National Addiction Treatment Week is an annual overall view into addiction as a disease and the availability of addiction treatment as a whole. The amount of individuals suffering from addiction or substance use disorder, SUD, outweighs the number of medical professionals who are qualified and available to address addiction.

The organizers of National Addiction Treatment Week aim to raise awareness of evidence-based addiction treatment that’s available right now. 2021’s events will be used to highlight the dire need for more clinicians to be trained in the discipline of addiction treatment and medically-assisted detox.

Looking at the Numbers: What Is Addiction?

SAMHSA is the nation’s leading research organization dedicated to tackling substance abuse in the United States. The 2019 SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported a record 21.6 million individuals ages 12 and up that are suffering from addiction or SUD.

Of those 21.6 million, only 4.2 million received addiction recovery treatment. Even amongst those seeking treatment, just over half of them were able to receive treatment from a facility dedicated to addiction recovery and rehabilitation. This boils down to only 17% of individuals diagnosed with substance use disorder getting the help they need.

Substance use disorder and addiction can stem from abuse of many different substances such as:

  • Pain killers including codeine, heroin and oxycodone
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Hallucinogens
  • Methamphetamines
  • Tobacco

Those who are diagnosed with substance use disorder often have their way of life altered to center solely around the acquisition and use of drugs or alcohol. Over time, the brain develops dependencies on the substance in question to the point that choosing to stop can have fatal withdrawal symptoms if not treated accordingly.

Ongoing use can even change how the various functions of the brain perform which can impact decision-making skills and the ability to recall past memories and create new ones. The primary reason so many people choose to abuse substances is to achieve a state of intoxication commonly referred to as being high or drunk. These states of intoxication come with feelings of euphoria, relaxation, heightened senses and pleasure depending on the substance.

How Addiction Forms Over Time

As more of the substance is used, the body adjusts to its presence and a tolerance is developed. The higher someone’s tolerance, the more drugs or alcohol they need in order to achieve the same effects they are chasing. Even if they know they’re doing so, many of those struggling with addiction feel as if they aren’t in control enough to do something about it.

Individuals with substance use disorder will suffer from physical and psychological damages that impact not only them but those around them. Issues can arise in relationships with friends and family and performance at work can also begin to suffer as addiction becomes the primary focus. Those still in school may start getting poor grades or completely fail to attend class and submit assignments.

The drive to consume a particular substance can also lead to risky behavior even if the individual understands what the situation they’re putting themselves in may be dangerous. Oftentimes this happens out of desperation to find more drugs or alcohol leading to choices they would normally not make. In these cases, the individual may have already tried multiple times to reduce or eliminate substance use but failed to do so.

There is also a heavy link between substance use disorder and other mental health diagnoses such as ADHD, anxiety, depression and PTSD. When two of these diagnoses are present at the same time, it’s referred to as a dual-diagnosis and requires more specialized treatment to address each concern simultaneously.

Substance Use Disorder and Addiction Treatment

Evidence-based addiction treatment programs are available for those needing them. In order to begin treatment, the individual must recognize that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Interventions can be staged to show support and bring to light the issues being caused by the substance use.

After the veil has been lifted, an addiction treatment facility will schedule a consultation to discuss the situation and help create a tailored plan of action accordingly. All levels of addiction severity can benefit from treatment as recovery programs range from a few hours of therapy sessions a week to total hospitalization where individuals are removed from the environment that led them to the substance in the first place.

Medically-assisted detox handles concerns of withdrawal symptoms which happen when the substance is removed from the body and the brain panics as it has adjusted all of its processes to accommodate the presence of drugs or alcohol.

After-care resources such as therapists and group sessions help keep patients sober even after treatment. If you or someone you know is in need of help battling addiction, please reach out to America’s Rehab Campuses for a confidential consultation free of charge.