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Article Summary

Treatment for Drugs and Alcohol

Dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction is a challenge for everyone involved. Addiction intrudes into every area of a person's life. It not only affects the sufferers, it affects their friends, their families, their co-workers, and anyone else who comes into contact with them. Whether you are an addict or know someone you suspect is an addict, the important thing to remember is that no one wants to be addicted to anything.

Understanding Addiction is the First Step in Treatment

It may be hard to understand why addiction happens, but understanding the problem is one of the first steps to being able to overcome it. We, as human beings, don't do anything that we don't get a pay-off from. Substance abuse is no exception. Why do people use substances? The answer is simple--because they work.

Drugs and alcohol act in the same way painkillers do. They numb the body to pain whether physical, mental, or spiritual. Using drugs and alcohol is a way for people to self-medicate away some form of conscious or subconscious pain.

Yet the question remains, why do some people become addicted to some substances? The answer to that question is more complex. There are several schools of thought as to what makes some people addicts and others not. Some experts believe some people have a predisposition to addictive behavior based on genetics. Others believe that some drugs have chemical properties that make them physiologically addictive. Still others believe addiction to be a behavioral disorder. The truth is probably that all of these experts are at least somewhat correct.

Treating Addiction Effectively

Treating addiction in general is an area of health care that has not yet been fully mastered. For that reason, recovery programs cannot guarantee a 100 percent success rate. In fact, the national average for successful recovery from substance abuse after treatment is between 10 and 20 percent. That means that as many as nine out of 10 substance abusers will abuse again after completing treatment. That is an alarming statistic.

There are a number of reasons that an addict will go back to using. Many drug and alcohol programs are not equipped to treat the whole person; they can only treat the drug addiction. Treating just the addiction and not the person is analogous to treating just the symptoms and not the disease. In order to effectively treat a substance abuser, a program must address the underlying causes of the addiction as well as teach life skills.

Finding the Right Treatment Center

Finding a treatment center that can offer personal attention as well as real success is tantamount to beating an addiction. It is important to do adequate research before choosing a treatment center. Not all treatment centers are equal. Some subscribe to the conventional 12-Step approach for recovery; others do not. It is important to do a thorough investigation to discover what a treatment center has to offer.

Whether you choose a 12-Step program or one of its more unconventional counterparts, there are a few things you should look for. For example, investigate the center's success rate and how they measure success. If it has worked for a lot of other addicts, there is no reason why it can't work for you or someone you care about. The important thing is to ask questions. Good treatment centers will always be willing to help guide you.

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