achieve and maintain abstinence from their substance of choice and to improve their overall physical and mental health. This may involve a variety of treatments, including medication-assisted therapy, individual and group counseling, and support groups.
One key aspect of addiction medicine is recognizing that addiction is a chronic disease, similar to conditions like diabetes or hypertension. Just like these other conditions, addiction requires ongoing management and treatment in order to prevent relapse. This means that individuals with substance use disorders may need to be in treatment for an extended period of time and may need to follow a specific treatment plan in order to achieve and maintain long-term recovery.
It’s also important to note that addiction medicine is not just about treating substance use disorders. It also encompasses the treatment of behavioral addictions, such as gambling addiction or internet addiction. These types of addictions can be just as destructive as substance use disorders and require similar approaches to treatment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance, use disorder or behavioral addiction, seeking help from an addiction medicine specialist can be a crucial step toward recovery. Addiction medicine professionals are trained to help individuals identify and address the underlying issues that contribute to their addiction and to provide the support and resources needed to achieve and maintain long-term recovery. If you’re ready to start your journey toward recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions
In a world where everything is moving at lightning speed, it is no wonder that people are turning to substances and behaviors to cope with the stress and pressure of everyday life. Substance use disorders and behavioral addictions are common problems that can have serious consequences on a person’s physical and mental health, relationships, and overall quality of life.
But what exactly are substance use disorders and behavioral addictions? Substance use disorders refer to the misuse of drugs or alcohol, leading to negative consequences in a person’s life. These consequences can range from physical harm to social, occupational, or financial problems. Behavioral addictions, on the other hand, refer to an unhealthy obsession with a particular behavior, such as gambling, sex, or shopping, which can also lead to negative consequences.
While it may seem easy to brush off these behaviors as simply bad habits, they can quickly escalate into full-blown addictions. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that can cause significant changes in brain chemistry, leading to the inability to control one’s substance use or behavior.
In essence, addiction is a brain disease that changes the way we think, feel, and act.
How Addiction Medicine Can Help Individuals Suffering from Substance Use Disorders or Behavioral Addictions
So, how can addiction medicine help those struggling with substance use disorders and behavioral addictions?
Addiction medicine is a specialty that focuses on the treatment and management of these disorders. Addiction doctors and specialists work with individuals to develop a customized treatment plan that may include therapies, medications, and support groups.
One common therapy used in the treatment of substance use disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which aims to change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to addiction. Medications, such as buprenorphine or naltrexone, can also be used to reduce cravings and help with the management of withdrawal symptoms.
Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences and work toward recovery.
It is important to remember that addiction is not a personal failing but rather a disease that requires proper treatment and support. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance, use disorder or behavioral addiction, seeking help from a trained addiction specialist can make all the difference in the journey toward recovery.
While it is important to be aware of the dangers of substance use and abuse, it is equally important to understand that addiction is a disease that can be treated. Also check out our blog post about the top 3 addition treatment programs to better manage you or a loved one’s addiction.
If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction or substance abuse, please contact us today. We are here to help you along the way, and throughout your road to recovery. Ascend Health serves the Charlotte, NC and Statesville, NC area. Contact one of their offices today, or if you are in another part of the US, you can reach out to the following MAT offices: