Drug abuse and addiction is a serious issue for professionals in the workplace, most importantly for those with a responsibility to render services under a safe environment for their clients such as healthcare providers. Many well-educated, highly trained and experienced healthcare practitioners lose their families, careers, and futures to drug use and addiction.
Because drug abuse among professionals is highly stigmatized, many professionals remain silent about their addiction. The most important reason is denial because of the shame and guilt that accompanies the disorder. Addiction hijacks the brain and is considered to be a chronic illness. As such, it must be treated immediately and perpetually before injury to self and others occur.
Drug Addiction Treatment—Addictions We Treat
Positive Sobriety Institute (PSI), a leading drug rehab in Illinois, is a drug addiction treatment center for all, regardless of type and severity of the addiction. Our highly trained staff is equipped to treat a wide variety of drug addictions and is able to address the unique challenges that each particular drug brings.
Stimulants: Stimulants are a class of drugs that are used to increase normal activity in the body’s central nervous symptoms. They are known to boost awareness, energy, and alertness. Examples of stimulants: Methamphetamine, crack, cocaine, and ecstasy.
Depressants: Depressant drugs are psychoactive drugs that work by diminishing normal functioning of the central nervous system. They are often referred to as “downers.” Examples of depressant drugs: Alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepine, and tranquilizers.
Opiates: Opiates are very powerful painkillers that are extremely addictive. Opiate pain medications work by attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain, which produce feelings of pleasure and reduce sensations of pain throughout the body. Examples of opiates: Morphine, codeine, oxycodone, Vicodin, Percocet, and hydrocodone.
Hallucinogens: Hallucinogens are drugs that alter a person’s perception and feeling. They affect areas of the brain that control coordination, hearing, sight and other cognitive processes. Examples of hallucinogens: LSD, MDMA and PCP.
How Does Drug Use Become Drug Addiction?
Not everyone who uses drugs necessarily forms an addiction. Using once or twice and then abstaining from use is not likely to cause drug addiction. But once regular use is established, the effects of drug abuse can be devastating. It is through sustained and frequent use of a particular drug that leads to a tolerance (the need to consume greater quantities of the drug in order to experience previous effects). Tolerance can then lead to a physical dependence that will cause the user to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when they do not take the drug. They may feel physically ill and find themselves experiencing cravings for the substance to feel better or to even just to function in their daily life.
Stages of Drug Addiction
Drug use can become a slippery slope where a person may find themselves in the throes of an addiction, despite originally wanting to use occasionally for recreational purposes.
There are several stages of drug use that can lead to addiction, including:
First time use: Many people try drugs and/or alcohol for the first time before the age of 18. Curiosity and peer pressure are factors that contribute to drug use. Also, an adolescent’s brain is still developing, particularly in the area of the pre-frontal cortex, which manages and regulates decision-making and impulse behavior. Because this area of the brain has not matured, teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors.
Experimental use: The user may continue to use recreationally because they enjoy the way the drug makes them feel. There are many reasons people decide to experiment with drugs and/or alcohol. They may decide to use recreationally because they are going through a stressful time, have friends that regularly use, need to alleviate symptoms of a mental health disorder or for other reasons.
Regular use: Whether they are using to unwind and relax, self-medicate as a result of a mental health issue or have a good time with peers, this is the stage where continued use can develop into a physical dependence. A person will begin to develop regular patterns of use, such as on weekends or during certain social settings. The user may notice that they are beginning to build a tolerance as the brain and body become altered from continuous drug use.
Dependence: Chemically, the brain has now adjusted to regular use of the drug, and when the person abstains, the brain sends messages to the body that result in cravings for the user to take more. This is characterized by withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea, sweating, hand tremors and irritability. Symptoms will usually disappear once they get a drug fix. It is around this period that family and friends may begin to see behavior changes as the drug begins to take hold.
Addiction: Addiction is the stage where drug abuse has taken control over a person’s life. The effects of drug abuse have wreaked havoc on their lives. The individual is typically in denial as they face fears of giving up the drug they have become dependent on. Their addiction has progressed to a point where they cannot function without the substance, may experience financial problems, run into problems with the law as a result of their drug abuse, suffer physical and mental health problems and relationships with family and friends have become strained or broken.
When is Drug Addiction Treatment Needed?
When addiction strikes, not everyone will be willing to get help. Fear, anxiety and denial often deter people from getting drug treatment. Addiction manifests differently for everyone. Some experience a quick onset, while others take years to progress into addiction, remaining in different stages for varied periods of time. Addiction is not just about abusing the substance you or loved one has become dependent on. It tears apart relationships, causes long-lasting damage to the brain and body, destroys livelihoods, ruins finances, exacerbates mental health disorders, compromises values and completely hijacks a person’s life. It is important to understand the causes of drug abuse as well as recognize drug use signs and symptoms so you can get treatment before the problem spirals out of control.
Drug Use Signs and Symptoms
Professionals who abuse drugs will often exhibit atypical behavior. Certain signs and symptoms that may indicate a drug addiction include:
- Progressive deterioration in personal appearance and hygiene
- Personality change such as mood swings, anxiety, depression, lack of impulse control
- Work performance which alternates between periods of low and high productivity
- Strained relationships with colleagues, family, clients
- Frequent absences, tardiness, missed appointments
- Disappearances from the work site—having long unexplained absences or frequent or long trips to the bathroom
- Confusion, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating or recalling details and instructions
- Rarely admits errors or accepts blame for errors
- Wearing long sleeves when inappropriate
Treating Dual Disorders
In some cases, patients will suffer from a mental health disorder in addition to their drug addiction. When this occurs, we diagnose the patient as having co-occurring disorders, or dual disorders. In these unique cases, a very specialized and integrated drug treatment plan is necessary to address both disorders properly and with the appropriate course of action.
Individuals that suffer from a mental health disorder are much more likely to have a substance abuse issue, as they often turn to drugs as a way to cope and self-medicate. The symptoms of a mental health issue can be incredibly overwhelming, and drugs can offer a temporary release. Particularly in the case of individuals who have demanding and stressful jobs, drugs are used to ease stress, anxiety, and any other mental distress that becomes unbearable. Unfortunately, an unhealthy dependence on a drug has serious consequences.
It can be a challenge to diagnose co-occurring disorders, as oftentimes the symptoms of the mental health disorder and the drug addiction are similar. Individuals that suffer from a drug addiction and mental health issue may be diagnosed with one of the following:
- Fear Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
PSI’s Chicago drug rehab team of board-certified physicians, nurse practitioners, psychologists and addiction medicine clinicians evaluate each patient in order to diagnose and treat dual disorders. We thoroughly understand that mental illness and addiction share many of the same symptoms, and for this reason commit ourselves to helping our recovery patients sustain and maintain sobriety and long-term care for mental health issues.
Chicago Drug Addiction Treatment Process
The process for alcohol addiction treatment at PSI, one of the best drug rehab and treatment centers in Chicago, is comprehensive, tested, and highly effective. Composed of three primary components, we are committed to providing the best standard of care to all that enter our center.
Upon entering our facility, patients will undergo extensive psychiatric evaluation in order to establish the existence of a mental health disorder or any other condition that may require additional treatment, to garner critical information that supports a diagnosis, and to work with you and your family members to build a treatment plan that takes into account your unique needs for long-term care.
Our evaluations allow us to objectively view each patient’s case, providing a broad perspective of their drug use. Among drug rehab centers in Illinois, PSI stands out because our psychiatric evaluations include medication management, psychotherapy services, diagnostic evaluations, and group and couples therapy for a host of psychiatric disorders.
At our leading drug rehab in Chicago, our team of psychologists, psychiatrists, family therapists, social workers and certified addiction counselors are trained to administer highly effective behavioral therapies to our recovery patients. Through the use of tried and proven methods, those in the process of overcoming a drug addiction are able to learn the necessary skills to cope with and resist temptations, think positively, and maintain motivation. We make it our goal to get at the root cause of each person’s addiction, and replace destructive behaviors with those that foster a healthy and productive life.
Our intensive addiction counseling has been proven to encourage participation within recovery support groups, incorporate loved ones in the treatment process, teach problem-solving skills for long-term sobriety, and teach individuals to break the addictive cycle and establish total abstinence from drugs. Whether you’re receiving outpatient or inpatient drug rehab in Chicago, our facility will help you build the life you deserve.
Recovery is Attainable
At PSI, Dr. Dan Angres and his team of addiction experts focus on providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment for drug abuse . Our Illinois drug rehab center has been successful for many years at appropriately treating individuals who are addicted and providing ongoing support post-treatment so that addiction can remain in remission. Treatment at PSI in Chicago includes many facets, but, most importantly, recovery begins with self-awareness, cultivating a program of well-being and maintaining a long-term goal of sobriety.