What is Drug Addiction?

Addiction to drugs is often viewed by society as some sort of moral failing when this is in fact far from the truth. The World Health Organisation and the medical community at large, recognises addiction as an illness and all the research to date shows that this is a disease of the brain characterised by obsession and compulsion.

Therefore it matters, not so much about the type of drugs that are consumed by the addict but the way this affects their behaviour and reactions to life. Current research indicates that in over 50% of cases there is a genetic predisposition to addiction and that this is linked to the inability of the sufferer’s brain to produce dopamine.

This is the chemical produced naturally by the brain which induces feelings of pleasure and wellbeing. This means that the addict never receives the payoff that normal people do while carrying out the daily duties of life, they therefore seek that pleasure elsewhere.

Every addict’s path into addiction varies. Addiction is a complex disease and has many underlying layers which coupled together with trauma, abuse, depression and anxiety make it difficult to diagnose and treat without effective residential care.

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The Effects of Drug Addiction

The impact of drug addiction on the user can vary greatly from person to person depending on their drug or drugs of choice. Naturally, the use of stimulants has a whole range of different physical side effects from those of sedative drugs. They also have different effects on the brain chemistry.

The disease comes in many different forms, from daily users with a physical dependency to bingers. However, there are physical consequences for all addicts which can range from just not taking care of themselves to strokes, heat attacks and blood borne diseases.

Psychologically, addicts are affected by a lack of concentration, cravings and an internal belief that they cannot handle life or a situation without the use of the drug. This deeply effects their emotional life and can result in mood swings, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and paranoia. In turn this feeds into an inability to have meaningful relationships and the person gets further and further away from who they actually are.

All of these features of the illness can have different consequences for the individual. However, for all addicts these characteristics interact with each other causing a disturbed sense of self and general dis-ease with life.

Simply put, addiction affects the physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing of the sufferer. Every aspect of this must be addressed to achieve long term recovery.

The consequences of drug addiction can look similar for all addicts even if the drugs and circumstances are quite different.

Physical

  • Changes in the brain chemistry – short term
  • Changes in the structure and function of the brain – long term
  • Neglecting personal hygiene
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Cravings

Psychological

  • Triggers
  • Compulsion
  • Obsession
  • Lying to yourself/denial

Emotional

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Memory loss
  • Mood Swings
  • Paranoia
  • Fear
  • Psychosis
  • Loneliness

Social

  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Lack of interest in work/school
  • Lack of interest and ability in maintain relationships/friendships
  • Damaged relationships with family members
  • Financial problems
  • Isolation
  • Lying to others

Spiritual

  • Damaged self-esteem and self-worth
  • Damaged relationship with self
  • Lack of interest in life
  • Inability to function without the drug
  • Continuing use despite negative consequences

Drug Detox

Not everyone requires a medically supervised detox but for those with a physical dependency a period of detoxification must take place. This usually means that a tapered dose of medication is prescribed over a period of time.

Drug Detox at Seasons Thailand

This is frequently the thing dreaded most by addicts with a physical dependency but it is really the first step in recovery. Upon arrival at our facility, clients are met by both our clinical and medical teams who will facilitate a second assessment. The first assessment is carried out before admission. During this time it will be confirmed whether or not a medically supervised drug detox is required.

Over the period of withdrawal, our doctor constantly monitors the dose of medication to make sure the client is as comfortable as possible. The clinical team are also a fantastic resource during this time and provide a great deal of emotional support.

Evidence Based Drug Addiction Treatment in Thailand 

The Seasons Thailand program is internationally acclaimed and well equipped to deal with addiction to any drug. We recommend that clients, especially those with a long withdrawal period stay in residential treatment for the full 90 days. However, we also run the program for 28 days and 60 days.

Our multi-faceted Primary Program treats the physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of addiction. This is achieved through a balanced schedule of group sessions, one on one counselling, educational groups and relapse prevention work within a therapeutic community setting. Also included in our holistic program are yoga, exercise sessions and art therapy.

At every stage of the process, clients are monitored, evaluated and their successes acknowledged. This really helps our staff to respond to what is going on for the clients and helps to instil an ever growing sense of self-esteem and a new found confidence.

This program is fully supervised 24 hours a day by a team of professional staff who want nothing more than to assist clients in their treatment goals. All of our case managers are in recovery creating a nurturing environment where real transformation is not only possible but tangible. They are great examples to clients who enter our program who have given up hope that things can ever change.

Seasons Thailand provides an idyllic environment to work through a program of recovery. This is further supported by our beautiful facility which provides a high level of comfort. All your housekeeping needs are taken care of by our domestic team and delicious healthy meals are served daily by our chef.

Our location in Chiang Mai offers both tranquillity and endless opportunities for exciting weekend excursions. Seasons Thailand is the best place in the world to start a new way of life.