Addiction remains a pressing concern both in Texas and across the United States, impacting individuals of all backgrounds and demographics and posing significant challenges to public health and social well-being. Addiction encompasses various substances getting a grip on countless individuals, manifesting as a chronic condition known as substance use disorder (SUD). According to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an alarming 29.5 million individuals aged 12 and older grappled with SUD in that year alone. In Houston, mirroring many urban centers nationwide, SUD poses a significant public health concern, emphasizing the urgent need for addiction services. Hence, addiction treatment in Houston is vital to the community and its people. 

Understanding Addiction

Addiction or SUD is a medical condition where someone has a strong need to use a substance or do something, even if it’s harmful. It’s like a disease that affects the brain, making it hard for the person to stop. Addiction causes strong cravings and a compulsion to keep using or engaging in the behavior. Over time, addiction can negatively impact a person’s health, relationships, and overall well-being.

A man is comforted during Addiction treatment in Houston.

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD) or alcoholism, manifests when an individual loses control over their alcohol consumption. This condition is a chronic, relapsing behavioral disorder. Diagnosis depends on several factors, including the frequency of alcohol consumption, instances of “binge drinking” (defined as consuming at least 4-5 drinks in an hour), and drinking at inappropriate or risky times. It’s important to note that susceptibility to alcohol addiction is not limited to heavy drinkers. The brain changes over time with prolonged alcohol use, making anyone susceptible, especially those who initiated alcohol consumption at a young age. Specific individuals are at a higher risk of developing alcohol addiction due to genetic factors. Additionally, those with mental health issues or a history of trauma may turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism, or these issues may arise due to alcohol abuse. Reaching out for alcohol addiction treatment is a courageous and often lifesaving step. 

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction, also referred to as substance use disorder (SUD), materializes when an individual grapples with controlling their drug consumption, marking a persistent, relapsing behavioral condition. Prolonged drug use changes brain chemistry, amplifying vulnerability, particularly among those who initiated drug use at a young age. Furthermore, some individuals face heightened risks of drug addiction due to genetic predispositions or environmental factors. Therefore, individuals grappling with mental health disorders, dual diagnosis, or trauma histories may turn to drugs as a coping mechanism, exacerbating these issues or inciting drug abuse.

Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Identifying addiction involves observing changes in an individual’s behaviors and relationship with drugs and alcohol. Responsibilities and interpersonal dynamics over time. 

Typical behavioral signs and symptoms of addiction include:

  • Risky Behaviors: Excessive time spent acquiring or using alcohol, disregard for its impact on others, consumption during dangerous activities like driving, work or school difficulties, financial problems including borrowing or stealing, taking unnecessary risks, and legal troubles.
  • Social Changes: Increased association with enablers, reduced time spent with loved ones, and diminished engagement in previously enjoyed activities.
  • Loss of Control: An inability to regulate the amount consumed, frequency of use, and timing of alcohol ingestion.
  • Greater Dependency: Intense cravings, heightened tolerance, and increased dependence on alcohol.

Physical symptoms of addiction include:

  • Confusion,
  • Memory problems,
  • Poor coordination
  • Mood swings, 
  • Depression, 
  • Anxiety, 
  • Paranoia, 
  • Red eyes, 
  • Slurred speech,
  • Flu-like symptoms like nausea, shakiness, sweating, and insomnia

Suppose someone experiences one or more symptoms of addiction. In that case, they must seek support from healthcare professionals, engage in open dialogue with trusted individuals, and explore available treatment options tailored to their needs and circumstances.

A group session during Addiction treatment in Houston.

Long-Term Effects of Addiction

Prolonged addiction causes severe harm to numerous bodily systems and organs. Almost every body part can suffer damage, including the heart, blood cells, blood sugar levels, stomach, liver, pancreas, bones, and eyes. 

The adverse health effects of long-term alcohol abuse include: 

  • Liver disease, including cirrhosis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Neurological impairments
  • Increased risk of certain cancers (e.g., liver, mouth, throat, esophagus, breast)
  • Weakened immune system
  • Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and memory problems
  • Social problems, including strained relationships and difficulties at work
  • Higher risk of accidents and injuries
  • Job loss and financial problems

Alcohol addiction is also associated with sexual and reproductive problems, leading to sexual dysfunction, irregular menstruation, and severe risks for developmental issues and miscarriage in pregnant individuals who abuse alcohol. Hence, the decision to enter addiction treatment in Houston is a brave and often life-saving move in the right direction.

Types of Addiction Treatment in Houston

Treating addiction requires a multi-faceted approach tailored to individual needs. From medical detoxification to counseling and behavioral therapies, treatment helps individuals stop drinking while maintaining a sober lifestyle and integrating back into society addiction-free.

 Here’s an overview of the various addiction treatments in Houston:

  • Detoxification (Detox): The first step. It is the body’s natural process of removing toxins from the body. It is often done under medical supervision to ensure safety and manage withdrawal symptoms.
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation: Provides intensive, 24-hour care in a residential setting. It includes individual and group therapy, medical care, and activities to support recovery.
  • Intensive Outpatient Rehabilitation (IOP): Allows individuals to attend treatment sessions while living at home. It suits those with a solid support system and a stable living environment.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): Uses medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone, along with counseling and behavioral therapies, to treat substance use disorders.
  • Behavioral Therapies: Include cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, and motivational interviewing. These therapies help individuals change their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use.

Addiction Withdrawals

The dreaded withdrawal symptoms that come with the first vital step of detoxification are challenging and unpleasant. However, addiction treatment in Houston can get you through the process safely and with the least amount of discomfort. 

The severity of these symptoms can vary depending on factors such as an individual’s length of alcohol use, prior experiences with withdrawal, and their unique physiology. However, the most common side effects of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Anger, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.
  • Insomnia and restlessness.
  • Physical manifestations like shakiness and excessive sweating.
  • Headaches and dizziness.
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort, including nausea and vomiting.
  • Elevated blood pressure and heart rate.

In more severe instances, detoxification can lead to a condition known as “delirium tremens,” characterized by fever, seizures, and hallucinations. Most drug and alcohol withdrawals typically persist for about a week or two, but in some cases, it may extend much longer. Attempting detox alone is not recommended, given the risks and the high likelihood of relapse. Seeking alcohol addiction treatment in Houston is strongly advised.

A woman is comforted by her primary therapist during Addiction treatment in Houston.

Reach Out for Addiction Treatment, Houston Today

Alcohol addiction wreaks havoc on relationships, careers, and finances. Overcoming alcohol addiction can be a daunting task, particularly when attempted alone. The good news is you are never alone. The Lovett Center in Houston is here for you. Our therapists build strong, meaningful, authentic relationships with love and support on your road to sobriety. We understand the complexities of alcohol addiction and offer personalized care to help you reclaim a life of sobriety. If you or a loved one needs addiction treatment in Houston, Lovett Center can help. Contact us today.

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