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Questions About Addiction - Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to pay for rehab?

This is one of our most common questions about addiction. Most rehabilitation programs have substantial costs. Many private health plans will cover a portion of the treatment, but the $30,000 to $100,000 price tag of rehab can often be a major deterrent for those in need of help. Almost all rehab programs will require insurance to subsidize the enormous cost. The Freedom 365 Virtual Recovery System is a cost-effective rehabilitation alternative and doesn’t require any insurance, eliminating the barriers of cost and insurance so it can help more people.


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What is the most severe form of addiction?

Drugs and alcohol are some of the most severe forms of addiction and impact over 20% of Americans. Drugs like heroin, cocaine, methadone, and prescription painkillers can be especially difficult once dependence is developed.   Surprisingly the most dangerous withdrawal is with alcohol and anti-anxiety medications like benzos (Xanax).  Withdrawal from opioids is physically unpleasant but it won’t kill you.   Withdrawal from Alcohol or Benzos can actually be deadly.   Alcohol remains the most prevalent, dangerous, and even one of the most deadly substances abused in modern times.     Over 8% of the US population is addicted to alcohol and more than two-thirds of drug addicts are also addicted to alcohol.


Can you ever get over a drug addiction?

Although it may seem like a daunting, at times impossible task, you can get over a drug addiction just like millions in America have. Getting over an addiction is challenging and made even worse if it feels like you are alone in your struggle. That’s where the Freedom 365 Virtual Recovery System and things like therapy and counseling can help.  Often time dependence is a symptom of unaddressed trauma or other mental health condition.    One must address the whole self in order to tackle substance use alone.   We must trace our current behaviors to our past experiences and find new and healthier coping strategies to deal with the unpleasant feelings that arise in our daily life. This is one of the more common questions about addiction we receive.


Can addiction go away by itself?

Typically, addiction never truly goes away, and almost never by itself. While there is no “cure” for addiction, it can be treated and managed by identifying triggers and addressing unhealthy belief symptoms and coping strategies. Therapy, counseling, rehabilitation programs, education, and support can help an addict break free of their addiction and live a happier, healthier life.


What does having a drug addiction mean?

Another common question about addiction we get. Having a drug addiction means having a chronic and compulsive desire to seek out and use drugs and/or alcohol. Typically the term is applied to people who consistently use illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin, but people can develop drug addictions to almost any chemical.   Drug addiction is also described as “substance abuse” and is clinically referred to as “substance use disorder.”


What is the main cause of addiction?

Addiction has many causes, but there are two common leading causes – peer pressure and psychological distress. Young people are especially susceptible to peer pressure, and it’s a strong factor in influencing one to start misusing drugs. Individuals who have experienced psychological distress may turn to drugs as a way to alleviate their suffering. Difficult family and socio-economic situations can also be a cause of drug addiction.  Ultimately, we seek drugs and alcohol to alleviate unpleasant feelings.  Once chemical and emotional dependence is developed, the lack of drugs or alcohol is the cause of our unpleasant feelings, leading us to seek more relief and creating a vicious cycle of addiction.


How do you know if you’re addicted?

This is a fantastic question about addiction. There are a variety of behaviors that can be signs of addiction. If you have an inability to stay away from certain substances, lack control when you don’t have access to certain substances, abandon commitments or ignore relationships in the pursuit of a substance, or keep using a substance despite negative consequences, there is a good chance you have an addiction.  Another tell-tale sign of substance use disorder is the inability to regulate your intake of drugs or alcohol once you start.   An example might be, going out for one drink and then not being able to stop at one.  One drink turns into all night drinking episode.   If you continually experience a lack of the ability to control your intake once you start, you are likely experiencing the type of substance use disorder.


Who becomes addicted?

Anyone who uses drugs or drinks alcohol is at risk of developing an addiction or dependence. Other factors like genes, family situation, environment, socio-economic status, age, and mental health can all influence an individual’s chances of using certain substances and becoming addicted. Certain conditions like depression and bipolar disorder greatly increase the risk of addiction.  Often, we learn to use drugs and alcohol to cope with life’s problems as children by watching out parents or other influential adults the same.  It can be a subconscious learned behavior that can begin at a very young age.


What are the causes of drug addiction?

Just like there are a variety of substances one can become addicted to, there are a variety of causes that lead someone to develop an addiction. Addiction can be caused by a family history of drug addiction, little to no family support or structure, genetic markers, mental health disorders, peer pressure, traumatic events and psychological distress resulting from them, drug use at a young age, or being prescribed a highly addictive drug.  Often, we simply develop unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with unpleasant feelings.   Initially, we seek drugs and alcohol to alleviate unpleasant feelings.  Once chemical and emotional dependence is developed, the lack of drugs or alcohol is the cause of our unpleasant feelings, leading us to seek more relief and creating a vicious cycle of addiction.   At a certain point drugs and alcohol become overused and they no longer alleviate our unpleasant feelings.   This can cause severe mental health and emotional problems that often lead people to seek help.   Drugs and alcohol work for a time, until they don’t.


