How Much Addiction Counseling Do I Need?
Just as every individual is unique, every addiction is unique. The amount and intensity of the treatment you need for addiction depends on a variety of factors including the drug in question, the severity of your addiction and the presence of any co-occurring mental health issues. Treatment also depends on how you became addicted and the habits associated with your drug use. A Portland resident with a past history of recreational use and addiction, who habitually associates with drug users and is regularly in situations and environments in which illicit drugs are used will probably need a longer duration of more intensive treatment to address all behavioral and psychological issues related to addiction than someone who became dependent after a period of medical use following surgery or traumatic injury.
How the Drug Used Determines How Much Counseling Portland Residents Need
Certain drugs are more likely to produce addiction than others, and certain drugs tend to produce a stronger addiction than others. Marijuana, for example, is addictive, but the addiction is relatively mild and can be treated primarily through counseling without the need for intensive detoxification. However many other drugs produce a much stronger physical addiction and require medically supervised detox services. Some drugs with powerful physical addictions and withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Opiates (heroin, morphine and synthetic opioid pain killers such as Lortab, Percocet and OxyContin)
- Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax and Klonopin)
Physical and Psychological Addiction in Portland
Some drugs produce a stronger physical addiction than others, but nearly all drugs produce a psychological addiction. Psychological addiction can be dealt with through therapy, while physical addiction requires detoxification. The intensity and duration of treatment depend on the level of addiction. The surest sign of a physical addiction to any drug is the appearance of withdrawal symptoms when use of the drug is stopped abruptly. With highly addictive drugs the symptoms can be so unpleasant that they overpower a person’s will to stop using, and he or she will continue to use the drug to avoid the misery of withdrawal. This is one reason for addiction to opioid pain killers used for medical reasons and explains how Portland residents who do not use drugs to “get high” can nonetheless become addicted.
Psychological addiction occurs for several reasons. Drugs alter the “reward center” of the brain causing it to produce elevated levels of dopamine and serotonin, the chemical neurotransmitters responsible for mood. Excess dopamine produces euphoria, the “high” of drug use. Chronic users seek to repeat this pleasant feeling as much as possible. After a while the brain stops producing normal levels of these chemicals on its own, and when use of the drug is stopped depression sets in.
Counseling for Addicted Portland Residents
Once the detox period has ended, addiction treatment consists primarily of individual and group counseling to address behavioral and psychological issues related to addiction. During treatment the patient will do the following:
- Explore and address root causes of the addiction
- Deal with any co-occurring mental health issues
- Learn strategies for coping without turning to drug use
- Learn to recognize relapse triggers
- Learn strategies for maintaining long-term sobriety in Portland
Addiction Help for Portland Residents
If you have questions about addiction and counseling, we have answers. Our helpline is toll free, and we are available 24 hours a day. We can help you or your loved one find a solution for your individual drug abuse or addiction problem.