Is Alcohol Addiction Similar to Drug Addiction?

Alcohol Addiction and Drug Addiction

Alcohol addiction and drug addiction are very similar. When you are addicted to any substance, you are dependent on that substance to have the feelings you are searching for. You drink alcohol because you want the effects of it and take drugs because of the effects of whatever drug you are taking, mainly the “high.” Drugs and alcohol have more similarities than ways in which they are different. Drugs and alcohol react on the dopamine in the brain’s reward system.

Detecting Alcohol Addiction and Drug Addiction

In many instances, addiction starts with recreational abuse of a drug or alcohol. Many young adults use different drugs only recreationally starting in high school or college. It is the same with alcohol. Individuals may only drink alcohol when they are out socially with friends or on special occasions. However, this recreational use can turn into daily use where the person starts using the substance more often to get the effects they enjoy. If the substance is used for a length of time for this
appeal, the person can become physically dependent on it without knowing they are doing so.

As a person builds a tolerance to a drug or alcohol, it takes more of the substance to produce the same effects. As an individual uses more and more of the substance, their body becomes accustomed to it and soon has to have it, not to feel high, but just to feel normal. Once this happens, there is a problem with addiction. Addiction, whether to drugs or alcohol, means that without the substance, the body has withdrawal symptoms because of it not being in the system. At this point, a person will start neglecting other responsibilities because of being obsessed with obtaining and using their substance of choice.

The Difference in Alcohol Detoxification and Drug Detoxification

Detoxification is where many of the similarities with alcohol addiction and drug addiction end. Many of the withdrawal symptoms will be the same, but alcohol addiction can be life-threatening whereas the detoxification itself from most drugs is not. Detoxing from benzodiazepines can be life-threatening, but any other drug’s withdrawal symptoms are mostly flu-like symptoms and make the user feel very uncomfortable for a number of days.

Alcohol detoxification should always be done under the supervision of medical professionals. A person can experience seizures or DTs (delirium tremens) during withdrawal which can end in death if not taken care of immediately and appropriately. With the assistance of specialists in this field, steps can be taken to prevent this from happening. They will monitor you around the clock and medications can be prescribed to control the withdrawal symptoms and lessen the amount of danger from detoxing.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment Programs

Whether you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, you need to seek treatment for your addiction. Recovering from addiction is not as simple as detoxing from your substance of choice. To keep from relapsing after detoxing, you must go through a treatment program for your individual needs. In an inpatient treatment facility, you will go through one-on-one counseling with a specialist who will help you uncover the underlying reasons for your addiction. Once you do this, you will be better qualified to know your triggers and how to handle these situations without returning to your drug of choice.

Inpatient treatment will also offer you group counseling where you will meet with your peers and openly discuss your experiences and problems with addiction. Group therapy will give you the chance to make friendships (some that last a lifetime) and form bonds within the group so that you all can offer encouragement and support to each other during this process.

Finally, you will receive aftercare treatment which means you can continue with counseling and group meetings once leaving the facility while you transition back into your old life without drugs or alcohol. Aftercare treatment will benefit you by keeping you on the path of recovery and your new life of sobriety. So, no matter if you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, get the help you so deserve today.

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