Despite decades of research and increasing awareness about the seriousness of drug addiction, many people fear seeking help at a drug rehab in Atlanta due to the stigma still attached to it. While some people may still believe that drug addiction is a choice, we now know that it is a chronic brain condition that can affect a person no matter their background or lifestyle. The changes that addiction makes to a user’s brain are what make it so difficult for them to stop using. But with the help of drug rehab in Atlanta, people from all walks of life can get the help that they need to stop abusing drugs and get back to living a healthy life.
The Effects of Addiction
Drug addiction is a serious condition because of the negative effects it has on your health and life. The most common include decreased ability to make decisions, learn, remember things, and judge risks. It can also make it more difficult for you to deal with stress. Addiction can also cause negative effects on your physical health, which vary depending on what substance you are abusing. This can include changes in weight, insomnia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, HIV/Aids, damage to your heart, liver, or kidneys, and even an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.
The changes in brain chemicals that addiction causes can also lead to issues with your mental health. Addiction makes it so that your brain only releases dopamine, the chemical responsible for making you feel happy and relaxed when using substances. This means that daily activities, such as having a good meal or spending time with loved ones, no longer make you feel good. As a result, many people with a drug addiction also suffer from issues like depression, anxiety, mood swings, and more, which only worsen with time. Seeking help at a reputable drug rehab in Atlanta means that you don’t just receive care for the physical symptoms of addiction, but also the mental and emotional effects as well.
Common Drug Addictions
Many different drugs are commonly abused in the U.S. today. Four in particular, however, are among the most commonly seen at addiction treatment centers. These include:
Also called “benzos,” these medications are a class of prescription medications commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. It is marketed under many names, including Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin. These medications are highly addictive and are meant to be prescribed for short periods. Once a person is addicted, withdrawing from Benzos can lead to life-threatening side effects, making treatment at a drug rehab in Atlanta essential for your safety.
While not as common as it was in the 80s and 90s, cocaine is still a relatively common addiction in the U.S. Crack cocaine is especially dangerous, due to its inexpensive cost, potency, and ease of accessibility.
An illegal form of opioid, heroin is one of the most addictive drugs abused today. Some people become addicted after using heroin just once or twice. Heroin has severe physical withdrawal symptoms, a big part of what keeps people addicted, as they use it to make these symptoms go away. Seeking treatment at a drug rehab in Atlanta means that you will have access to a detox program that helps reduce withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to stop using.
Largely due to the overprescription of opioids in the late 90s and early 2000s, these painkillers are the most commonly abused drug in the country today. Drugs like codeine, Vicodin, and OxyContin are easily obtainable, even without a prescription. Today, opioids are responsible for over half of all overdose deaths, even in cases where people weren’t intentionally taking them due to the problematic lacing of other drugs with potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse
With many mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, it can sometimes be hard to know if a loved one is suffering. However, a drug abuse problem has several physical effects you can look out for if worried about a friend or family member. While different drugs have varying effects, there are many common ones to be aware of. The following signs and symptoms of drug abuse should be an indicator to seek professional help.
- Sudden weight loss
- Declining personal hygiene
- Bloodshot eyes
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Complexion changes
- Withdrawing from family and friends for privacy to use
- Financial distress
- Ignoring responsibilities such as work, school, or family
- Signs of depression and anxiety
- Irritability, including increased arguments
- Criminal behavior, specifically theft
Warnings of Drug Overdose
While using drugs is always dangerous, an individual with a drug abuse problem is at a higher risk of overdosing. An overdose is when too much of a drug is taken at once or even over time if your body is not used to the substance. Overdoses are extremely dangerous and can result in severe consequences, including death. Signs of a drug overdose include but are not limited to:
- Dizziness or fainting
- Slow or erratic pulse
- Blue lips
- Unresponsive but not unconscious
- Drowsiness or confusion
- Clammy face
- Difficulty breathing
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the above symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
When to Seek Treatment for Drug Abuse
Perhaps the most difficult part of overcoming a drug abuse disorder is realizing you have it in the first place. A good rule of thumb is that if your drug use is negatively affecting your life consistently, even if it’s not at rock bottom, you may have an addiction that needs treatment. SAMHSA reports that only 10 percent of those struggling with substance abuse receive treatment – don’t let that be you or your loved one.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, treatment for drug addiction is likely needed.
How Is Drug Addiction Treated?
No matter what drug you are addicted to, there are effective treatment options available at drug rehabs in Atlanta, like Emerge Healing Center. Each client’s journey with us begins with a thorough evaluation to determine your physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. From there, our team will work with you to build the most effective treatment program possible. Many clients will begin with detox, which allows us to help them get all of the drugs out of their system as safely and effectively as possible. You will begin with an appropriate behavioral therapy program, which helps you address the root cause of your addiction, as well as identify drug use triggers so you can avoid or cope with them in the future. We also often encourage participation in group therapy, which helps you feel supported and heard during your recovery process.
Find Drug Rehab in Atlanta
Drug addiction can have many different negative effects on both your physical and mental health. But you can find healing from these effects, as well as learn ways to avoid future drug use, with the help of drug rehab in Atlanta. At Emerge Healing Center, our caring and experienced staff are here to help you design the most effective treatment program possible. Take the first step to reclaim your life, and call us for more information today.