Set a drinking goal. Choose a limit for how much you will drink. Make sure your limit is not more than one drink a day if you’re a woman, or two drinks a day if you’re a man—and try to schedule some alcohol-free days each week. Now write your drinking goal on a piece of paper. Put it where you can see it, such as on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror.

Internationally, the U.S. and Eastern Europe are the countries with the highest substance abuse disorder occurrence (5-6%). Africa, Asia, and the Middle East were countries with the lowest worldwide occurrence (1-2%). Across the globe, those that tended to have a higher prevalence of substance dependence were in their twenties, unemployed, and men.[42] The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports on substance dependence/abuse rates in various population demographics across the U.S. When surveying populations based on race and ethnicity in those ages 12 and older, it was observed that American Indian/Alaskan Natives were among the highest rates and Asians were among the lowest rates in comparison to other racial/ethnic groups.[43]

Drug detox: Detox, short for detoxification, is the first phase in many substance abuse treatment programs. During detox, patients are monitored by professionals during their withdrawal from drugs. Medications, nutritional supplementation and fluid replacement may be provided to relieve withdrawal symptoms. At the same time, counseling is provided to encourage the patient to move forward to the next phase of rehabilitation.

Where alcoholics are concerned, their brains have become so accustomed to dealing with alcohol that the volume of chemicals being produced to overcome the effects of alcohol is excessive. As blood alcohol levels start to fall, those same brain chemicals start causing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The only two solutions are to either consume more alcohol or wait it out until the body readjusts.
From the comfort of your home you can connect with the greater Aftercare community via our private online social network site. As an alumnus of our alcohol recovery program, you can also participate in our refresher weekend getaways. As part of the Smart Recovery community we run an Aftercare program that hosts virtual meetings all across Canada, England, the USA and Australia.
You can also augment your loved one’s ability to remain clean and sober at home by providing a positive, stress-free environment and learning how best to avoid enabling behaviors. Like the specifics of inpatient drug rehab, the treatment services chosen during aftercare should be based on the needs of the individual and the areas where they need the most support in recovery.
Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a "relapsing" disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.
Checking seven or more boxes from each list indicates that someone you care about is in the later stages of alcoholism. Not only your loved one, but everyone else in your household is at risk of severe harm. Talk with a substance abuse counselor who specializes in intervention about arranging a formal meeting to confront the problem. At this stage, it’s imperative to get your loved one into treatment as soon as possible. Working with an intervention specialist is the most effective way to help you and your family recover your safety, health and sanity.
^ Nestler EJ (August 2016). "Reflections on: "A general role for adaptations in G-Proteins and the cyclic AMP system in mediating the chronic actions of morphine and cocaine on neuronal function"". Brain Research. 1645: 71–4. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2015.12.039. PMC 4927417. PMID 26740398. These findings led us to hypothesize that a concerted upregulation of the cAMP pathway is a general mechanism of opiate tolerance and dependence. ... We thus extended our hypothesis to suggest that, particularly within brain reward regions such as NAc, cAMP pathway upregulation represents a common mechanism of reward tolerance and dependence shared by several classes of drugs of abuse. Research since that time, by many laboratories, has provided substantial support for these hypotheses. Specifically, opiates in several CNS regions including NAc, and cocaine more selectively in NAc induce expression of certain adenylyl cyclase isoforms and PKA subunits via the transcription factor, CREB, and these transcriptional adaptations serve a homeostatic function to oppose drug action. In certain brain regions, such as locus coeruleus, these adaptations mediate aspects of physical opiate dependence and withdrawal, whereas in NAc they mediate reward tolerance and dependence that drives increased drug self-administration.
In 2001, David Sinclair, Ph.D., a researcher in Finland claimed an 80 percent cure rate for alcohol dependence when anti-alcohol drugs Revia or Vivitrol are prescribed according to his Sinclair Method. Dr. Sinclair's research has been published in the peer-reviewed journals Alcohol and Alcoholism and the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. The Sinclair Method is the standard treatment protocol for alcohol dependence in Finland, the method is also used in the U.K., but the method has yet to catch on in the United States. 
According to the NIAAA, relapse is common among those who are recovering from alcohol addiction. Without aftercare (the final step in the rehab process), relapses may escalate from a small setback, to a total return into alcohol abuse and dependence. The most commonly-known form of aftercare is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), but there are many other options that are outlined below.
Alcohol issues are not limited to a certain demographic or race of people. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in the category of heavy drinking, men outdrank women by 10.9 percent to 3.6 percent. Racial demographics of respondents in the same category were led by Native Americans at 9.3 percent, followed by Caucasians at 8.1 percent, and African-Americans coming in third at 5.1 percent.
It can be difficult to recognize when casual drinking has crossed the line into abuse or addiction. It can be even harder to decide that it is time to do something about it.   Knowing what addiction looks and feels like can be challenging for loved ones, let alone for the person who is addicted to alcohol. If people are aware of what the signs of alcoholism are, it can be easier to determine when it’s time to enter rehab in order to stop the cycle of addiction and work toward recovery from alcoholism.  
There are many places to turn for help. Not everybody requires medically supervised detox or an extended stint in rehab. The care you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, drug-use history, medical or psychiatric conditions. In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers, and counselors offer addiction treatment services.

