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Evolution of Addiction Treatment

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Evolution of Addiction Treatment

One of the largest problems seen in the U.S. today is the abuse of drugs and alcohol, which has led to an alarming upsurge in addiction numbers. Addiction, whether it be to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or sex, is a complex, devastating disease that immensely affects both the user and his or her loved ones.

Addiction rates have been growing exponentially over the last several decades. As the saying goes, “the only thing that is constant is change,” and that is rather fitting in terms of addiction, as well as addiction treatment. The types of drugs people are developing addictions to are constantly changing. The severity and level of addictions are constantly changing and becoming more challenging to treat. But most importantly, the methods used in drug and alcohol addiction treatment are constantly changing and upgrading.

Methods and techniques are evolving and technology is advancing to continually improve treatment practices and enhance the success rates in recovery. With addiction treatment continuing to evolve, addiction rehabilitation facilities are becoming better equipped to effectively treat people seeking help for a chemical dependency. For many years, researchers have dedicated their time and effort towards experimenting through trial and error to better understand addiction and the brain of an addict, in order to determine the safest and most effective methods that are currently used in treatment today.

Before scientific research had uncovered that drug and alcohol addiction was a disease, it was thought to be one’s own personal weakness, such as a lack of morals and ethics. Addicted individuals were treated as prisoners rather than patients, and in some instances were actually sentenced to prison. Other times, addicts were deemed insane or unreasonable and sent to asylums. The only form of support addicts would receive during this era in time were prayers directed by the church, which understandably offered little assistance in helping these individuals reestablish their state of physical, mental, and emotional health.

Once researchers and doctors had come to the conclusion that addiction was a disease and not a defect, useful programs and services began to slowly arise one by one. It began with faith-based prayer, then group meetings such as alcoholics anonymous and narcotics anonymous, and soon enough, treatment programs and counseling services were founded. Naturally, it took decades to perfect these methods, and many additional services have been incorporated into recovery programs since.

Today, qualified rehabilitation centers offer comprehensive treatment that has shown to be enormously effective for those who need it and who are dedicated to achieving sobriety. Addiction treatment in today’s modern times has dramatically improved since its origination. Services offered in treatment are evidence-based, and therefore have been shown and proven to be successful in treating substance abuse, addiction, and co-occurring disorders. Comprehensive addiction treatment includes medically-assisted detox, individualized treatment plans, long-term inpatient, outpatient rehab, relapse prevention, aftercare, sober living, and individual, group and family therapy. Patients are strongly encouraged to also continue attending AA or NA meetings after they have completed treatment.

In addition to these services, medications are commonly prescribed to patients during their stay at the facility, and holistic medicine is also a common approach many facilities use. Holistic medicine, also known as holistic treatment, involves effective methods of therapy such as yoga, meditation, nutritional diet, exercise, acupuncture, and many others. When used in combination with each other, these methods used in addiction treatment can sufficiently help patients achieve and maintain lifelong sobriety.

There has been significant progress in the world of addiction treatment, and it is only continuing to further develop and improve. Because of the evolution of addiction treatment, more people who seek professional help are breaking free from the cycle of addiction, and relapse rates have declined considerably for those who properly follow through with each phase of the recovery process and commit to their individualized plan. If you or someone you love struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, do not hesitate to reach out for help. You can trust that recovering from addiction is possible, now more than ever, due to the evolution of addiction treatment.

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