What does addiction treatment really mean?

Addiction to substances such as alcohol or drugs, or compulsive behaviour like gambling, requires ‘treatment’. What does that mean?

Abstinence is first step

Treatment does not mean merely stopping the problem behaviour, like drinking booze or using drugs. That is, of course, the first step.Treatment is not possible without abstinence.

As soon as the addict begins treatment, the drug of choice is stopped.This leads to withdrawal symptoms which are physical as well as psychological. Withdrawal should be managed by competent medical and psychiatric staff.

Addiction recovery means change

Addiction treatment means bringing about a change in the addict – getting rid of old habits, thinking patterns and behaviour patterns, belief system and lifestyle. Only if significant change is facilitated in the addict’s overall personality, can he or she hope to lead a ‘normal’, balanced life.

Alcoholism, drug addiction and gambling are highly relapse prone. So any ‘treatment’ should include learning coping skills to prevent a relapse.

Relapse occurs due to failure to manage stress. So the addict has to learn to manage stress effectively, without resorting to old familiar methods like reverting to addictive behaviours.

The individual relapse triggers should be identified and the addict learns to manage these triggers with inputs from his or her therapist.

Holistic approach is best

Effective addiction treatment is eclectic in approach. It should address all affected areas of the addict’s life: physical, mental, social (relationships, emotional, spiritual and maybe vocational. In a way, we can say that addiction recovery means a complete ‘overhaul’ of the addict’s addictive personality. He begins to shed the destructive and dysfunctional traits and inculcate positive, productive traits.

A good rehabilitation centre provides a multitude of services to address all areas. One of the most popular addiction methodologies involves the 12 Steps, based on the tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous. Psychotherapy is also useful in looking at the psychological aspects of the addict. Any co-occurring psychiatric issues also need to be addressed with appropriate treatment, which may include medication.

Hope Trust – proven recovery model Hope Trust rehab in India has been providing effective treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling and dual disorders since 2002.

Families from all over the world go the facility for safe and confidential treatment. Hope Trust has an integrated model based on 12 Steps, and includes CBT, Yoga, and meditation, with competent medical and psychiatric back up.