Drug addiction starts with drug use. Experimental use, recreational use, social use, occasional use, medical use – any use of an addictive substance for any purpose can and often does lead to a dependence upon that drug. While any and all drug use has the potential for harm, the most dangerous type of drug use in terms of the likelihood that it will lead to addiction, is the type that stems from a desire to numb pain or negative feelings or to cope with problems in one’s life.
Denial is common among those suffering with alcoholism. Your loved ones may have tried to discuss the problem with you, but you were unable to see things as clearly as them. Denial is one of the body’s defence mechanisms and is employed by the brain to protect you from a harsh reality. It can be useful for a short period but if it continues, can end up causing harm.
Overcoming an alcohol addiction starts with a qualified treatment center that can help address underlying and co-occurring disorders. Because of alcohol’s prevalence throughout our culture, recovering alcoholics are constantly bombarded with triggers. Treatment centers must be equipped to help the recovering user find effective ways to manage triggers and cravings in order to be effective. The Biblical Principles in the 12 Steps of Recovery - Kenyon Burns

Our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs are based on science, evidence and our experience of what works best in helping people get sober and stay sober. Hazelden Betty Ford pioneered the field’s leading approach to addiction treatment and we continue to evolve and advance the use of evidence-based treatments in order to provide our patients with the best opportunity for lifelong recovery from substance use disorder. Some of the evidence-based treatments our clinicians use include: What happens in rehab?


NOTE: This fact sheet discusses research findings on effective treatment approaches for drug abuse and addiction. If you’re seeking treatment, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357) or go to www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov for information on hotlines, counseling services, or treatment options in your state. 
Opioids: Methadone (Dolophine®, Methadose®), buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®, Probuphine® , Sublocade™), and naltrexone (Vivitrol®) are used to treat opioid addiction. Acting on the same targets in the brain as heroin and morphine, methadone and buprenorphine suppress withdrawal symptoms and relieve cravings. Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids at their receptor sites in the brain and should be used only in patients who have already been detoxified. All medications help patients reduce drug seeking and related criminal behavior and help them become more open to behavioral treatments. A NIDA study found that once treatment is initiated, both a buprenorphine/naloxone combination and an extended release naltrexone formulation are similarly effective in treating opioid addiction. Because full detoxification is necessary for treatment with naloxone, initiating treatment among active users was difficult, but once detoxification was complete, both medications had similar effectiveness.
To begin this process and to find these treatment options, a person dealing with drug or alcohol addiction can get in touch with their state or local mental/behavioral health or substance abuse services. These are often part of larger public or community health agency networks within the government. SAMHSA maintains a Directory of Single State Agencies (SSA) for Substance Abuse Services to make it easier for people to find out whom to contact. The state’s government websites can also provide information on these services and how to apply for them.
This kind of treatment is known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), because it introduces the patient to new and healthier ways of thinking (“cognitive”) and acting (“behavioral”). The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that the success of alcohol treatment depends on “changing a person’s behaviors and expectations about alcohol.” Mom Left Job and Fell Into Alcoholism
Genetics make up about 50% of the risk for alcohol dependence, but they by no means tell the whole story. Genetic history is often hard to distinguish, but if parents are regular heavy drinkers, or they drink to reduce stress and depression, it is likely that their children will grow up believing that these behaviours are normal and possibly harmless. But environmental influence doesn’t come only from the home; peer pressure from friends, colleagues and partners can also encourage new and difficult patterns of drinking which can lead to dependency or co-dependency.
Research the history of the Treatment Center or facility.  What is their success rate?  Can you find any medical recommendations for them online from members of the established rehab or medical community?  How long has the Center been in operation?  Is their leadership on solid ground?  Are there any signs of financial corruption associated with the Center that is readily visible on the Internet?  It is your responsibility to dig for this information.  If you cannot find any information about a given Treatment Center online or at your local library, move on to the next Center on your list! 3 Stages of Drug Alcohol Rehab-How It Works
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