Hallucinogens are mind-altering, psychoactive substances with a high potential for abuse. These substances are often taken by people looking to distort their perception of reality. Hallucinogens are also sometimes used to self-medicate a mental disorder, such as depression. However, taking hallucinogens for self-medication purposes can make an underlying condition even worse.
In many cases, symptoms of the mental health disorder appear first. As they become more and more overwhelming, the patient may attempt to “treat” those symptoms by using different drugs. For example, a patient who struggles with depression may attempt to improve their mood by taking heroin or prescription drugs. Patients who are living with anxiety may try to calm themselves by smoking marijuana. Conversely, someone dealing with an eating disorder may attempt to further their weight loss attempts by abusing stimulant drugs like cocaine or crystal meth.
All drugs–nicotine, cocaine, marijuana and others–affect the brain’s “reward” circuit, which is part of the limbic system. This area of the brain affects instinct and mood. Drugs target this system, which causes large amounts of dopamine—a brain chemical that helps regulate emotions and feelings of pleasure—to flood the brain. This flood of dopamine is what causes a “high.” It’s one of the main causes of drug addiction.
As alcohol abuse progresses from dependency to addiction, your need for alcohol will become increasingly overwhelming. You may start to spend more and more of your time drinking or thinking about drinking, leaving little time for anyone or anything else. This can affect your ability to take care of responsibilities at home and work, and can have a negative impact on your relationships with family members, friends, and work colleagues.
Alcohol addiction treatment at Priory is delivered as part of a comprehensive Addiction Treatment Programme. Our Addiction Treatment Programmes typically last for 28 days, and consist of you staying at one of our nationwide hospital sites on a residential basis, for the duration of this time. During treatment, you will have the opportunity to undergo a medically assisted withdrawal detoxification process if this is required, before undergoing intensive individual and group addiction therapy in order to address the source of your addictive behaviours, increase your self-awareness and take steps towards recovery. Whilst 28 days is the recommended treatment time for alcohol addiction, treatment lengths at Priory can be flexible according to your unique needs, requirements and commitments. How to Quit Drugs Without Rehab - Are Drug Addiction Rehab Facilities Even Effective Long Term?