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What is meant by substance misuse?

Substance misuse doesn’t just mean consistent and overindulgent use of illegal substances or alcohol. It can also describe incorrect use of medication prescribed by a medical professional or chronic use of substances that can have a negative effect on health like alcohol. Essentially, it describes the use of substances not in alignment with legal or medical guidelines, or simply using drugs and alcohol despite the negative consequences using these drugs have on your life and/or mental health.


What’s the difference between drug abuse and misuse?

The main difference between drug abuse and misuse is intent. Someone who misuses drugs takes drugs to treat a specific ailment but may misuse it because they read the instructions on the label incorrectly or misinterpreted their health care provider’s instructions. A drug abuser knows they are not using a drug for its intended purpose and does so to elicit a certain feeling.


What is the cause and effect of drugs?

Drugs can cause a variety of things and vary depending on an individual’s size, physical and mental health, genetics, and more factors. Drugs can slow or depress the central nervous system’s functioning, stimulate the nervous system, or distort an individual’s perception of reality. Most prescription drugs are intended to have positive effects, but if used incorrectly, many will have negative effects like seizures, strokes, confusion, memory issues, disease, brain damage, and even death.  It is also important to remember that what goes up, must come down.   When we artificially stimulate dopamine in our brains with drugs or alcohol, we feel really good for a short time, but when the drugs wear off our brains are depleted of this feel-good chemical.   This leads us to feel much worse than before we took the drugs to begin with.   That really “bad feeling”  we experience after the drugs wear-off, leads us to seek out more drugs to avoid the negative feeling associated with the come-down.


What is the meaning of drug and substance abuse?

Substance abuse describes dependence on and/or overindulgence in an addictive substance like drugs or alcohol. In other words, chronically using an addictive substance with little control. Drug abuse describes the overindulgence in and/or dependence on drugs specifically.


What can I do to help a friend that is addicted to drugs?

To help a friend who is addicted to drugs, you need to have compassion and educate yourself on the issues they are facing. You should let them know that they’re not alone, that you can help, and ask them what you can do for them. Also, contact counselors, therapists, and rehabilitation centers for more advice and help your friends schedule a session when they are ready. You should also recommend that they download the Freedom 365 Virtual Recovery System app.


What do you say to someone who is addicted to drugs?

The most important thing you can say to someone who is addicted to drugs is that they’re not alone, and you’re here to help and support them when they need it. You should also let them know it’s ok to ask for help and that things can and will get better if they do.


What causes someone to become an alcoholic?

There is no one cause that is true for all alcoholics, and often there are often multiple causes that lead a person to become addicted to alcohol, but there are a few factors that influence most people who have issues with alcohol. These include unaddressed past traumas we have yet to fully process, psychological disorders like depression and anxiety, low self-esteem; family history of alcohol use disorder (AUD); peer pressure; first having alcohol at a young age (between 11 and 14 years old), personal losses or failures, and an even just a sense of lack of overall belonging.


What happens when someone is addicted?

Addiction involves a strong and intense craving for a certain substance, a lack of control when using it, and consistent use despite obviously adverse consequences. Addiction does more than just change behavior – it also changes the brain. Addiction first subverts the way the brain registers pleasure and then corrupts other drives like learning and motivation.  As our brain changes, we also lose our ability to get “high,”  more often using to avoid feeling “low” when are not using drugs or alcohol.


What are the side effects of drugs?

There exist a wide variety of different drugs, and each has a unique combination of side effects. Typically, though, drugs can lead to a weakened immune system, thereby increasing the risk of infections and skin acne.  It can also to cause more advanced aging, skin wrinkling, lung disease and hair loss   It can also cause issues with weight including nausea and abdominal pain, thereby leading to appetite loss and weight loss or in other cases it leads to poorly functioning digestive system, causing significant weight gain and diabetic conditions.  Drugs and alcohol can lead to an increased strain on the heart and on the liver which lead to many other long term health issues.   They can often cause nervous system issues like seizures, strokes, brain aneurysms, mental confusion, brain damage and problems with attention, decision making, memory and sleep disorders.   In almost all cases drugs and alcohol will lead to depression, sometimes accompanied by anxiety, attention deficit disorder, bi-polar disorder insomnia, as well as  several other psychological issues that increase over time with continued use.


When is drinking a problem in a relationship?

Drinking becomes a problem in a relationship when it leads to a lack of trust, financial issues, an impact on children, a lack of sex drive, or chaos and constant breaking of routine. Drinking is also a problem in a relationship when one person puts drinking above everything else, including their partner and potential children.


Can an alcoholic have a normal relationship?

