The Path to Addiction Recovery
by Jonathan Huttner
Drug addiction treatment is still something that many people in the United States frown upon. Addiction treatment is not a topic of conversation that many openly discuss because either they don't understand it or because they think people may think they or a family member are in need of it. As a result, drug addiction treatment is grossly misunderstood and in many cases, believed to be totally ineffective.
I should tell you that treatment is the first step toward addiction recovery and does not take place in the insane asylums or "drying out tanks" we see in the old movies or the glamorized centers that often get portrayed in news. Addiction treatment and the addiction recovery associated with this process is neither as difficult as one thinks nor as easy. It takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication. Patients in addiction treatment struggle every day with their cravings and obsessions to be able to use drugs and alcohol in a manageable fashion again. They have to deal with their secrets and shame, while holding out hope of addiction recovery. Addiction treatment centers are places of hope, courage and faith. The best addiction treatment centers help addicts and alcoholics navigate the long road to addiction recovery with minimal discomfort. The goal is that every patient finds and maintains long-term recovery.
Long-term drug addiction recovery is only possible if a person understands the nature of the addiction itself and the dynamics associated with effective addiction treatment. Addiction treatment is not just about treating the actual addiction. It has to encompass all aspects of the individual: emotional, physical, medical, nutritional, spiritual and psychological.
Do I Need an Addiction Treatment Center for Addiction Recovery?
In almost all cases, a person suffering from drug addiction will require the services of a drug addiction treatment center. Many people try outpatient addiction treatment or drug detox and end up experiencing horrific relapses. Drug detox and outpatient programs rarely provide the person sufficient structure and therapy upon which to build a firm foundation for recovery. Many addicts and alcoholics try drug detox and outpatient programs because they view them as easier and less restricting. Unfortunately, it is never about what is easier but what you need and what type of drug addiction treatment will work for you.
A Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organizations (JCAHO) accredited drug addiction treatment program confronts addiction as the disease it is. A quality addiction treatment program will provide you with drug detox, drug rehabilitation services and a myriad of psychological interventions geared at reducing the risk of relapse. The addict and alcoholic, who believes that he can heal himself, without the help of an addiction treatment program, misunderstands the nature of addiction as a disease. A disease can only be overcome with medical intervention. Look at it this way: a cancer patient cannot beat cancer once he or she has it by simply giving up smoking or choosing to beat it. The cancer continues to grow, doing damage and claiming life.
I understand that the decision to enter addiction treatment center is an exceedingly difficult one to make. Admitting yourself to a drug rehabilitation program means facing an unpleasant truth: that you have a problem and need help solving it. This is a reason many addicts and alcoholics are hesitant to seek drug addiction treatment. They are insistent they can control their drug and alcohol use. This sort of stubbornness can make the difference between life and death, recovery and relapse.
What Do I Need to Know About Addiction Treatment?
Up until now, I have provided you with a broad scope of drug addiction and drug addiction treatment. It's one thing to talk about the need for drug and alcohol treatment, but how does drug and alcohol addiction treatment work?
First, no addiction treatment program can be successful if it fails to account for both the physical and psychological roots of drug addiction. With that in mind, addiction treatment is something of a two-stage process, with both phases of treatment working hand-in-hand to help patients achieve long-term addiction recovery.
Upon entering an addiction treatment center, many patients experience drug and alcohol withdrawal. To deal with withdrawal in drug detox, a physician trained in addiction medicine dispenses medications to ease any discomfort associated with the drug detox process. The medication protocol is adjusted from time to time while in drug detox to prevent any discomfort. No one has to suffer while in a drug detox program.
Don't misunderstand me - drug detox is not drug addiction treatment. Addiction is both physical and psychological and no addiction treatment program is complete if it fails to address its patients' mental health. An effective addiction treatment center works because it imparts the coping skills necessary to maintain long-term sobriety and addiction recovery: a relapse prevention plan, family treatment program, after-care and dual diagnosis treatment programs.
Familiarize yourself with the other aspects of addiction treatment or call the national addiction helpline at for more information on addiction recovery.
Jonathan Huttner is one of the founders of , which has treated over 7,000 people from throughout the United States. Jonathan has been involved in the field of addiction and eating disorder treatment for the last 25 years.