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By: Renaissance Recovery

Medically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated: 7/1/2021

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Authored By: Joe Gilmore

Table of Contents

Addiction is a multifaceted disease that can be both prevented and treated, but not cured. 

Addiction Definition

ASAM (the American Society of Addiction Medicine) supply the following addiction medical definition: 

“A treatable, chronic medical disease, addiction involves: 

  • Interactions among brain circuits
  • Environmental factors
  • Genetics
  • Life experiences

People with addiction engage in compulsive behaviors, and often continue despite negative outcomes.” 

If you are suffering from addiction, the areas in your brain governing reward, memory, and motivation are chronically impaired. Resultantly, you will crave the substance despite the consequences. 

Addiction is characterized by: 

  • Inability to moderate or discontinue use of the substance in question
  • Lack of self-control
  • No outward concern for adverse consequences
  • Growing desire for the substance along with a building tolerance
  • Impaired emotional response

As addiction progresses – and it is a chronic and progressive disease – the knock-on effects start disrupting your daily living. A relapsing disease, cycles of relapse and remission can create an unstable environment for the person with an addiction and their whole family. 

Untreated, addictions tend to worsen, and often trigger serious financial implications as well as long-term health complications. 

The most well-known addictions are: 

  • Drug addiction
  • Alcohol addiction

While 21 million Americans have at least one serious addiction, only 1 in 10 seeks addiction treatment

Of all those with a drug addiction, more than two-thirds abuse alcohol, too, according to the same data.

What is Drug Addiction?

If you’ve found yourself looking at quizzes like “What is an addictive personality?” then there is every chance you could be struggling with drug addiction – formally known as substance use disorder. 

Substance use disorder is a complex condition where you continue using a substance in an uncontrolled manner despite adverse outcomes. 

For someone with a drug addiction, the substance in question assumes an overriding importance to the extent that day-to-day living is complicated and often impaired. More severe cases of substance use disorder are labeled drug addiction, although this term is losing traction because of the stigma attached. 

Common drug addictions include: 

  • Opioid addiction
  • Cocaine addiction
  • Meth addiction
  • Marijuana addiction
  • Prescription pill addiction

People also abuse alcohol, hallucinogens, inhalants, sedatives, hypnotics, anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications), among other substances. 

Drug addiction often leads to flawed thinking and poor behaviors. Addiction brings about changes to the brain’s function and structure, and it is these changes that cause cravings, as well as abnormal behaviors and altered personalities. 

Opioid addiction

What is opioid addiction

Well, this can span everything from addiction to prescription opioid painkillers – more on those below – to heroin use disorder. 

While opioids are powerfully addictive, three medications are FDA-approved and proven effective for treating opioid use disorder.

Cocaine addiction

Although there are no FDA-approved medications for treating stimulant disorders like cocaine use disorder, there’s some good news… 

The symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are largely psychological, and with the right outpatient cocaine addiction treatment, you should be capable of conquering even severe cocaine addictions.

Meth addiction

Meth is a fiercely addictive stimulant that is also strongly addictive. 

Finding the right meth rehab can help you beat your meth addiction while also minimizing the chances of relapse.

Marijuana addiction

Marijuana laws are shifting nationwide with the drug increasingly legal, both for medical and recreational use. 

Unfortunately, recent data suggests that around 30% of those who use marijuana develop some form of cannabis use disorder. 

A general drug and alcohol rehab offering outpatient programs is ideal if you want to stop using marijuana.

Prescription pill addiction

The opioid epidemic that has battered the United States over the past two decades is not yet resolved. 

With over 10 million people misusing opioid prescriptions, and 1.6 million meeting the criteria of opioid use disorder, it’s vital to find the right prescription drug treatment center

The same applies if you find yourself addicted to benzodiazepines. While benzos are effective for the short-term treatment of anxiety and panic disorders, tolerance and addiction easily form. 

With supervised medical detox and the right medication-assisted treatment combined with psychotherapy, you can beat your prescription pill addiction.

Alcohol addiction

Alcohol addiction was once labeled alcoholism, but is now known as alcohol use disorder. 

To be diagnosed with alcohol use disorder, a medical expert assesses your responses to these eleven questions laid out in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5

  • Mild alcohol addiction: 2 or 3 criteria
  • Moderate alcohol addiction: 4 or 5 criteria
  • Severe alcohol addiction: 6 or more criteria

Some of the most common symptoms of alcohol addiction include: 

  • Binge drinking
  • Associated mental health problems
  • Secrecy and dishonesty
  • Inability to stop drinking
  • Poor appearance and personal hygiene
  • Irritability
  • Being frequently intoxicated
  • Loss of interest in favored activities and hobbies
  • Growing tolerance for alcohol
  • Denial that you have a problem with alcohol

Alcohol can be psychologically and physically addictive. Severe alcohol use disorder, when untreated, can lead to a battery of serious health conditions, and it can even be fatal. 

Fortunately, with inpatient or outpatient alcohol rehab, you can navigate withdrawal symptoms with a safe and medically-managed detox, and then create a firm foundation for sustained recovery, with all the right aftercare and ongoing support in place.

Addiction Treatment at Renaissance Recovery

Here at Renaissance Recovery, we have a wide range of personalized addiction treatment programs. 

Using a combination of evidence-based medication-assisted treatment and psychotherapy, we’ll help you address any addiction head on, however severe. 

FDA-approved medications can soothe the intensity of withdrawal symptoms while minimizing cravings. Psychotherapy like CBT and DBT helps you isolate what makes you use drink or drugs so you can avoid abusing substances. You’ll discover how to implement healthier coping strategies when faced with life’s everyday stressors. 

As well as psychotherapy, you’ll have access to a variety of holistic therapies and experiential adventure therapy for a whole-body approach to addiction treatment. 

If you have a co-occurring mental health condition, from anxiety and depression to PTSD and bipolar disorder, we help you deal with both of these interlinked issues simultaneously with our dual diagnosis treatment programs

To kickstart your recovery, reach out to the Renaissance admissions team today at 866.330.9449.

an image of a fist from someone learning how to fight addiction
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Pat C

“I owe my life and my happiness to these people. October 8th, 2019 marked two years of sobriety for me, and prior to finding Renaissance I hadn’t had 24 hours sober in nearly 20 years.”

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Paige R

“They truly cared for me and the other people that I served with! From this group, I have made 8 new brothers and friends for life! We have continued on, after the program, to take care of each other”

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Courtney S

“Great staff who took the time to get to know me. They have a lot of experience in this field and have first hand experience with what I was going through. IOP is outstanding and really built up a ton of great relationships and found this program to be a ‘breath of fresh air’.”

Diana Vo, LMFT

Diana is an addiction expert and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been in the field of mental health for over 10 years.

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country