When it comes to recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, the best way to increase the likelihood of success is through addiction treatment. Rehab provides the components that are necessary to heal the mind, body and spirit from addiction, which means it helps people who struggle with substance abuse lead drug-free lives. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as “a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences[i].” Understand the nature of addiction so that you and your loved ones will understand the need for professional treatment. The willpower to change is simply not enough for recovery to occur, but, with the right diagnosis, treatment program and continuing care, addicts can learn to lead lives that are free of the control of any substance. The following three arguments support the need for treatment for all drug addicts:
Getting the right diagnosis and treatment increases the likelihood of rehab success, because drug addiction is a complex illness. Those who attempt to recover from addiction by willpower alone do not have the skills they need to stay clean and sober for the long haul[ii]. However, treatment offers proven therapies that help patients change negative thought patterns and behaviors into positive ones. Furthermore, treatment also teaches patients some healthy coping strategies, which means they can deal with stressful situations and difficult relationships in healthy ways rather than by turning to a substance. Lastly, rehab helps people in treatment to identify the situations and people that trigger drug cravings, problems that will tempt people to use drugs again. Without the right education in these areas, addicts can neither recognize nor change the behaviors that lead to the addiction in the first place.
Rehab is also the only place where patients receive proper diagnoses for underlying mental illnesses that cause or contribute to the addiction. Without this type of Dual Diagnosis treatment, mental illnesses often go undetected and untreated, which means relapse is all the more likely. Ergo, rehab that treats both conditions simultaneously is necessary for a complete recovery to occur. Along with such Dual Diagnosis treatment, treatment opens the door to quality aftercare programs. Support groups and continued sessions with a therapist are vital to success. The likelihood of relapse dramatically increases without proper aftercare being available through rehab.
A second major benefit and argument in favor of addiction treatment is that it provides families and communities with resources[iii]. Families of addicts are often traumatized by the situation in which they see their loved one. Children of addicts may feel insecure and in many cases responsible for the parent who uses drugs. Also, spouses and significant others struggle to maintain a sense of normalcy in the home, so they spend a great deal of energy making up for the emotional absence of their loved one. Drug treatment not only provides vital resources and help for addicts in rehab, but it also opens doors to family members to get the help they need. For instance, family therapy sessions provide a safe place for family members to share how the addiction has changed their lives. Support groups also allow family members to share their struggles, successes and failures in a supportive and non-threatening environment. Without treatment, families struggle to make sense of and cope with their loved one’s downward spiral with drugs.
Healthy families create healthy communities. The right type of addiction treatment helps troubled family members return to society as contributing members. Addiction drains resources from communities, but proper treatment gives people who struggle with addiction the chance to give back to others.
As soon as a patient enters addiction treatment, the healing process begins. Medically supervised detox is the first step, as it gives the body the chance to rid itself of the toxins of drugs. After detox ends comes diagnosis. To ensure that your loved one gets the best treatment possible, doctors will diagnose any underlying mental illness that contribute to or caused the addiction. Once a diagnosis is complete, treatment begins: through individual, group and family therapy sessions, patients learn about their addictions and how drug abuse has impacted not only their lives, but also the lives of those around them. These immediate benefits motivate recovering addicts to continue taking one step at a time toward recovery.
The long-term benefits of treatment are many. Restored relationships with loved ones, improved mental and physical health and an increasingly better self-image all mean a life filled with possibility rather than destruction. Seek help to gain these benefits as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse, then know that we are here for you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.
[i] The National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Drug Facts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction.” Accessed November 13, 2015. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction
[ii] The National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Drug Facts” Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction.” Accessed November 15, 2015. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction