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No one way is right for everyone, and there is evidence that the commitment to change is more important than the type of treatment program.Whatever the treatment under consideration, say independent researchers, there are number of features to look for to identify an effective program.
Continuing use is typically harmful to relationships and work or school obligations.
Another distinguishing feature is that individuals may continue the activity despite physical or psychological harm incurred or exacerbated by use.
Recovery, however, is often a long-term process that may involve multiple efforts.
Relapse is now regarded as part of the process, and effective treatment regimens address prevention and management of recurrent use.
Still others opt for clinical-based recovery through the services of credentialed professionals.
The road to recovery is seldom straight: Relapse, or recurrence of substance use, is common—but definitely not the end of the road.It is important to know that the brain changes are reversible after the substance use or behavior is discontinued.Both substance use disorders and gambling behaviors have an increased likelihood of being accompanied by mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety or other pre-existing problems.The diagnosis is based on the presence of at least two of a number of features: Because addiction is a multi-faceted condition, arising from the confluence of many elements—including, of course, exposure to an addictive agent—it is more productive, and more accurate, to think of risk factors for the development of substance abuse disorders, rather than causes.And just as there are risk factors, so are there factors that protect individuals against addiction.Since success tends not to occur all at once, any improvements are considered important signs of progress.Increasingly, programs are available to help those who recognize they have a substance-use problem but are not ready for complete abstinence.The medical world currently views substance use disorders according to the class of drug that is used.As a result, it defines 10 separate substance use disorders.There is scientific evidence that the addictive behaviors share key neurobiological features: They intensely involve brain pathways of reward and reinforcement, affecting motivation, which involve the neurotransmitter dopamine.And, in keeping with other highly motivated states, they lead to the pruning of synapses in the prefrontal cortex, home of the brain's highest functions, so that attention is highly focused on cues related to the target substance or activity.