Addiction is the most subjective disease to be treated in the medical and mental health industry. Experts still know so little about it — is it a mental illness? A disease? Genetic disorder? Treatment centers all across the country have come to the conclusion that multiple types of treatment are needed to effectively treat addiction. Common types of treatment typically include a combination of psychotropic drugs for co-occurring disorders, yoga/meditation, experiential therapies, and talk therapy that is done individually and in groups. Many people relapse before they achieve lifelong recovery; however, relapse is not a tell-all for whether or not an addiction treatment regimen works.
Addiction is often caused by negative ways of thinking. While most people face some form of adversity in life, their perspective on the situation influences how they deal with it. Individual and group therapy helps addicted individuals tackle their negative ways of thinking and turn them into positive ways of thinking to reduce the need to use alcohol or drugs.
The first step in most addiction treatment regimens is full substance detox. According to Beginnings Treatment Centers, “During detox, the withdrawal process is managed to facilitate a safer and more comfortable process, by controlling progression and symptoms.” But controlled, gradual substance detox helps to safely get the body back to optimal health when monitored by medical professionals. Healthy diets, exercise, yoga/meditation, acupuncture, and other activities are often incorporated to restore physical health. Most people in treatment should start feeling physically better within the first 30 days of abstinence.
Relapse is not failure. Rather, it is often a part of recovery for many people. The difference is whether or not the person chooses to get back into recovery. Effective addiction treatment will reduce the person’s desire to continue using, and thus continue the process of recovery beyond the treatment center or program.
Effective addiction treatment addresses the physical, mental, spiritual, and social aspects of addiction. Addicted individuals’ physical health needs to be restored, their perspective needs to be changed, some may need to believe in a power greater than themselves, and how they interact with other individuals needs to be changed. Currently, addiction cannot be cured by a medication or a procedure, but a variety of treatment can put it into remission and allow those who are afflicted with it a happy, healthy life. Recovering from addiction is not just about abstaining from using; it is about having a new outlook on life.