Addictions are today one of the most widespread psychological disorders in any Western society, and have the particularity of rapidly degrading the quality of people. Although there are differences between them in terms of the level of immediate danger, in general, in all cases, there is a tendency to feel very severe physical wear and tear which shortens the years of life, and impoverishment of all areas of life (social relationships, ability to find work, etc.).
That is why it is very important to cut these types of problems as early as possible and to turn to accredited and experienced healthcare professionals to intervene in this class of disorders. But … What is the treatment for addiction, exactly? We will see that later.
How does addictive disorder develop?
Addictions are more than the tendency to repeatedly take permission-type actions to satisfy an impulse that is getting more and more out of control. It is a phenomenon that affects both the behavior of the individual and the context in which he lives and even it generates changes in the functioning and structure of your brain.
On the one hand, repeatedly consuming the need generated by addiction leads the brain to reorganize itself internally so that this goal becomes the person’s primary goal, so that all other aspects of life take a back seat. .
It is not a free decision or a moral position: it is the nerve cells always activated in the same way through the brain’s reward system, which “learn” to interpret the source of the addiction as what is capable of. generating a moment of satisfaction is a truly significant reward.
Over time, this urge should be consumed more frequently and more urgentlyAnd it also takes a lot more involvement in these types of behaviors to achieve the same sense of transient satisfaction, compared to the previous stages of the addiction process. Indeed, the brain gets used to this torrent of chemical elements which take control of its functioning each time it manages to satisfy this impulse, and this is the reason why, for example, the same ration of medication that makes months pleasurable, after a while generate frustration at being insufficient.
In addition, as the person becomes dependent on their lifestyle and their social context changes to adapt to the fact that their only concern is to satisfy the addictive need. Thus, family relationships often deteriorate, so do lifelong friendships, and the people you spend your free time with are usually also involved in the sale or use of drugs, gambling or anything else that fuels the disorder.
Consequently, the treatment of addictions must be adapted to this triple reality: the addiction is maintained and reproduced because the brain has modified its functioning to prioritize a single objective, the social and daily context exposes it more to addiction, and the person’s habits make him become accustomed to organizing his daily life so that it is easy to relapse again and again.
Drug addiction treatment: how is it going?
As we have seen, an addiction is a complex phenomenon that involves several levels of intervention: the biological, the behavioral and the contextual. Therefore, the treatment of addictions consists of go through a process of regaining control over one’s life which takes these elements into account, leaving none of them unattended.
Below we will see what are the main phases of drug addiction treatment. All are designed to lead the patient to a life in which the dependence on what has been generated the addiction will be so reduced that it ceases to condition the daily life of the person, although at each stage of the procedures and sub-goals different are posed, as we will see.
1. Detox phase
In the detoxification phase, it helps the person to spend several days already away from the influence of addiction. best manage the discomfort generated by abstinence during these first hours.
This is to allow the body to clear the build-up of potentially addictive substances and to prevent the symptoms of the urge to consume from significantly harming the patient (for example, problems with insomnia or severe anxiety). For this, it is very important the intervention and supervision by doctors and other experienced health professionals to act in this critical moment when acute discomfort manifests itself.
Once the “monkey” has passed, the next phase of drug treatment appears.
2. Dishabituation phase
In the addiction phase, physical and psychological health professionals help the patient to take the first steps as a person who must come out of the addiction. Although the acute discomfort of the first phase is gone, it is still necessary to revisit what the addiction is based on, and that is why it is necessary here. help “train” the person to manage their emotions, to recognize the thoughts and behaviors that increase the risk of relapse, And to generate healthy habits that move away from the influence of this form of addiction.
In this way, psychologists and doctors work together so that the patient organizes his life in a way that gradually gives him more independence and control over what happens to him, while the need to relapse is no longer the only priority. .
3. Reintegration or rehabilitation phase
At this stage, the biopsychological aspect of addiction is no longer as problematic as at the detoxification stage, although it is still present.
The goal here is allow the patient to recreate lifestyle habits linked to a context and that they do not rely on any of the elements that facilitate relapse, and provide situations in which they can re-engage in exciting activities and projects and with the capacity to offer incentives in the medium and long term, and from which he can restructure his life away from drugs, gambling or any other source of addiction.
Here we are also working to get the person used to being exposed to social contexts away from potentially addictive stimuli, especially since those who have developed one type of addiction have a much greater risk of developing another. Therefore, participation in social groups of people who reject drug and other use is encouraged, as well as a return to life with family or friends who can help them not to relapse.
Are you looking for professional help to treat addiction?
If you live in the metropolitan area of Barcelona and are looking for help overcoming an addiction, we invite you to contact our professionals from CITA clinics.
This entity, present in Barcelona and Dosrius (Mataró), specializes specifically in the treatment of addictions, whether they are based on substance use or have to do with addictive behaviors (such as gambling addiction). ” Random).
Outraged, we have an internment center surrounded by nature and full of different services doctors and therapists, follow-up and advice, as well as leisure areas to avoid relapses: gardens, reading room and library, equine assisted psychotherapy area, physiotherapy area, swimming pool, sports hall, physiotherapy gym, etc.
If you want to know more about CITA clinics to have our team of addiction treatment experts, contact us through this link.
- Kalivas, PW, Volkow, ND (2005). The neural basis of addiction: a pathology of motivation and choice. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 162 (8): pages 1403 to 1413.
- Kauer, JA; RC Malenka (2007). Synaptic plasticity and addiction. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 8 (11): pages 844 to 58.
- Volkow, ND; Fowler JS; Wang, GJ; Swanson JM; Telang, F. (2007). Dopamine in drug abuse and addiction: results from imaging studies and implications of treatment. Bow. Neurol. 64 (11): pages 1575 to 1579.