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The Science Behind Recovery: Why Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers Really Work

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD By April 17, 2019
drug and alcohol treatment centers

As with most methods of curing illnesses, drug and alcohol treatment centers face scrutiny regarding their efficacy. You may know someone who has tragically been in and out of facilities their whole lives without ever finding a cure for the terrible illness. Despite the brutal nature of addiction, however, there are numerous cases that speak to how effective treatment centers can be. 

Drug and treatment centers are often mistaken as magic potions that fix addiction in one swig. That’s not the case. But while there isn’t a magic pill to swallow that cures addiction, drug and alcohol treatment centers allow people who are suffering access to help.

There is no substitute for highly trained professionals who evaluate addiction cases individually. 

If you or anyone else you know is suffering from addiction, read on to find out what you can do to help. It’s never too late, no matter how dire of straits you find yourself in. 

Addiction is Both Physiological and Mental

A lot of people associate addiction as being either a physical or mental disease. The reality is that addiction is both physiological and mental. Drug and alcohol treatment centers can treat both aspects of the disease. 

You may or may not believe that addiction is a matter of willpower. That is a myth. While combating addiction is easier for people that are strong-willed, addiction is caused by changes it inflicts on our neurological structure

Repeated use of alcohol and drugs causes our brain to depend on those substances for pleasure. This dependency affects our reward system. When we no longer have the substance in our body, our decision-making, learning, and methods for coping with stress become impaired. 

Because addiction causes physiological responses to the body, it’s only natural that mental changes would follow. While it’s natural for people to assume that addiction is isolated to a mental obsession, the fact that addiction affects us on a neurological level shows that addiction has little to do with a mind over matter fallacy. 

Because addiction is a disease, it should be treated as such. Drug and treatment centers are the best places to get the necessary healthcare for recovery.

Addiction is a Progressive Disease

While addiction’s pathology is unique, it does share quite a few characteristics with other diseases. Addiction doesn’t spread to other parts of the body quite like other diseases such as cancer. But if addiction goes untreated, it will progressively get worse and inflict physical harm. 

Drug and Treatment centers offer medical assistance that will, at the very least, abate addiction’s progression. Again, addiction treatment is a lifelong battle. While there is no proven cure to the disease, treatment can help individuals manage the effects. 

The longer addiction is untreated, the harder it is to treat, and the more damage it inflicts. It’s important to recognize when someone has a problem with abuse and to start treatment immediately. 

Drug and Treatment Centers Offer Lifelong Treatment Options 

Since Addiction is a lifelong affliction, relapse can occur at any moment after an individual has completed a period of treatment. This makes it all the more important that there are facilities that are able to respond to the need for ongoing treatment. 

People often mistake patients relapsing as a failure of treatment. That’s not the case. Addiction is similar to cancer in the sense that it can be in remission for long periods of time and still recur later on in life. 

Just because cancer patients are at risk of recurrence, that doesn’t mean they should forego treatment.

Cancer is more unpredictable and untreatable than addiction. Statistics show that those who approach addiction treatment as a lifelong process experience the highest rates of success. 

Drug and Treatment Centers Combine Traditional Rehabilitation Approaches With Pharmacological Treatment

Drug and Alcohol treatment centers can be mistaken for Minnesota Method centers. While the 12 step self-help program has shown that it works, that’s not where rehab facilities stop. 

Since addiction is both a physiological and mental disease, it’s important to have a two-pronged approach to fighting it. Receiving psychiatric treatment is important for treating addiction. So is medicinal care. 

Drugs such as methadone allow patients an easier transition into a drug-free lifestyle

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers Offer Treatment in the Most Trying Times of Addiction

Facing the pains of withdrawal without close medical care can cause serious health issues. In some instances, withdrawal can be fatal. 

After the period of withdrawal, however, the chances for recovery improve greatly. For a lot of people who suffer from addiction, taking the first step is the most difficult. 

Having professional help there while you’re experiencing the worst aspects of addiction is important for the road to recovery. There are medicines and forms of therapy that will lessen the blow of the negative conditions that come with addiction. 

Facing addiction alone adds challenges to an already brutal ailment. Don’t face the storm alone. 

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers Treat Individual Cases

Addiction affects people differently depending on a multitude of factors. Individuals’ genetic makeup, how firmly established their addictions are, and the substances they are most prone to abuse are all factors that affect how treatment should be applied.  

Whether you or someone you know suffers from cocaine abuse or heroin abuse determines how you will be treated. You don’t want to swing blindly at addiction. It is a highly complex ailment that has many faces and has strange implications. Leave treatment to professionals who have dealt extensively with it. 

It is Never too Late 

Drug and alcohol treatment centers are your best allies in the fight against addiction. Addiction can trick you into believing that you are attacking it alone. You are not suffering alone, and you’re not abnormal for experiencing the negative whirlwind that addiction causes. 

Don’t suffer alone, and don’t try to beat addiction alone. Seek out the best treatment options for you at the Discovery Institute.  You will be greeted with open arms and treated with highly specialized care. 

Take control of your life. You aren’t a lost cause, and it’s never too late to make a change. 

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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