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Addiction treatment refers to various therapies and programs designed to help individuals who suffer from addiction. Addiction is categorized as a chronic brain disease. It is indicated by an individual’s inability to discontinue consumption of harmful chemicals, substances, any other drugs, and even activities, despite the negative physical, mental, emotional, and social effects.
When considering addiction treatment for drugs and alcohol, relapse is a common component, and a multi-faceted approach is almost always necessary. Short-term or one-time treatments are often unsuccessful due to the complex nature of addiction, and different methods of treatment must be utilized to help an individual reach their highest recovery potential.
If you or a loved one is suffering from the consuming and sometimes life-threatening implications of drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to know that you are not alone, and help is available.
More About Addiction
Alcohol, opioids, cocaine, heroin, and others are addictive substances that have the potential to become habit-forming and create dependency, which then can lead to addiction. Dependency refers to the physical dependence on the substance in order to prevent symptoms of withdrawal.
Addiction is considered a disease because, like other diseases, it disrupts and changes the makeup and natural processes of specific bodily organs. If left untreated, addiction can become chronic and lifelong. Addiction has detrimental consequences, but it is preventable if ideal treatments and therapies are implemented.
The foundational goal of drug and alcohol addiction treatment is to enable people to regain control of their lives by whatever means necessary. There are a varying number of different treatment options, and some work better than others depending on the type of substance the person is addicted to and the severity of the addiction.
Risk Factors for Addiction
Susceptibility to drug and alcohol addiction varies among individuals. There isn’t one guaranteed factor or set of factors that can predict whether a person will suffer from addiction.
A combination of factors may indicate a person’s vulnerability to addiction, and the more risk factors a person is exposed to at a young age may indicate a greater risk for developing an addiction later in life. Some risk factors include:
- Exposure – One or both parents or siblings use drugs or alcohol, pop culture references to drug abuse.
- Trauma – Emotional, mental, physical, or sexual abuse, neglect, or any other traumatic childhood experience.
- Peers – Exposure to addictive substances through friend groups.
- Accessibility – Easy access to harmful and addictive substances in childhood increases the risk of experimentation
Genetics – Genetic predisposition plays a major role in addiction and increases a person’s risk of becoming addicted.
- Stress – Stress and chronic stress can lead to the use of addictive substances.
- Thoughts and personal beliefs – Negative thought patterns and personal beliefs about oneself.
- Behavioral and mental health – Bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, attention disorders, OCD, and other mental and behavioral health issues are common in individuals struggling with addiction.
The Stigma of Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatments
Addiction is a complex disease made up of varying genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. Understanding the role these factors play in the development of addiction is crucial to developing successful treatment programs and minimize the stigma around addiction.
Stigma refers to the negatively-held beliefs around drug and alcohol addiction and those who suffer from it. Addiction stigma is a dangerous threat to public health, and it contributes to higher rates of incarceration and death among addicted populations, as well as mental health concerns.
The stigma surrounding an individual can affect their willingness to seek addiction treatment, utilize harm reduction techniques, and can significantly impact their self-esteem and emotional well-being. For a person struggling with substance addiction, they can be exposed to stigma from their healthcare providers, their family and friends, and from the general public.
Traditional beliefs surrounding drug and alcohol addiction included that the person who suffered was immoral and lacked self-control. Stigmas are hardly ever based on facts; instead, they are based on assumptions and judgments. In order to combat stigma and help those who are tormented by addiction, education is of the utmost importance in the world of addiction treatment.
Types of Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Because addiction, like other systemic diseases, is highly complex and made up of several contributing factors, a successful treatment plan must acknowledge a varying number of aspects of human behavior and biology. For comparison, a person suffering from Type II Diabetes may be given a specific medication from their doctor in order to help regulate their insulin levels, but if that person is not also advised to make changes in their diet, the disease and symptoms will nevertheless persist.
The same goes for addiction treatment. In the past, abstinence and faith-based programs were the standards of care in treating addiction. Today, these programs still have a place in recovery, but not on their own.
At Right Path Addition Centers, we utilize a variety of clinical and behavioral treatments tailored to each individual. These include a combination of the following:
MAT or Medication-Assisted Treatment Therapy
MAT is the combination of behavioral therapies, support groups, and an FDA-approved medication for use in specific cases of addiction. Medications like buprenorphine or methadone are highly effective when treating substance dependence, as they can reduce the symptoms of cravings and withdrawals or remove cravings altogether, depending on the substance. This modality of treatment is a more holistic approach than singular abstinence-based therapies and is proven to be effective.
Behavioral therapy includes counseling, talk therapy, and any other cognitive behavioral therapy that might be effective in an individual’s treatment. Behavioral therapy engages the individual in their own treatment, as well as helps to address the root causes of the addiction.
Understanding why a person began using a substance that led to addiction is extremely important when implementing a lasting and effective treatment. In addition, behavioral therapy helps an individual to build a skillset for managing stress and increases their overall image of themselves and their self-worth.
This is a combination of the creative process of making art with psychology and based on the idea that non-verbal communication and expression promotes healing. Art therapy can help to resolve emotional conflict, stimulate self-awareness, ease anxieties, and more. In addiction treatment, art therapy is effective in providing a greater sense of control, a safe outlet for difficult emotions, and helps one adjust to their recovery.
Support in recovery can present itself in many different facets. The repair of familial and friend relationships is a goal in addiction treatment. Establishing a reliable support network can play a major role in the success of treatment. Support systems and groups provide healthy peer pressure and support in times of struggle, as well as a connection to individuals who have similar recovery goals.
The outcome of drug and alcohol addiction treatment is highly dependent on the length of treatment. In most cases, treatment lasting 90 days or less displays limited effectiveness, and while each person moves through their treatment at their own pace, longer treatment durations are linked to higher treatment success rates.
Benefits of Addiction Treatment
While the thought of entering a drug or alcohol treatment program can be downright terrifying, the benefits of completing either of these are invaluable and certainly outweigh the short-term discomfort. Participation in a well-rounded treatment program can result in the following:
Often those individuals who struggle with addiction are stuck in destructive cycles and lifestyle habits that all contribute to their disease. Destructive relationships and toxic environments encourage continued use of harmful substances. Addiction treatment can help you to break these negative cycles in your life and reestablish healthy boundaries in a drug-free environment.
Once the body is no longer in the grasp of the addiction cycle, you are then free to learn about yourself and your addiction, and what specific life events or factors led you down this path. This can help you to better understand yourself and what you need out of life, and more importantly, what you don’t need.
True healing cannot happen by treating symptoms alone. Addiction treatment allows you to look at deep-seated issues and traumas that led to addiction in the first place. The acknowledgment of pain and sadness and any other emotions you may have neglected over the years is the foundation of lifelong healing and recovery.
Building New Habits
Those who have experienced addiction know what it’s like to think poorly of themselves and form their relationship choices and daily habits around this thought process. Addiction treatment is not just about getting sober: It is about recognizing the good and worthiness in oneself and adjusting your life to reflect that.
Addiction is a chronic disease that should be acknowledged as such. With proper care and treatment, addiction is manageable, and each person can regain control of themselves and their life. Right Path Addiction Centers is a stigma-free and safe place to turn to for effective addiction treatment therapies.