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Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment is available everywhere in our society, from the inner-city to isolated mountain tops and the serene beaches of Malibu, California. With millions of people worldwide struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol, addition treatment is no longer an uncommon undertaking, stigmatized by state funded, run down so-called "treatment" facilities in deep urban neighborhoods. Addiction treatment has become readily available, socially acceptable, and sought by some of society’s best, brightest, and most charismatic people.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a biological, psychological and social (also bio-psycho-social) disease that affects not only the addict, but the addict’s family, friends, and society at large. Not just defined as abusing drugs or drinking too much alcohol, addiction is characterized as a compulsive need to take drugs or alcohol in order to maintain a feeling of normalcy and functionality despite negative consequences. It is a physical and psychological dependence on the toxins created by drugs and alcohol, which produce feelings of euphoria, excitement, or well-being, depending on the chemical make-up and psychoactive characteristics of the chemicals themselves.

Addiction ultimately convinces the addict that he or she needs drugs and/or alcohol for simple survival.  And this isn't far from the truth.  Once addicted to mood-altering substances, the brain actually does require these substances to function normally, because the compulsive use of drugs and alcohol literally changes the chemical make-up of the brain and it’s functionality. Addiction is rooted in the mesolimbic dopamine system of the brain, which realizes that the neurotransmitters that it relies on to function and feel pleasure are being artificially input in massive quantities, and is trained to stop producing them on its own while new pathways to carry the artificially input neurotransmitters are created.  The brain then learns to rely on these new pathways for normal functioning and feelings of pleasure.  When the addictive substance is withdrawn, the brain often has an extremely hard time adjusting. This process makes it so that addicts often have trouble breaking free of the bonds of addiction without external assistance. 

Addiction Treatment Programs

Addiction treatment is the most effective and safe way for individuals suffering from addictions to mood-altering chemicals to gain an understanding of their addictions, and learn how to change their behaviors in order to live healthy and productive lives free from chemical dependency. For many addicts, the only way out of an unmanageable existence is an intense desire to change combined with effective treatment, counseling, and ongoing support.

Addiction treatment centers and programs aim to tackle all facets of addiction, including co-occurring mental health disorders. This approach is referred to as dual diagnosis treatment. In this type of treatment, an addict will not only deal with the disease of addiction, but also mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, ADHD, and a plethora of other mental health concerns that exacerbate the unmanageability of addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment is available in many addiction treatment centers around the globe, as mental health issues are commonly contributing factors in addiction cases.

Although addiction treatment centers have diversified their treatment programs to meet the individual needs of all kinds of addictions and mental health disorders, the success of these treatment programs cannot be completely reliant on the treatment centers alone. The appropriate treatment program is important, but the addict’s determination and commitment to the rehabilitation process must also be sincere. In order for addiction treatment programs to work for the addict, the addict must also "work the program" (apply what they've learned) during and following completion of formal treatment.

Length of Stay and Levels of Care

Addiction treatment can be extremely difficult for addicts as it is not simply the process of removing the drugs from one’s system, but rather the process of treating the root causes of addiction. How and why did an addict first start using? Were they using to medicate unpleasant feelings? To avoid thinking about a major trauma? To function socially? Success in recovery requires a deep search into the addict’s psyche, and learning new life skills to cope with or change unhealthy behaviors and core insecurities. It takes the addict time to learn how to live life sober, and often involves painful soul searching to discover the real person lying dormant beneath the addiction. For these reasons, lengths of stay in residential treatment of 3 months or longer are often recommended, especially for those addicts who have a longer, more severe history of drug abuse and relapse. 

Different addiction treatment centers employ different methods, philosophies, and lengths of stay. Residential or inpatient addiction treatment is generally designed for addicts who require more intensive treatment for their addictions during which they will reside in a controlled environment away from home with supervision and counseling from certified addiction treatment professionals. Lengths of stay vary from short-term (28-30 days) to long-term (60, 90 days, 6 months). Residential treatment is available at state funded centers, privately owned centers, and hospitals.

For addicts highly motivated to recover or who catch their addictions early, there are lower levels of care such as outpatient and day treatment. Here, addicts can attend work, participate in treatment a few hours a day, several days a week, and still return home to sleep in their own beds. This kind of treatment is considerably less intensive than residential treatment.

Detox is the first step in recovering from addiction and is offered at stand alone detox facilities and many residential treatment centers.  Sober living homes are available for individuals who desire the extra support of living in a controlled environment following treatment. In these environments, recovering addicts live in a drug-free home amongst other recovering addicts, but are also allowed to go to work and generally reintegrate into society. They are intended to provide addicts a seamless transition back into mainstream life while maintaining the structure of a sober environment and the support of other individuals with a common goal. 

No matter the length of formal treatment, recovery is a process, not a destination. Addiction is not "curable". It is, however a treatable condition and with hard work and dedication to a healthy, drug-free life, addicts can learn to manage their addiction and utilize the skills learned in treatment to prevent future drug use and maintain control over their lives. Like the treatment process itself, this ongoing "maintenance" of one's recovery is not something addicts are advised to practice alone. There are numerous support groups in place to assist recovering addicts to maintain their sobriety, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, online sober support groups, and aftercare programs offered by addiction treatment providers. With help, addiction recovery is possible and sobriety is attainable.

Family Support

Many times, addicts have family members whose behaviors are unhealthy and do no more than perpetuate the already crippling disease of addiction. Often, this takes the form of enabling the addict, when family members support the addict by giving them a place to live, providing food to eat, money, and any other means of support that enable the addict to continue their use and remain on their destructive path. As a result, many treatment centers integrate family recovery into the treatment process for the addicts by having weekend family visitation, family counseling, and providing in-depth information to the families about addiction and how it effects family dynamics. By incorporating family education and counseling in addiction treatment programs, the family can transform into a healthy, loving support group for the addict, which understands what a recovering addict goes through and what behaviors constitute relapse warning signs.

Getting Help

For more information about addiction and addiction treatment centers, please feel free to explore our links. If you have questions about your drug use or that of a loved one, please fill out our free confidential assessment for guidance and referrals or call us at 1 . We're here to help!

About Us

Our addiction treatment specialists are available 24/7. Call: 1-800-610-HOPE (4673)
About Us is a public benefit service which provides drug addicts, alcoholics, dual diagnosis sufferers, and individuals suffering from other addictions with the largest publicly rated treatment directory online.

Contact Us

  • Add: 1224 N. Hobart St. 210, Pampa, Texas 79065 USA
  • Tel: 1-800-610-HOPE (4673)
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