What Needs To Be Understood About Drug Abuse And Addiction

If effective, sustained recovery from drug abuse is to be achieved, it will help the addicted young adult and their parents to develop a better understanding of the nature of addiction, including clearing up some persistent misconceptions. Many parents inquiring about the services of a young adult rehab in California may initially imagine their child to be lacking in the moral principles or willpower that they presume to be necessary to achieve a change in behavior.

The truth is that drug addiction is a complicated disease, recovery depending on so much more than a strong will or sound intentions. Even those who desire to stop using can find the process extremely difficult, due to the changes that drugs cause in the brain that simply increase the likelihood of further compulsive drug abuse.

Scientific breakthroughs over the years have given us a much-improved understanding of the effects that drugs have on the brain, making it easier for us to devise effective treatments based on a well-informed, evidence-based clinical approach. This is crucial, given just how damaging drug abuse and addiction are for both individuals and society as a whole – encompassing family disintegration, academic failure, loss of employment, child abuse, domestic violence…to name a few things that may occur.

It is vital that parents and young adults like to realize the true nature of addiction as a chronic, often lapsing brain disease. Although the affected person may initially take drugs voluntarily, the brain changes that this causes over time adversely impacts on that person’s self-control, making it harder and harder for them to resist what may become very intense drug-taking impulses.

There is no single factor that dictates a young adult’s likelihood of becoming addicted to drugs, although individual biology, age or stage of development and social environment can all have an effect on the level of risk. But when a person does begin to use drugs, certain chemicals can tap into the communication system of their brain and cause disruption to their nerve cells’ sending, receiving and processing of information.

The good news is that in common with such other chronic, relapsing diseases like diabetes, heart disease or asthma, drug addiction can be successfully managed. Through the right combination of addiction treatment medications and behavioral therapy, or another treatment approach appropriately tailored to the young adult’s drug abuse patterns and any co-occurring problems, that person can achieve a sustainable return to a happy, healthy and productive life.

How To Respond If You Suspect Drug Addiction In Your Young Adult

Have you noticed your young adult or adolescent behaving differently recently, with no obvious explanation? Perhaps they always seem to be tired, hostile or depressed? Alternatively, they may simply appear withdrawn. If this is the case, your loved one may have a drug-related problem necessitating the right attention – such as from a young adult rehab program.

It’s easy for even conscientious parents to overlook all manner of behaviors and changes in their young adult as simply a normal part of puberty. However, if you see particularly unexplainable signs as mentioned above, potentially along with such others as a decline in academic performance, change in peer group or carelessness towards personal hygiene, they may have a developing addiction to alcohol or drugs.

Other potential first signs of a problem that may require the intervention of a young adult rehab program include deteriorating family and friend relationships, changing eating or sleeping habits, trouble with school or the law, missing school classes or work and/or decreased interest in favorite activities.

The important thing in identifying such signs is to intervene quickly. Recent scientific advances have taught us about the effects of drugs on the brain, with one of the most crucial of these lessons being that addiction in young people can be best treated at the earliest stages.

Even in cases of more established addiction, a young adult rehab program and associated help can be highly effective in leading your adolescent back to a healthy and productive life. The changes wrought on the brain from repeated drug use can make it difficult for those who feel ready to quit to do so. Your young adult should know that their drug abuse is an illness that requires treatment, not a moral failing.

The first step for parents or guardians wishing to help their young adult is to seek help from a professional. You may initially decide to bring your loved one to a doctor, so that they can be screened for signs of drug abuse and other associated health issues. Your chosen doctor should be comfortable with this kind of screening – otherwise, you should request a referral to a doctor with skills in this area.

Your loved one may be subsequently referred to a relevant young adult rehab program – or you could get in touch with one directly. The right rehab program will be able to provide the best-tailored care, courtesy of suitably seasoned and skilled professionals in young adult drug addiction treatment, addressing both substance abuse and underlying emotional issues.

Oak Forest Recovery, One Of The Leading Addiction Rehab Centers In Los Angeles, California

It can be an immense source of worry if there is a young adult in your life who is struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues. In such a circumstance, you may have started looking up addiction rehab centers in Southern California, in the hope of finding one that uses research-supported clinical methodologies as part of a program with a strong record for ensuring long-term patient recovery.

Oak Forest Recovery is just such a program. Its committed team combines evidence-based practices with adventure therapy, resulting in a treatment modality that is as profoundly effective as it is distinctively engaging. The clinical care delivered by Oak Forest Recovery prizes respect, dignity and compassion, and seeks to empower clients to discover their innate goodness, talents and self-worth. The result is genuinely sustainable, positive change.

The program also distinguishes itself from other addiction rehab centers in California by way of its unique location in Agoura Hills & Westlake Village, CA. The program is staffed by leaders and managers with proven backgrounds and expertise in the integration of adventure therapy, substance abuse and mental health treatment into successful and cutting-edge recovery programs.

Oak Recovery Center provides separate gender-specific treatment programs for young men and women, and blends such elements as adventure therapy, experiential therapy, clinical care, 12-step programming and social skills development. The program also marks itself out from alternative addiction rehab centers in California through its exclusive focus on young adults, making it the only program of its kind in the United States.

The gender separate nature of the programs is in recognition of the unique ways men and women experience addiction, with the social reinforcers of substance abuse, the disorders accompanying addiction, the biological factors of dependence and triggers for relapse all differing between the genders. These differences are all factored into a truly tailored recovery process addressing men and women’s specific social, biological, emotional and spiritual needs.

The program, on a beautiful campus, enables clients to step away from the usual everyday distractions and reflect inwardly. From individual, group and adventure-based therapy to goal setting, family work and boundary setting, the Oak Forest Recovery program incorporates all of the elements required for long-lasting recovery, and a life lived to the full, free from the hugely damaging consequences of alcohol and drug abuse.

When Does Drug Use Become an Addiction?

Drug addiction is a complex and chronic brain disease. People who have a drug addiction experience compulsive, sometimes uncontrollable, craving for their drug of choice. Typically, they will continue to seek and use drugs in spite of experiencing extremely negative consequences as a result of using.

Characteristics of Addiction

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction is a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by:

  • Compulsive drug-seeking
  • Continued use despite harmful consequences
  • Long-lasting changes in the brain

NIDA also notes that addiction is both a mental illness and a complex brain disorder. Diagnosing addiction requires an assessment by a trained and certified professional. Talk to a doctor or mental health professional if you feel that you may have an addiction or substance abuse problem.

Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Treat Addiction?

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy approach that can be used to help treat substance use disorders. CBT is commonly used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, phobias, and other mental disorders, but it has also been shown to be valuable in treating alcoholism and drug addiction. This is especially true when it’s part of an overall program of recovery.

CBT helps people learn to better identify the negative and self-defeating thoughts and actions that can contribute to substance use. It is a short-term, focused therapeutic approach to helping drug-dependent people become abstinent.