Drug and alcohol addiction does not discriminate against age, gender or race. Anyone can be at risk from developing an addiction to a substance and there is no specific time at which an addiction cannot take hold of someone’s life. Although the abuse of a substance, either innocent or intentional, does not necessarily lead to an addiction, prolonged abuse can affect an individual to the point where abuse can no longer seem voluntary, but a psychological and physical necessity – known as chemical dependence.
Fortunately, there are as many types of drug treatment as there are drug addictions. The National Institute on Drug Abuse define drug treatment as the intention to ‘help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use’. Drug addiction emerges when an individual’s consumption of a chemical substance begin to negatively affect, or otherwise damage, any aspect of his or her life, or the lives of those around them. The treatment of drug and alcohol addiction can be a timely and involved process that requires dedication, maintenance, and support and should always be taken seriously.
The two most commonly provided drug treatments are those which alleviate the symptoms of chemical dependence through the use of prescribed medications, and those which utilize both support groups, in order to motivate the patient into sober living, and behavioral therapies to educate the patient on coping with cravings and triggers through the development of strong communicative relationships with family and friends. Therapy can also help the patient to develop the skills necessary to prevent any unwanted relapses into old and unhealthy habits and provide the patient and his or her family with support if a relapse should occur.
Many rehabilitation centers also offer group therapies for patients. Working within a group dynamic can allow a patient to engage and socialize with others who may have had similar experiences with addiction and treatment as themselves. Group therapies can also work as a self-support structure in which the patients assist and aid others in their recovery and provide support and guidance for those who may be at risk of relapse.
As addiction and treatment can be a complex process many rehabilitation treatments work best when both medications and behavioral therapies are utilized. This combined approach functions to address both the physical and psychological ailments brought about by addiction and the resulting detoxification and rehabilitation from substance abuse.