What You Need to Know About Addiction Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation for Alcohol and Other Substance Abuse


If you had hurt your knee in a car accident, you would need some level of rehabilitation. Whether it be physical, social, or occupational, a team of trained professionals would assess your situation and provide a competent level of treatment to restore your abilities to the state before your injury.  Rehabilitation takes people from a low stage in their life and points them towards a direction of happiness and fulfillment.

Rehabilitation does not only come after a physical injury, though. A variety of treatments are available for those struggling with numerous injuries to their mental health as well.

One of the primary forms of rehabilitation is used for substance abuse. People who engage in substance abuse, addiction or dependence are damaged by their use and will require rehabilitation to recapture their lives.

What Are Drugs of Abuse?

For someone to need rehab for their addiction, they need to have a problematic relationship with drugs, but what qualifies as a drug of abuse? The answer is actually quite long and complicated.

Let’s begin with illicit drugs. This category is the easiest to define because the use of these substances is almost always associated with problems. Additionally, these drugs are almost always illegal, and possession will lead to problems with the law.

Illicit drugs include:

  • Heroin.
  • Cocaine/Crack cocaine.
  • Methamphetamine/crystal meth.

Prescription drugs are much more confusion because many of these regulated drugs are safe and effective when used under the direction of a medical professional. There is another group of prescription drugs that can result in abuse and addiction. Some drugs can create physical dependence, even when used as prescribed.

Problematic prescription drugs include:

  • Opioids pain medications. Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin are helpful in reducing someone’s perception of pain. They also create a strong feeling of euphoria when abused.
  • Stimulant medications. Adderall, Concerta, and Ritalin are prescribed to help people with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) focus and concentrate. They can be abused to boost energy, improve attention, reduce the need for sleep, and diminished appetite.
  • Sedative medications. Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan are recommended to treat anxiety disorders and improve sleep. People abuse them to induce a calm, relaxed state.

There are illicit drugs and prescription drugs, and then there is everything else. Many other substances are problematic including marijuana, hallucinogens like LSD and mushrooms, ecstasy (MDMA), over-the-counter medicines, and numerous household products that can be inhaled like cleaners and gasoline.

At least some of these substances are in your house right now. Most of the time they are used as intended, but those interested in the high will find ways to abuse these substances as well.

Who Needs Addiction Rehabilitation?

Before you can appreciate what rehab can do, it is helpful to understand who rehab is appropriate for. Simply put, everyone is impacted by addiction.

Addiction does not care about your address, race, ethnicity, or religion. Addiction does not care about how much money you make or what kind of car you drive – it only cares about wrecking every aspect of your life until there is nothing left to destroy.

One group of people who need rehab are those with substance use disorders (SUD). A SUD is a diagnosable mental health condition marked by a series of unwanted symptoms that present after some time of using substances like alcohol and other drugs.

Someone with a SUD will:

  • Use alcohol and other drugs in higher amounts than intended for periods longer than intended.
  • Spend large amounts of time trying to get, use, and recovery from the drugs of abuse.
  • Make frequent attempts to cut back or end their use with poor results.
  • Feel strong cravings for the substance when none is available.
  • Shift their social relationships to those involved with substance use or experience more conflict with their established peer group.
  • Struggle to meet the demands of their work, school, or home life.
  • Continue to use substances even when it would result in problems with their physical or mental health.
  • Need higher doses, more frequent doses, or higher potency substances to achieve the same high as previous use.
  • Feel odd, uncomfortable, and ill when no drugs are available.

People who are actively having issues with alcohol and other drugs may also:

  • Change their dress or hairstyle in drastic ways.
  • Decrease their self-care as shown by:
    • Showering less often.
    • Wearing dirty clothes.
    • Having scratches and bruises all over their body.
  • Display wildly changing mood and energy levels. The person may seem to have unlimited energy and then sleep for 2 days straight.
  • Leave signs of drug abuse around the house like:
    • Pill bottles.
    • Baggies and scales.
    • Pipes, bongs, and bowls.
    • Needles and lighters.

Next page: Information on how to find an addiction and substance abuse rehabilitation center, and more.

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