Addiction Treatment Options in Portland, ME (207) 245-6932

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is "a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry." The condition causes a person to turn their focus from their everyday lives to drugs and/or alcohol. They will continue pursuing and craving drugs, even when they know the drugs are harming them and causing damage to their health and well-being. Portland Alcohol Rehab Centers can help addicts successfully overcome addiction.

When a person experiences drug addiction, they should seek addiction treatment in Portland, Maine. Some of the chief hallmarks of addiction are:

  • Tolerance: A person will have to use more and more of a drug to achieve the same effects.
  • Withdrawal: A person will experience withdrawal symptoms when they are not using drugs.
  • Cravings: A person will crave a drug when they haven't used it for some time.
  • Loss of control: A person suffering from addiction will lose control over their use of a drug. They will set a goal to use less of a drug, but then repeatedly use more than planned.

How Does Addiction Treatment Work?

Addiction treatment in Portland works by having a person first stop using drugs. A person can do this through medical detox in Portland, where they take medications that can reduce some of the most severe side effects associated with withdrawing from a particular substance. Once a person has progressed through the detox symptoms to a point of sobriety, they will then participate in a variety of programs for addiction treatment. Examples of these may include:

  • Behavioral therapy and counseling with an addiction professional. This helps a person learn ways to recognize thinking that is associated with addiction and relapse.
  • Self-help and peer support groups. A person may meet with 12-step groups or other support groups types, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. By discussing struggles with other like-minded people, a person can be honest about their addictions and learn from other's successes and struggles.
  • Substance use monitoring. A person will often submit samples for drug testing on a regular basis to ensure they are not returning to drug and/or alcohol abuse.
  • Pharmacotherapy. Some people in drug and alcohol treatment centers will take medications that either reduce cravings associated with addiction or that block the effectiveness of drugs. For example, the medications Suboxone or methadone are commonly prescribed to those addicted to heroin or painkillers. These medications reduce the effects of withdrawal and block opioid receptors, but don't cause the same euphoric high that has a personal experience when using heroin. Ideally, this helps a person stop using drugs altogether. Other medications, such as disulfiram or Antabuse is a medication that will cause a person to feel very ill if they drink alcohol.

Sometimes programs for addiction treatment may be termed as holistic because they focus on the mind-body connection. These drug and alcohol treatment centers may offer the traditional offerings listed above as well as services to help a person relieve stress, such as meditation, art therapy, or music therapy.

How Does Addiction Affect the Brain?

Drugs and alcohol are mood-altering substances. When a person takes them, the substances cause chemical changes in the brain. These changes can throw off a person's brain chemistry and cause the brain to send signals to the body, urging it to use the drug again to achieve the same pleasurable effect. Drugs all work in different ways. For example, both cocaine and methamphetamine are central nervous stimulants. When a person uses them, they cause an extra release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. This gives off a pleasurable effect as well as makes a person feel more alert and awake. However, methamphetamine causes more dopamine release than cocaine, which is why methamphetamine can be especially addictive.

Drugs like painkillers and heroin as well as alcohol are all central nervous system depressants. They slow down the central nervous system, causing a person to feel sleepy as well as experience the sense of euphoria they often feel when using drugs. Alcohol increases the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, which has sedative effects.

Why Should I Enter Programs for Addiction Treatment?

Addiction treatment in Portland can help a person undergo the difficult, but important, the task of stopping drug abuse. As mentioned earlier, addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease. Just as other diseases, such as high blood pressure, require medical treatment, so does addiction. Sometimes a person requires the help and services of medical experts at drug and alcohol treatment centers who know what it takes to get sober.

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