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Major Philosophies of Addiction and Treatment:
Whether or not a person is genetically, bio-chemically, or otherwise predisposed to alcoholism or other drug addiction is a controversy that has been debated for years within the scientific, medical and chemical dependency communities.
One school of thought advocates the “disease concept,” which embraces the notion that addiction is an inherited disease and that the individual is permanently ill at a genetic level, even if he or she experiences long periods of sobriety.
Another philosophy argues that addiction is a dual problem consisting of a physical and mental dependency on chemicals, compounded by a pre-existing mental disorder (i.e. clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or some other mental such illness). This viewpoint puts forward that the mental disorder needs to be treated first as the primary cause of the addiction.
A third philosophy subscribes to the idea that chemical dependency leads to “chemical imbalances” in the neurological system. The fact remains that although there may be research data supporting all of these concepts, none of these theories are absolute. Based on surveys of thousands of alcohol and other drug rehabilitation program graduates, we have a national recovery rate average of between 16% and 20%.
A New Proven Approach:
The message is clear that we have a lot more to learn if we are to raise the national recovery rate to a more acceptable, desirable level. In addition to the above three viewpoints of addiction, there is a fourth school of thought which has proven to be more accurate. It has to do with the life cycle of addiction. This data is universally applicable to addiction, no matter which hypothesis is used to explain the phenomenon of chemical dependency.
Drugs and Problems:
Here is an individual who, like most people in our society, is basically good. He has encountered a problem or discomfort that he does not have the ability to solve. This could include a problem such as difficulty “fitting in” as a child or teenager, anxiety due to peer pressure, identity problems, or divorce as an adult. It could also include physical discomfort, such as a broken arm, a bad back, or inability to sleep. The person experiencing the discomfort has a real problem. He feels this problem is a major life situation that is persisting, and he can see no immediate resolution or relief from it.
When Drugs Become Solutions:
We have all experienced such things in our lives to a greater or lesser degree. The difference between which one of us becomes an addict and which one does not depends on whether or not, at the time of this traumatic experience, we are subjected to pro-drug or alcohol influences via some sort of significant peer pressure. The painkilling or emotion-dulling effects of drugs or alcohol become an acceptable solution to the discomfort because the person using alcohol or other drugs experiences relief from the negative feeling associated with his or her problem. As soon as the addict experiences relief from the discomfort, he inadvertently attaches “value” to the drug or drink. It helped him feel better. Even though the relief is only temporary, drug or drink is adopted as a solution to the problem. This assigned “value” is the only reason the person ever uses drugs or drinks a second, third or more times. From this point forward, it is just a matter of time before the alcohol-drinking or drug-using person loses the ability to control the alcohol or drug use.
The Road of Addiction:
No matter at what stage of “self-control” the person may feel he is at, once he or she has started using alcohol or other drugs regularly for their “relief value,” he is somewhere on the road called “addiction.” Addiction is not the destination. Addiction is the whole road.
To learn more on how we can help you end your addiction and how we can aleviate the discomfort of drug withdrawal, Call us now on our toll free number.
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