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What Is Chemical Dependency Education?

As an alumnus of The Guest House, you will receive a great deal of support after you complete treatment. One of the features of our alumni program that we offer is chemical dependency education. Within the recovery process, it is easy to forget how illicit substances affect the brain’s chemistry. This blog provides information on the ins and outs of chemical dependency and explores helpful ways that the alumni program provides education.

What Is the Importance of Learning About Chemical Dependency?

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in 2021, 46.3 million people aged 12 or older met the criteria for chemical dependency. However, 94% of those people aged 12 or older with a substance use disorder (SUD) did not receive any treatment.

Chemical dependency is different from addiction. Many confuse these two and believe them to be interchangeable. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Chemical dependency is defined as being physically dependent on substances like alcohol, drugs, and medical prescriptions. When the dependency is not fulfilled, the body will go into a physically uncomfortable state, as known as withdrawal. Some symptoms of withdrawal may include:

  • Running nose
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Flu-type symptoms
  • Loss of appetite

Addiction is characterized as a powerful urge to use substances that are difficult to control despite negative consequences. The tendency to use addictive substances to combat daily stressors can be inherited from environmental factors or genetics. People turn to substances to improve their mood, decrease stress, or in some cases satisfy their curiosity.

Chemical Dependency and the Brain

Have you ever wondered why you crave certain things? Do you wonder why out of the blue, you want chocolate? In the brain, there is a place called the basal ganglia (pleasure center) that plays an important role in positive forms of motivation and pleasurable activities like eating, socializing, and sex. This is also where habits and routines are formed.

Chemical dependency activates the pleasure center, creating a euphoric high. Over some time, the dependency tricks the brain and nothing besides the chemical produces a pleasurable feeling anymore. Soon, the brain will adapt to the intake of chemicals and it will take more chemicals for the brain to respond. You will not experience that same high sense of euphoria you had when you first started taking the drug. instead, you must use more to experience the desired effect. This is known as developing a tolerance to the substance.

These changes in the brain dampen a person’s enjoyment of activities they once enjoyed or even make them less motivated in their daily routines. Despite the negative outcomes of administering illicit substances, many people are chemically dependent and struggle to quit on their own.

How Is My Mental Health Affected?

Addictive substances cause negative effects. For instance, regular use of cannabis is linked to increased depression symptoms and higher anxiety. Stimulant drugs, on the other hand, can make you feel depressed, anxious, and paranoid. More specifically, cocaine can make previous mental health problems surface and trigger psychosis, while ecstasy can inform memory problems.

It is easy to get wrapped up in the idea that chemical dependency is “fun” or that you “don’t want to deal with life.” However, the cons outweigh the pros of trying anything or continuing to use addictive substances. There is a high possibility that you may develop a dependency or mental health problems.

How Can Chemical Dependency Impact My Daily Life?

When chemical dependence becomes a problem and leads to addiction to substance abuse, it has an impact on a person’s health, personal relationships, career, and overall wellness. The complications of chemical dependency vary from person to person. However, symptoms may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Internal organ failure
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Irritability
  • Sustaining injuries to yourself or others
  • Depression

For some, chemical dependence is something that can be overcome. For others, chemical dependency is linked to recurrent substance use and needs to be evaluated by a professional to take the next course of action.

If your chemical dependency has evolved into substance use disorder (SUD), it is important to acknowledge that it is not a good idea to try to stop on your own. At The Guest House, we have many professionals on site who can help you through this process.

The Guest House and Chemical Dependency Education

Exploring chemical dependency and its ramifications is essential. Recovery is a learning process that we take seriously here at The Guest House. That is why we delve into chemical dependency education in our alumni program. It is important to explore how your body and brain respond to chemicals in your system as well as the signs and symptoms of mental health problems that can arise.

At The Guest House, we believe in thoroughly explaining the process of chemical dependency. We want to make sure you understand the body’s response to chemical exposure. In our chemical dependency education, we provide information that includes facts and research to back up any misconceptions you may have.

Chemical dependency can impact the quality of your life. This type of dependency can sever relationships with others and decrease your sense of well-being in the long run. The good news is that The Guest House can help you recover your wholeness and health. We are here for the long haul of your recovery. Our staff members can give you the care and support that you need in order to thrive. You are never alone and we want you to know that you are valued. If you or someone you know are struggling with chemical dependency, give us a call at (855) 483-7800 today. We will be happy to speak with you.