What is addiction?
Addiction is the most severe form of a substance use disorder or a behaviour disorder. If the use of a substance, or a habit, develops so that continued use causes significant issues, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home then it is classed as a disorder, ranging from mild to severe.
Addiction is a complex, chronic brain disease characterised by an obsession around the habit or drug and then to continue despite devastating consequences. With drugs, this means using them even though the consequences include psychiatric hospital care, imprisonment or death.
Is addiction treatable?
Addiction is treatable, often with medications (for some addictions) combined with behavioural therapies. However, relapse is common and can happen even after long periods of abstinence, underscoring the need for long-term support and care. Relapse does not signify treatment failure, it is just a prompt for treatment re-engagement or modification.
How quickly can someone become addicted?
If and how quickly you become addicted depends on many factors, including your biology, age, gender, environment, and interactions among these factors. One person may gamble once or many times and suffer no ill effects, another person may become addicted after just a few wagers. If you have a family history of addiction, you have a higher risk of being an addict yourself.
How do I know if someone is using or is addicted to drugs or alcohol?
The signs of drug use and addiction can vary depending on the person and the drug, but some common signs are: impaired speech and motor coordination; bloodshot eyes or pupils that are larger or smaller than usual; changes in physical appearance or personal hygiene; changes in appetite or sleep patterns; sudden weight loss or weight gain, and changes in mood. If the person is compulsively seeking and using alcohol or drugs despite negative consequences, such as loss of job, debt, family problems, or physical problems brought on by drug use, they are probably addicted.
Can an addict quit at any time?
An addict may believe they can stop any time, or will convince themselves that they can stop at any time, but most cannot for an extended period of time and need professional help to quit. Support from friends and family can be critical in getting people into treatment and helping them to stay free of their addiction following treatment.
Are there effective treatments for addiction?
Yes. Behavioural therapies can be used to effectively treat addiction, and in some cases medications can add to this treatment. Treatment will vary for each person depending on the type of addiction. Some might need multiple courses of treatment to achieve success.
What is detoxification, or “detox”?
Detoxification a process in which the body rids itself of a drug and where the symptoms of withdrawal are managed, sometime with medication Detox alone is not a cure on its own, but is often the first step in a drug treatment programme. Treatment with behavioural therapy usually follows a detox.
What is withdrawal? How long does it last?
When a person abruptly reduces or stops long-term use of a habit or substance there may be various symptoms that occur. This is known as withdrawal. What the symptoms will be and how long withdrawal will last varies with each individual. Physical symptoms may include restlessness and irritability. For substances, there may be muscle and bone pain, insomnia, and diarrhoea. These physical symptoms can last from several days, to a few weeks. Whilst medication can ease withdrawal symptoms in many cases, it should be remembered that treating withdrawal is not the same as treating addiction.
Does your treatment work?
Yes this programme has helped many people. We would not be doing it if we did not think it worked. Many people have stopped their addiction(s) through Prison ERs. If the client is motivated to find a solution to their addictions then we can, in most cases, offer support to assist in this process.