Couples are typically happier together when they both have the same drinking habits as each other, and the more one person drinks and the other doesn’t, the more likely it will have a negative impact on the quality of the relationship. Unfortunately, because alcohol impacts our mood, rational thinking, and decision making, even if both partners share the same drinking habits, it is only a matter of time before arguments arise from one or both partner’s poor behavior, lack of control, and insensitivity to the needs of others while under the influence.   Due to the effects of alcoholism, it is typically difficult for an alcoholic to have a normal relationship.


Can a relationship work if one person drinks?

Although research shows that relationships work better when people have the same drinking habits as their partner, a relationship can work if one person drinks. It depends on how much that person drinks and the kind of boundaries the couple sets, but it is typically a toxic relationship.  Often the partner who does not drink will have co-dependent disorder.  Co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive. The disorder was first identified about ten years ago as the result of years of studying interpersonal relationships in families of alcoholics.


Why do me and my partner argue when drunk?

Alcohol affects the brain in a way that causes lower inhibitions and people to not think about the repercussions of their actions, meaning it can make people say things they may not usually say and do things they may not usually do. This makes it easy for you to say or do something you  and that you would not if you were thinking clearly, which can lead to unending arguments, disagreements and relationship dysfunction.


Can alcohol change a person’s behavior?

Alcohol’s effect on the brain can lead to many different behavior changes. Alcohol can increase aggression, sexual desires, self-disclosure, and generally allow instigative pressures more sway over a person’s typical response. Alcohol can also cause a person to neglect their personal hygiene and nutrition.  Overtime it often leads depression and low self-esteem.


How do you tell someone they are an alcoholic?

If you want to tell someone that they are an alcoholic, you should tell them in a way that is non-confrontational without getting angry or emotional and communicates that you care about them. You may want to open up the conversation by saying something like, “Are you worried about your drinking habits?” or “I feel like your drinking habits are a little out of control. Do you think you should cut down a bit?”   Be sure to let them know how their drinking is affecting you and use specific examples.  If they have been thinking about change, they may be relieved to talk about how they’re feeling.  Avoid getting emotional or angry and saying something you may regret.  Talk when they are in good form and not under the influence of alcohol. Avoid talking first thing in the morning or when they are suffering from a hangover.  They may feel very defensive when you bring it up, unless they are already thinking about change.  They may get angry, refuse to talk about it, dismiss what you are saying or laugh it off.  Not accepting there is a problem is a common response. Accepting it can be a difficult or painful reality.  It’s not helpful to get into a verbal fight or to keep repeating the same argument. If they won’t talk about it, leave it for a while.  Say “OK. But I hope you’ll think about it because it is worrying me.”  Don’t push the issue, but don’t give up… Let them know you are there to support them and that you only want them to have a happy healthy and fulfilling life.


How do you deal with someone who has a drinking problem?

Dealing with someone who has a drinking problem can be very hard, especially if it is a close friend or family member. It can be even harder to tell them you worry about their drinking habits, but it’s important for you both. Approach talks with empathy and sensitivity and choose a space that’s safe and comfortable when you discuss your concerns with them.


What happens to your mind when you’re an alcoholic?

Alcohol has a profound effect on the brain, and these effects become more pronounced the more a person drinks. Alcohol blocks certain chemical signals that pass between neurons, the information messengers of the brain, which can lead to impulsive behavior, bad decision making and poor judgment, slurred speech, slow reflexes, and poor memory. When you’re an alcoholic, your mind is in this kind of state often.


What does alcohol do to a relationship?

Alcohol can lead to codependency in a relationship where an alcoholic takes advantage of their partner who acts as a caretaker. Alcohol can also lead to physically and verbally abusive behavior, financial troubles, cheating, and a lack of trust. All of these things can make a relationship deteriorate to where it’s dysfunctional and unhealthy for both people.


What does “enabling” someone mean?

Enabling a person means allowing them to continue engaging in self-destructive patterns or unhealthy behavior like substance abuse. Typically, the term describes a person intentionally or unintentionally supporting a close friend or loved one’s harmful or problematic behavior. This can mean lending money, buying drugs or alcohol, excusing troubling behavior, making it easier for troubling behavior to continue, and assisting in other ways.


What does enabling alcohol mean?

This can mean supporting an alcoholic friend or family member, allowing their unhealthy behavior to continue, accommodating their behavior and actions, making excuses for their actions to themselves and others, protecting them from the consequences of their actions, and doing things for them that they could do if they were sober.


What is an enabler personality?

Someone who has the personality of an enabler may have a tough time standing up to the demands of their friend or family member struggling with substance abuse and saying no. A person with an enabler personality may feel that their friend or loved one would be worse off without them supporting their bad habits and substance abuse, or they may be in a codependent relationship and are being taken advantage of. Someone with the personality of an enabler may enable their friend or loved one because they care about the person and want to protect them from the consequences of their actions, but that care is misplaced.



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