rippleranch_logo-200x101-1-q6144w15aqyeb8bcxqq9ctly80oko5dqv2hqwrlz40 (1)
Substances of Choice

Reflecting on Personal Struggles and Societal Trends

Substance addiction manifests in many forms. Read on to learn the common substances of choice from the 2023 Clinical Outcomes Report and how we use that information for personalized healing.

A Closer Look at Substance Selection and Addiction

The multifaceted nature of addiction demands a nuanced approach to treatment. It arises from a complex interplay of personal struggles, societal influences, and the unique pharmacological effects of each drug. Like a reflection, drug of choice often mirrors this interplay, influenced by availability, cultural context, and personal history.

Our journey into understanding addiction begins by exploring the substances of choice individuals turn to, as documented by our 2023 Clinical Outcomes Report.

This section uncovers the interplay between personal struggles, societal influences, and the unique characteristics of each drug, revealing the complex interplay of addiction that we address in our treatment approach.

There is no need to suffer through addiction alone. Get the support you need today.
Contact Ripple Ranch Recovery Center today to start your path to healing.

What Constitutes a Drug?

Drugs are substances that alter the body’s functioning, impacting perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior. Understanding these effects is crucial in making informed health decisions.

The Mechanisms of Addiction

To build effective treatment plans, it’s important to know the intricate mechanisms behind why drugs become addictive.

Here are some key factors that contribute to the addictive nature of drugs:

  • Changes in the brain’s reward system: Drugs release dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. This triggers a “high” that motivates individuals to continue using the drug to recapture that feeling.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: When an individual stops using a drug they are addicted to, they may experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe and can be a powerful motivator to resume drug use to alleviate the uncomfortable feelings.
  • Tolerance: As the brain adapts to the presence of a drug, it may require increasingly larger doses to achieve the same desired effects. This phenomenon, known as tolerance, can lead individuals to escalate their drug use, potentially putting them at risk for overdose and other health complications.

Addressing not just physical dependence but also the underlying factors that fuel the addictive cycle is key. We accomplish this goal through comprehensive care that heals the body, mind, and spirit. 

Learn more about how Ripple Ranch Recovery can help you achieve sustainable recovery from addiction by reaching out to us today. 

The Drug of Choice Spectrum

At Ripple Ranch, we pride ourselves on not just using generic industry data but on compiling and analyzing our very own datasets. This effort paints a revealing and detailed picture of the substances our clients are most drawn to, offering insights into the deeper struggles they face. 

Each percentage represents the reported prevalence of specific drugs among our patient population and the common effects these substances have on them.

Alcohol (49%)

Is alcohol a drug? According to our definition, it certainly is. And its effects on the body would strengthen the argument. Alcohol is sometimes overlooked because it is widely accepted in society and legalized. 

But its deceptive nature can lead to dependence, impacting various aspects of life, including physical and mental health, relationships, and work.

Known for its powerful and highly addictive properties, heroin use often reflects a significant struggle with dependence. Individuals may experience intense withdrawal symptoms and require comprehensive treatment support.

While initially prescribed for legitimate pain relief, prescription opioids can be misused and lead to dependence due to their pain-relieving and euphoric effects. This can necessitate transitioning to alternative pain management strategies and seeking support to address dependence.

Often sought for their intense but short-lived feelings of energy and euphoria, methamphetamines are highly addictive and can lead to significant physical and mental health consequences, including psychosis, heart problems, and cognitive decline.
Often used to seek a temporary escape from negative emotions or to enhance alertness and performance, cocaine carries a high risk of addiction and can lead to various negative consequences like withdrawal symptoms, heart problems, and impaired decision-making.

These substances highlight the complex relationship between their therapeutic use and the potential for dependence. 

Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, is often misused and can be deadly even in small doses. Benzodiazepines, prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders, can also lead to dependence if used for extended periods without proper medical supervision.

While the debate on the addictive potential of marijuana is ongoing, some individuals report struggling with dependence, particularly with high-potency strains and frequent use. 

This can present challenges with managing daily life, fulfilling responsibilities, and experiencing negative impacts on memory and cognition.

Other Substances

Less common substances like club drugs, hallucinogens, and stimulants, chosen by smaller percentages, also play significant roles in the addiction narrative.

With the Right Care, Addiction Can Be Overcome

Understanding our patient’s “drug of choice” is just the beginning. At Ripple Ranch, we partner with each individual to rewrite their addiction narrative. Our journey starts with medically supervised detox, providing a safe space and a personalized treatment plan addressing the root of struggle. 

We go beyond detox with evidence-based medication-assisted treatment (MAT), holistic therapies, and a continuum of care, empowering every patient to achieve lasting recovery and a fulfilling life. Together, we rewrite each individual’s story. 

Let us help you break the cycle of addiction. Reach out today.