Oregon

Addiction and drug dependence treatment is very easily accessible in Oregon.  There are many different types of addiction and dependence, but they are all characterized by one trait – tolerance.

Tolerance is what happens to the body when a substance or drug is repeatedly introduced to the system.  As they body adjusts to the drug, it develops a level of being able to maintain or tolerate the drug.  Instead of the dramatic change in feeling that the drug gives when it is first used, the person finds that they need to use more of the drug to get the same high as in the beginning.  This pattern of tolerance eventually develops into a full-blown addiction if the person continues to use, attempting to overpower the body’s tolerance of the drug.  Tolerance applies to both drugs and alcohol.  For addicts, the body’s adjustment and tolerance of the drug means that they are constantly chasing that first feeling of being high and will never be able to attain it again.

Addiction to prescription drugs is a scourge on our society.  The most common drugs that people struggle with are benzodiazapines (xanax, valium, ativan, restoril, klonipin), pain medications (oxycontin, oxycodone, lortab, vicoden), and stimulants (ritalin, dexadrine).  One of the current rising trends is teen use of prescription medications that are found in their parent’s medicine cabinets or from other family members.  Misuse of prescription medications can become particularly problematic when addicts are really injured and have developed a tolerance to medications that might be prescribed to help them.

Treatment for addiction issues can be either in-patient or out-patient.  In-patient programs are intensive and require residence at the treatment center for at least a few weeks.  Usually, there is an initial period of detox during which the patient’s body adjusts to not having the drug in their system.  For patients with severe addiction issues, it is important that the facility have medical staff available with specialized knowledge about treating addictions.  After detox, the patient is required to attend daily group and individual drug counseling sessions.  Family members are also encouraged to visit and participate in the rehab program to help the patient understand the impact of their behaviors on their relationships.

Out-patient programs are less intensive, but no less effective, than in-patient programs.  Out-patient programs may have a short detox period, but for the most part, the focus is on group and individual drug counseling sessions.  Usually, these counseling sessions are conducted by a therapist with specialized training and knowledge of drug addictions and dependence issues.  In fact, it is not at all unusual for drug counselors to be in recovery themselves, giving them intimate knowledge of the challenges that addicts face when beginning recovery.

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  • May 26th, 2009