What Is Considered Long-Term Addiction Treatment?

A liquid that is or contains ethanol or ethyl alcohol produced by the fermentation of sugars. Alcohol consumption is also connected to increased risk of accidents (e.g., car crashes), risky sexual behavior, violent behavior, suicide, and homicide. Also known as juice, the hard stuff, sauce, suds, or most often by variety or brand name.

  • However, with the help of our team, you can begin to rebuild your life.
  • When they first use a drug, people may perceive what seem to be positive effects.
  • Stimulant medications can help improve academic and occupational performance by regulating brain chemistry.

People who are in recovery have a higher chance of using substances again. Recurrence can happen even years after you last took the substance. Substances send massive surges of dopamine through your brain, too. But instead of feeling motivated to do the things you need to survive (eat, work and spend time with loved ones), such massive dopamine levels can lead to damaging changes that affect your thoughts, feelings and behavior. When you spend time with a loved one or eat a delicious meal, your body releases a chemical called dopamine, which makes you feel pleasure.

How Long is Long-Term Drug Use?

Some prescription medications affect brain function by attaching to receptors, which control how the brain sends, receives, and interprets signals. By attaching to the receptors, the drugs prevent the body’s own neurotransmitters from attaching to the receptors. This can lead to decreased cognitive function, impairing many of the activities that you engage in every day. Both disrupt the normal, healthy functioning of an organ in the body, both have serious harmful effects, and both are, in many cases, preventable and treatable. Most drugs affect the brain’s “reward circuit,” causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine.

The progressive or gradual increase in drug dosage to reach an optimal therapeutic outcome. Doses are individualized and only administered on the appearance of early symptoms. Confirmation of coverage by the insurance company for a service or product before receiving the service or product from the Selecting the Most Suitable Sober House for Addiction Recovery medical provider. A drug derived directly from the natural opium poppy plant (see opioid). Measurement-based practice is a framework in which validated (evidence-based) symptom rating scales and screening tools are routinely used in clinical practice to inform treatment decisions and adjustments.

NSAIDs for Chronic Pain: Risks of Long-Term Use

The Association for Addiction Professionals represents the professional interests of more than 100,000 addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad. Long-term regular use can damage serotonin neurons, brain chemistry, and brain function in a way that may not be completely reversible. You may also struggle to feel pleasure, regulate emotions, and remember things. Parts of the brain responsible for verbal learning, emotional regulation, memory, and motor speed are all impacted by repeated and chronic meth use. The brain can recover some of its function and structure with prolonged abstinence, however.

what is considered long term use of a drug

Consider seeing a mental health professional if you’re having issues managing your stress. Over time, the substances change your brain chemistry, and you become desensitized to their effects. People can use substances occasionally without developing SUD, but even a few episodes of taking certain substances can lead to tolerance and dependence. Tobacco, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, cannabis and benzodiazepines are all substances that you can develop tolerance and dependence to. However, it is difficult to determine the accuracy of data on racial disparities. In the United States, historically, the “war on drugs” has meant that Black Americans are 6–10 times more likely to be incarcerated for drug offenses even though they are not necessarily more likely to use illegal drugs.


A protracted withdrawal syndrome can also occur with symptoms persisting for months after cessation of use. Benzodiazepines are the most notable drug for inducing prolonged withdrawal effects with symptoms sometimes persisting for years after cessation of use. Both alcohol, barbiturate as well as benzodiazepine withdrawal can potentially be fatal. Abuse of hallucinogens, although extremely unlikely, may in some individuals trigger delusional and other psychotic phenomena long after cessation of use.

what is considered long term use of a drug

This is mainly a risk with deliriants, and most unlikely with psychedelics and dissociatives. The most serious potential long-term effect of drug abuse and drug addiction is death. Drugs can kill slowly over time, but they can also cause a fatal overdose. Any misuse of any type of drug puts a person at risk for having an overdose that may be fatal. That risk increases when using street drugs, because the strength or purity is impossible to know. The risk also increases when combining drugs or using drugs with alcohol.

Abigail Martínez

Licenciada en Ciencia Política y Relaciones Internacionales por el CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) y Maestra en Políticas Públicas por Macquarie University. Se especializa en análisis político y comunicación estratégica. Colaboradora de The HuffPost México, Gluc MX y ENEUSmx.

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