Addiction is a progressive and chronic condition, which is why early treatment is imperative for recovery. The longer you abuse drugs and alcohol, the more damaging the consequences become. Not only can addiction impact your health, but it can also hurt your career and familial relationships. Treatment includes working with an addiction specialist to learn how to manage your symptoms and maintain sobriety. But what is an addiction specialist?
Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50, leading to the United States declaring a public health emergency to combat the rising opiate epidemic. The sharp increase in fatal overdoses has put addiction at the forefront of public health. With more than 20 million Americans over the age of 12 meeting the criteria for addiction annually, substance abuse disorders are a common disease.
Why Addiction is a Disease
Substance abuse disorders can impact anyone and don’t discriminate. While there is no known cause or cure for addiction, meaning that there isn’t a specific genetic trait that causes the condition, recovery is possible with help.
All psychoactive substances have the potential to cause addiction, including legal ones and prescription medications. That can make identifying addiction more difficult, as you can become physically and/or psychologically dependent on medications that you take exactly as prescribed. Legal substances, like alcohol, can cause dependency as well.
When you use drugs and alcohol, the mood-altering effects are caused by your brain releasing a rush of pleasurable neurotransmitters. This rush is responsible for intoxication. While intoxication is pleasurable, once it ends your brain is suddenly left with a deficiency of neurotransmitters. Not only does this impact your mood, it creates intense cravings.
Since your brain considers your substance of choice pleasurable, it associates people, places, and things that remind you of it with pleasure. This creates intense cravings whenever you’re exposed to triggers, making it hard to maintain sobriety. Although addiction is sometimes considered a condition caused by poor choices, the truth is that having a strong desire to quit using is common when you struggle with a substance abuse disorder.
What is an Addiction Specialist?
So, what is an addiction specialist and how do they help you recover from a substance abuse disorder? An addiction specialist is a mental health professional who focuses on helping patients recover from substance abuse problems. An addiction specialist may use a variety of evidence-based and holistic therapies, such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
- Meditation and mindfulness exercises
- Trauma therapy program
- Motivational therapy
When you’re wondering what is an addiction specialist, it’s important to remember that substance abuse treatment is beneficial because it focuses on unique issues, such as relapse prevention strategies. Unlike certain medical problems, addiction is incurable, meaning that you can continue to experience symptoms, such as cravings, long after your last use.
An addiction specialist helps prepare you for recovery. Since it’s impossible to completely avoid all triggers, learning how to cope with stress, major life changes, and conflict is an essential component of treatment.
If you’re asking yourself what is an addiction specialist, remember that an addiction specialist can be a therapist, doctor, nurse, or social worker. Inpatient and outpatient treatment centers use addiction specialists to help you learn how to identify and change negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, which improves your ability to manage your sobriety.
Reaching Out to Promises Treatment Centers Today
When you’re struggling with an addiction, you may wonder what is an addiction specialist and how can they help me reach my recovery goals? An addiction specialist ensures you have the tools, skills, and support necessary to manage cravings, triggers, and sobriety. If you’re battling an addiction, recovery is always possible. Reach out to us today at 1.713.528.3709 to find out more about your treatment options and our recovery programs.