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Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a severe problem in the United States. Affecting millions of people, addiction can take over your life, impacting your health, social life, work, friends, and family members. If you’re wondering if you need rehab, look no further.

Choosing the right rehab to go to can be overwhelming. At Empowered Recovery Center, we’re here to help. We provide top-tier medical support and exceptional care so you can reclaim your future and live a productive sober life.

We offer a varied and individualized program to empower you with the skills you need to overcome addiction and maintain long-term abstinence.

How Do Drugs Affect the Brain?

Many people fail to understand how someone becomes addicted to drugs. They think drug-taking is a simple choice that people can easily give up.

However, in reality, quitting drugs takes more than just strong willpower. Addiction is a complex disease characterized by physical changes in the brain that affect your thoughts and behaviors.

So how do drugs affect the brain? When you repeatedly take an addictive drug over a prolonged period, it impacts the ‘reward pathway’ in your brain.

The reward pathway is a natural part of how the brain works. When we do certain activities, like exercise, our brains produce chemicals that make us feel good. Our brains connect this ‘reward’ with the activity and create urges to repeat it.

When you take an addictive drug, your brain is overwhelmed with these chemicals. You experience intense feelings of pleasure, which your brain connects to the drug. It produces powerful urges to seek and use the drug that can be difficult to resist, even when you know there are harmful consequences.

Luckily, in recent years extensive scientific research into addiction has discovered ways to reverse some of these brain changes and help many people cope with urges in healthy ways. Effective treatment methods exist to help individuals recover from their addictions and maintain long-term abstinence.

What Is the Difference Between Addiction, Physical Dependence, and Substance Use Disorders?

Physical dependence happens when you take a drug repeatedly over some time. Your body adjusts to the presence of the substance in your body and alters its production in response. For example, if you regularly take opiates, your body adjusts by reducing its natural opiate production, known as endorphins. You then develop a tolerance to the drug and become dependent on it to feel normal.

While physical dependence often leads to addiction, they are distinct conditions. Addiction refers to specific psychological and behavioral characteristics that involve the compulsive seeking and using of a substance, even when there are negative consequences. It is possible to be physically dependent on a drug without being addicted, and vice versa.

Substance use disorders (SUD) include any kind of substance abuse that significantly affects someone’s ability to live their daily life. According to SAMHSA, this may involve issues like “health problems, disability, or failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.”

SUDs can be mild, moderate, or severe and may or may not involve addiction. Usually, drug addiction is a characteristic of a severe SUD.

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What Are the Different Kinds of Drugs?

Each drug acts on the brain and body uniquely. However, you can classify most drugs into four main categories according to their effects.

These categories are:

  • Stimulants, such as cocaine and amphetamines
  • Depressants (sedatives), including alcohol and benzodiazepines
  • Opiate painkillers, like codeine and oxycodone
  • Hallucinogens, such as psilocybin mushrooms (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine)

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Drug Addiction?

Yes. To recover from your addiction, you need to stop using the substance you have become addicted to. As your body and brain become dependent on the substance, when you stop consuming it, you will experience a withdrawal.

Withdrawal symptoms depend on:
Drug addiction can have a devastating impact on your life and those around you. The good news is that addiction is treatable. With the right support, anyone can turn their life around.

One of the first steps on the road to recovery is recognizing you have a problem so that you can make the call for help. Sometimes, it is not apparent when someone is struggling with addiction. As a result, we have shared some signs and symptoms to help you below.

Social signs of addiction may include:

  • Lying, secrecy, and unexplained outings
  • Stealing
  • Unexplained financial problems
  • Changes in friend groups
  • Unusual pipes, cigarette papers, small weighing scales, and other drug paraphernalia

Psychological, behavioral, and physical signs of addiction may include:

  • Developing a tolerance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Being unable to stop taking drugs
  • Neglecting obligations and duties at work and home
  • Losing interest in everyday activities and hobbies
  • Spending a lot of time planning, engaging in, or recovering from drug use
  • Experiencing extreme mood swings
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Changes in energy levels and general wellness
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Pupils appearing larger or smaller than usual

Please call Empowered Recovery Center today if you recognize any of these signs and symptoms in yourself or a loved one. One of our compassionate and knowledgeable team will offer free and confidential advice, answer any questions, and take you through the next steps.

What Are the Risk Factors for Drug Addiction?

Scientific research over the past two decades has uncovered a range of risk factors that make developing an addiction more likely, as well as protective measures that may prevent it.

Risk factors can affect people at different stages of their lives. At each stage, preventative measures can be taken. It’s important to remember that most people at risk of drug abuse do not develop an addiction, and risk factors are different for each individual.

Some risk factors for addiction include:

  • Lack of parental supervision at home
  • Friends and peers taking drugs
  • Drug availability at school and in the community
  • Poverty and environmental factors
  • Genetics, which may account for up to 50% of the risk of developing an addiction

Preventative measures and interventions that may decrease the risk of addiction include:

  • Anti-drug policies in schools
  • Community building and neighborhood support systems
  • Home visits by a social worker

“No looking back now! The care was exemplary and you can tell the staff really care about you. I’m still in touch with my recovery coach regularly who has been a massive help.”
– Kirstie, Former Client

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Drug Addiction Treatment at Empowered Recovery Center

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the most effective addiction treatments combine a range of treatment approaches in an individualized treatment program that caters to each client’s needs. We offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment as well as a variety of therapies.

At Empowered Recovery Center, we understand that each client is different. As a result, we offer a variety of evidence-based treatment options to provide a holistic healing experience. Our top-tier team of medical experts delivers our program with exceptional expertise to ensure you receive the best treatment for you. Our treatment options include:



Recovering from addiction is about more than just overcoming addictive behaviors. It’s about developing the skills to build a future where you can thrive. Our program focuses on long-term recovery with life skills development and case management to help you reclaim your life. We offer a year of recovery coaching at no extra cost, staying by your side as you continue your recovery journey.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction, we’re here to provide the support you need.

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