To understand Drug Treatment or treatment programs better, we need to understand what happens in our brain. All our brains contain a reward system. This system is “rewarded” by a chemical called dopamine, which induces euphoria or a state of happiness or satisfaction. Usually dopamine is excreted by processes of survival, such as eating, having sex, and loving others. We wouldn't do the necessary things of life if not for this chemical.
Yet, in addicts, there is a dysfunction in this dopaminergic system (dopamine-based system) of the mid-brain. In addicts, dopamine deficiency drives addictive behaviour. Drugs help to alter this deficiency. Hence, people with this dopamine deficiency problem will most likely become addicted to drugs. The deficiency shows itself when addicts escape their challenging emotions and turn to drugs for a solution. For example, you may repeatedly use a drug to "get high" as an escape from your depressive mood. This process is called self-medication. The depression wasn't the cause of drug abuse, but it was a contributing factor.
Parental abuse and neglect could be another reason for addiction. As an adolescent or pre-adolescent, one may be trying to gain attention from an inattentive parent or escape an abusive one by using drugs. A drug user, or the presence of drugs at home, could also be a major cause of your drug abuse.
Other factors which might force you to choose drugs are as follows:
● Unstable home environment, often due to drug abuse or mental illness of a parent
● A poor relationship with parents
● Use of drugs by friends / peers
● Behavioural problems combined with poor parenting
● Poor achievement in school
● Apparent ambivalence or approval of drug use in the school, peer group, or community
Drug addiction is the inability to stop using drugs in spite of numerous attempts. You may exhibit the behaviours below:
● You will have developed a strong tolerance towards drugs, i.e, you would need to consume increasingly greater quantities of a drug to experience the desired effect.
● You experience strong withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug.
● You continue consuming drugs regardless of any harm caused to yourself and to those around you.
● You consume a dangerous amount, whenever you use.
● You invest all your time to find ways to afford the drug, as well as places to buy and use it.
● You feel the need to consume drugs to function. For example, you would need it "to get going" in the morning.
Some of the common drugs associated with addiction are:
● Opiates - substances derived from the opium poppy plant, the most common drug addiction is that of heroin
● Cocaine, crack
● Amphetamines - like crystal meth
● Hallucinogens - like PCP, LSD, and marijuana, often combined with other drugs
● Prescription medication - such as oxycodone and morphine
● Other chemicals - like tobacco, steroids and inhalants
What will happen if you do not stop?
You will not realize you have a problem until pronounced effects of drug abuse are seen, often physically. While the effects of drugs on your body depend on the type of drug used, all drug abuse negatively impacts your health.
You are exceedingly vulnerable to:
● Cardiovascular, Liver, and Kidney disease
● Inflammation to the GI tract
● Confusion, dizziness, and poor short term memory
● Violent mood swings i.e. depression/insomnia to anxiety/paranoia
● Loss of libido; sexual dysfunction
● Menstrual problems
● Strong psychic dependence; high risk of cross-addiction
● Intense cravings
● Nausea, vomiting, and constipation
● Loss of consciousness and coma
● Clouding of mental function
● Heart attacks and heart failure
● Respiratory problems and failure
● Fertility issues
● Kills brain cells and damages central nervous system
● Damage to immune system
● Difficulty forming/ recollecting memories
You may experience an increasing, intense desire to use drugs above all else. Your craving for drugs would shift your entire mental focus to obtaining the drug. You are solely preoccupied with where to get it, how to get money for drugs, and where and when it can be used.
As an addict, you may find yourself undergoing the following every now and then:
● Altered perception
● Mood changes
● Disinhibiting thoughts and tendencies
● Neglect of responsibilities i.e. work, home, school, and children
● Legal problems
● Cognitive decline - loss of memory and ability to process information
● Increased risk of suicide and violence towards others
● Isolation from others due to mood/behavior changes
● Irritable, hostile, and violent tempers
● Confrontational personality
● Increase in risky sexual behaviours
● Slowing down of thoughts, reflexes, and actions
How can Solace Sabah help you?
There are only two options you could be faced with if you find yourself addicted to drugs but are unwilling to do anything about it: You could either face death or go to jail. If you are willing to do something about it, you could visit an institute – a hospital or a drug rehabilitation center, like Solace Sabah.
You would perhaps say that coming to us is equivalent to going to jail. But at Solace Sabah, we treat you, not punish you. At our Drug Rehab Program, we teach you to derive pleasure out of the simple things in life and not obtain pleasure from abusing drugs. We stabilise the artificial reward system of your brain and make you realise that you don’t need intoxication to be happy. To achieve this, we make sure we do not treat you as though you’ve committed a crime. Healing cannot be achieved by punitive measures - shaming people about their addiction. Just like how if you suffer a stroke and lose the ability to speak or move, you would be sent to a speech therapist or a physical therapist by your family. The same applies to addicts such as yourself, by coming to Solace Sabah's exclusive drug rehabilitation program.
The problem you face is your inability to naturally perceive pleasure and Solace Sabah corrects exactly that by exposing you to fun, sober activities so that you can learn to recognise the pleasure in the normal things in life. We practice fun - we will take you to meet your inner child, send you sailing, flying, and rock climbing. We will find you a sport or hobby that you enjoy - all this will help return your pleasure system to function normally in much the same manner that physical rehabilitation returns speech and movement in stroke patients. We will not only help you arrest your addiction, but use spiritual, creative art, music, and various other therapies which will bring you closer to your carnal being - we will basically introduce you back to yourself.
The reason you are turning to drugs is due to underlying issues about yourself which have not been resolved. It could be childhood trauma or anxiety related disorders. At Solace Sabah, through our spiritual and psychological programs, we make sure that these issues, which form the foundation of your addiction, are resolved. We help you learn to love yourself.
Before you enter the treatment stage, you will have to let go of the physical dependence you have with drugs. You will undergo a managed withdrawal procedure to be free from the physical grip of drugs in order to understand the effects and consequences drugs have had on your life when you come to treatment at Solace Sabah. This is called detoxification.
Withdrawal management or detoxification needs proper monitoring because drug dependency has disabled you from physically and psychologically functioning in the absence of drugs. When you are not using drugs, you will face what are commonly known as withdrawal symptoms, which tend to be extremely dramatic in nature. You may find yourself going through the following symptoms:
● Seizures, tremors
● Hallucinations, delirium
● Heart attacks, strokes
● Fear, paranoia, anxiety, panic
● Pain, stiffness, muscle aches, spasms
● High incidence of respiratory failure, Myocardial Infarction (MI), convulsions, aggression, suicidal attempts
● Increased appetite
● Sleep difficulties
You might be worried about how you would handle these withdrawal symptoms for they could be hugely traumatizing to deal with. At Solace Sabah, with our extremely effective and scientific withdrawal management, the experience you will undergo will be extremely subtle to your mind and body. Read more about how we handle this at our detox page. Feel free to browse our site and contact us to achieve long-term recovery today. We have the professional expertise, help, and care; needed to get through this trying time. Seeking help with drug addiction is the first step to a life free from addiction.