DRUG ADDICTION IS A DISEASE
Yes, a disease: Even if many of us refuse to accept this fact out of lack of knowledge, stigma and preconceived ideas, or just popular beliefs. Drug addiction is a disease. Web MD explains that the entire issue of substance abuse has been reclassified from a social condition to a medical one. Drugs affect a certain part of the brain that eventually makes the individual become dependent on them to feel better. It affects people’s social behavior and can trigger actions from the addicted person that fall far away from their previous family values or beliefs.
Still, the question remains: Can drug addicts be cured?
Like many chronic diseases, addiction can be managed successfully. A variety of treatments is available to fit individual’s specific needs to overcome addiction and recover their life. But before we can understand “how to cure the disease”, we need to take a look at what the word “cure” means and how this applies to drug users.
TREATMENT VS. CURE
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) explains that addiction can be treated successfully. Many studies have led to the development of evidence-based interventions that help people treat their disease and continue the lives in a healthy and productive way. For this, treatment may be the best gateway for success.
A cure for drug abuse is not always 100% possible. The concept of cure refers to the recovery from a disease and the restoration of health. Drug addiction can be treated, overcome, managed, and controlled. However, substance dependents will most likely have to deal with relapse prevention and drug cravings for the rest of their lives. Nevertheless, the NIH clarifies that treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on their brain and behavior.
IS THERE A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL APPROACH WHEN IT COMES TO ADDICTION TREATMENT?
Treatment for drug addiction is conveyed in diverse settings using a variety of behavioral and pharmacological approaches. There is no one size fits all approach in drug addiction treatment programs, and many drug addicted people will relapse at some point in their lives. This doesn’t mean that treatment has failed, but that the course of treatment has to be reassessed and adjusted to fit specific needs. Each person is different, and this will also determine the amount of time needed to overcome the disease.
The NIH explains that drug treatment is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. Something worth noting is that drugs help people cope with traumatic experiences in their lives. This could include family issues, self- awareness problems, lack of social acceptance, among others. This must be taken into consideration when planning the course of treatment for a substance abuser.
TO SEEK TREATMENT OR NOT
Quitting addiction requires several steps, the first one obviously being the substance abuser wanting to stop using and recover their life back. Professional treatment comes to play a relevant role after this first personal commitment is achieved. Professionals have the tools, the experience, and the personal motivation to provide the addicted person with the right treatment and appropriate environment to overcome their addiction. Having a support network is essential and nobody should have to go through this process without a caring helping hand.
Drugs take over a part of your brain. After a certain point, the drugs make the user crave those chemicals in order to feel “well”. We have all heard stories about mothers and fathers who just keep waiting for the day they wake up and their addicted child tells them they are finally going to quit and asks for assistance. However, according to WebMD, experts say most people with substance abuse problems put off or even avoid treatment, not only because of the stigma attached to drug treatment programs, but also because many believe quitting drugs or alcohol will be nearly as difficult as living with the addiction.
We must understand that everybody is different; some people might need to hit bottom before deciding to seek treatment and help, while others consciously realize that they need help at an early stage of their addiction journey. Whatever the circumstance, help is available.
BLVD PROVIDES THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE REHAB TREATMENT AVAILABLE
If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.
NIH. Drugs, Brain and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Retrieved April 14, 2016
NIH. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Based Guide. Retrieved April 14, 2016
Web MD. Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center. Retrieved April 2016