The consequences of untreated addiction often include other physical and mental health disorders that require medical attention. If left untreated, addiction becomes more severe, disabling and life threatening.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is a complex disease of the brain and body that involves compulsive use of one or more substances despite serious health and social consequences. Addiction disrupts regions of the brain that are responsible for reward, motivation, learning, judgment and memory. In addition, it is a chronic disease similar to other chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Addiction does not occur because of moral weakness, a lack of willpower or an unwillingness to stop.
Drug addictions can change the way that people look, act and engage with their family and friends. There are many behaviors that can occur during the lifespan of an individual suffering with addiction:
- Mood Swings
- Increased need for privacy
- Anger control issues
- Risk taking behaviors
- Stealing money from family members
- Stealing pills
- Shop lifting then returning the items for money or gift cards
- Breaking into cars or houses
- Lack of Interest in anything other than using addictive substances
Withdrawal from the drug including symptoms of: Anxiety, restlessness, sweating, stomach pains, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, bone pain, and elevated blood pressure or pulse.
How We Can Help
At NOAH, our patients are supported with treatment for underlying depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns along with intense counseling, recovery support and case management services. Treatment goals are to establish new lifelong changes in daily functioning and are unique to each patient. We use a patient centered approach to find out what success would look like to our patients and work towards that level of success.
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
In some cases, additional medication may be needed to support recovery from addiction. The use of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is for patients who are dependent on opioid drugs. These medications are long acting, reduce or eliminate the cravings associated with opioids and can remove the feeling of someone needing to misuse opioids to get “high” or just to avoid being “dope sick”. Other Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) options create scenarios in which the body has little to no benefit from using substances like opioids or alcohol as the medications block the targeted receptor sites in the brain that drugs like opioids or alcohol effect.