The journey toward addiction is different for everyone. For some, addiction begins as experimentation with substance abuse, perhaps with a legal substance like alcohol. A couple evening cocktails are fine until it’s not enough anymore.
The social drinker develops a physical dependence on alcohol that leaves him or her in a state of sickness after a period without alcohol. Then there are others whose path toward addiction is more abrupt. In these instances, individuals often become intrigued by a street drug like marijuana or cocaine.
As they build a tolerance to these substances, they might begin sampling other street drugs that are even more dangerous, weaving a tangled web of dependency as the lives of these individuals become unpredictable. Physical health quickly takes a turn for the worse as the behavior of those who are dependent on alcohol and drugs becomes more erratic; it’s not uncommon for addicts to turn to crime in order to sustain their substance abuse habits.
By the time they’ve even realized what’s happened, it’s far too late to simply stop drinking alcohol or doing drugs. Unfortunately, these individuals have developed a disease; in order to regain their independence and health, they’ll have to begin their recovery by overcoming chemical dependency and learning to manage the disease of addiction.
Just as addiction is a complicated disease, recovery is a complicated procedure too. What’s more, there are a number of individual aspects or separate attributes of recovery that should be accounted for, which includes the initial intervention, the actual addiction treatments offered as part of a recovery program, one’s support network and support group, and ongoing aftercare and relapse prevention.
Some components are more foundational and essential while successive stages of recovery add to the mix, solidifying and fortifying one’s rehabilitation into a new, cohesive way of life. In a sense, each component of one’s recovery is like an ingredient in a recipe.
If recovery from alcohol and drug addiction was, for example, a cake that consisted of a number of individual ingredients, an addiction treatment program would be the flour, comprising the largest and most essential part of the recipe that would also be useless with the other components. The following will discuss the prominent role of addiction treatment in one’s recovery, as essential as the flour in a cake.
The Building Blocks of a New Life
Addiction develops in individuals due to a confluence of a number of factors. Sometimes addicts are predisposed to become dependent on alcohol and drugs due to their biology or the experience of being exposed to substance abuse in the family. Other times addiction develops due to environmental factors such as having come of age in a neighborhood where substance abuse was commonplace.
However, there’s also a certain degree of choice in the matter with individuals’ behaviors factoring into the mix as well. As addicts spend more and more time in active addiction, this new way of life ceases to be new and simple becomes the way of life, the only way the addict really knows how to live. In these instances, the lifestyle that comes with being in active addiction has become a cluster of learned behaviors that must be unlearned in order for the individual to recover.
Unfortunately, there’s not a single treatment, therapy, or medication that can rid addicts of the disease of addiction. Rather, the process of rehabilitation is complicated and has a number of separate, distinct parts.
Recovery programs for addiction are arguably the most essential and substantial part of rehabilitation, consisting of a number of therapies and treatments that target specific behaviors, symptoms, and effects of addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, forms the basis for much of the counseling and psychotherapy individuals receive as part of a recovery program.
This particular form of counseling seeks to identify altered, harmful patterns of thought pertaining to alcohol and drugs and their related behaviors, teaching individuals in recovery healthier alternatives in order to replace destructive thoughts and behaviors with ones that are conducive to sustained recovery. Over the course of counseling and psychotherapy, individuals are guided toward a heightened understanding of themselves as they try to figure out what aspects of their backgrounds, upbringing, and behaviors led to the development of addiction, allowing them to reach their full potential. What’s more, recovering addicts learn to be independent, develop a positive self-image and self-concept, improve their self-esteem and confidence in recovery, and overcome negative or irrational thought processes.
Learning to Sustain Long-Term Recovery from Addiction
Alcohol and drug addiction treatment aren’t comprised solely of counseling and psychotherapy. While those are an important part of treatment, there are a number of other components that are important as well, including skills-building, vocational training, addiction education, group sessions, recreation and outdoor activities, and supplemental or alternative therapies.
Each of these separate parts to a recovery program is meant to address some of the numerous effects and symptoms of alcohol and drug addiction. For example, since many addicts lose their employment and become financially unstable as a result of their chemical dependencies, it’s common for addiction treatment programs to include vocational training and career counseling as part of rehabilitation; this helps individuals to plan their careers, determine which would be the most appropriate employment opportunities according to their skills, and in some cases even learn new skills that help them to find jobs after completing a treatment program.
It’s common for addiction treatment to include a variety of group counseling sessions, whether in the form of groups consisting of addicts in varying stages of recovery or family sessions in which an addict and his or her family members participate in counseling together. These types of group sessions address specific effects of chemical dependency, particularly the ways that addiction affects one’s relationships and social life. Group sessions help recovering addicts learn to express themselves more effectively while family therapy helps members of a family communicate in an understanding, sympathetic manner, which helps to improve relationships between an addict and his or her loved ones.
There are many important components to one’s rehabilitation, but addiction treatment is widely and rightly considered to be the most substantial aspect of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. If you or someone you love is suffering from dependency and would like to learn more about addiction treatment, Drug Treatment Center Finder can help. Our recovery specialists are on standby, waiting to guide you toward a path of health, sobriety, and fulfillment. Don’t wait—call us today.