Addiction is a strong and complex medical condition. Overcoming substance use disorders and its compulsive draw takes more than just some willpower. Substance abuse-focused organizations such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) classify addiction as a disorder or disease for two primary reasons.
One reason centers on the fact that addiction changes how the brain responds in situations involving rewards, stress and self-control. The second being that these changes are long-term and can persist well after the person has stopped using. In other words, drug addiction changes the functioning of the brain and body.
People who have a drug or alcohol addiction may show many different symptoms of their disease, including acting irrationally or out of character, having mood swings and damaging relationships with loved ones. Prolonged or even short-term and single-use can have negative impacts on the body. Every person may respond in a different way, but one must be aware of the harmful effects substances can have on the brain, liver and other organs.
In many cases, going through drug or alcohol detox becomes a medical necessity, and medical supervision is required to combat the potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Being in a safe, monitored setting is also important when a person experiences intense cravings when they stop using.
What to expect
In Gainesville, UF Health Florida Recovery Center has 18 licensed hospital beds at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital for those who need a medically supervised drug or alcohol detox. UF physicians, specially trained nurses and addiction therapists practice behavioral and medication therapies to provide a safe and comfortable detox environment. Our addiction experts specialize in treating patients with complex cases, including those involving chronic pain issues, dual diagnoses and using multiple substances.
Still, detox is not enough. Addiction is a relapsing condition that will present itself again without proper care. After inpatient drug or alcohol treatment at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital, our multidisciplinary treatment team will outline a discharge plan to meet your needs and support a healthy recovery.
The multidisciplinary team organizing your care consists of addiction medicine physicians, nurses, therapists, counselors and substance abuse technicians who will guide you through your recovery process. This plan could include a step down to our partial hospitalization program with housing through which you can receive more intensive treatment for drug and alcohol use disorders. We offer an intensive outpatient program and aftercare, too.