Many people use the word addiction almost quite loosly in a way to refer to people’s liking or obsession for virtually any substance, activity or behaviour. In normal everyday life the term addiction is often used jokingly, saying that someone is addicted to x, y or z, and it’s not really that much of a problem.
When it comes to dealing with addiction in the context of alcoholism and addiction to various types of drugs and other behaviours such as gambling etc, then it is really important to understand the gravity of what these conditions and situations refer to, and what help is available and where.
Addiction is a widespread term, and in the context of rehabs and treatment centers first came into being in the context of alcoholism in the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholism is often treated in the same context as other types of addiction, but this is normally a mistake and should be treated with caution.
Whilst it is difficult to generalise about alcoholism, and there are many types of it, it is properly fair to say that an alcoholic will drink because they are an alcoholic, not the other way round.
In other words, an alcoholic will not become addicted to alcohol in the same way that someone will become addicted to cigarettes, through a pattern of using an addictive substance that leads to a form of addiction that they cannot break.
A rehab or treatment center will offer addiction treatment programs for alcoholism, alcohol addiction and other types of addiction as well, and should be fully licensed and accreditted
Most rehabs will treat all of these types of addiction as essentially the same problem, and will focus on the individual as being the real problem, with the solution being helping the individual to change.
A rehab is likely to stress that the individual is something referred to as an addictive personality, and that their addiction is or was essentially about a drug of choice, be that alcohol or something else.
The advantage of this type of approach is that it can help the individual to realise that their real problem is within themselves, and thus is changeable either with the help of a 12 step program or through some other means.
A basic underpinning of this approach is that addiction itself is a disease, leading to the idea of an addictive personality and a drug of choice.
Again this may be helpful or not depending on the approach taken by the rehab, and at what level the individual feels it helps them make sense of their lives.
The issue of addiction is quite a complex one, and one that has undergone and continues to undergo much medical and social research.
When considering entering a rehab, it is worth bearing in mind what weight the rehab treatment center places on current clinical research, and how up-to-date that addiction treatment programs are in the context of modern day research.
Addiction and Rehab
A rehab or treatment center also often offer treatment for other types of addiction.
These can range from what is referred to as dual diagnosis, which means people who are alcoholics, addicted to alcohol as well as being addicted to various types of drugs both prescription and non-prescription, through to food, gambling, sexual addiction and addiction to the internet and video games.
It is worth being slightly cautious with any rehab that offers too broad a range of addiction specialities and addiction treatment programs.
There is a belief that some rehabs use the term addiction or addictive personality much too broadly, and use it essentially as a catchall phrase that allows them to treat virtually anyone for virtually any problem that they can classify as an addiction.
Remember that the problem and solution in the context of a rehab or treatment center tends to be seen as that of an addictive personality with a drug of choice. This allows some rehabs to take an approach that has some questionable ethical and moral issues.
At the end of the day a rehab is a business, normally a very profitable business, and the more they can broaden their client base or their customer base the more profitable they will be, even rehabs that describe themselves as Christian rehabs
Addiction to alcohol, alcoholism and addiction to drugs and gambling and other types of serious problems are a major issue, and for many people a rehab or a treatment center is the first port of call that they will enter to seek help.
A rehab and especially the rehab staff is likely to help the individual understand some of the underlying emotional drives and issues that have fuelled thir addiction, and help give them a structure or program that will allow them to rebuild their life and offer them the chance to live a life that is essentially free from their addiction and their addictive behaviours.
Dual diagnosis is a term that specifically refers to people who would consider themselves both alcoholics and drug addicts, or people who have had problems with both alcohol and drugs. The term arose mainly in rehabs and treatment centers, and it is important to understand this context.
Initially treatment centers and rehabs treated people who had a problem with alcohol, whether they were turned alcoholics or problem drinkers, or people who had alcohol abuse issues. As this industry grew, people entered rehab who not only had problems with alcohol but with other substances including many narcotic drugs, and various behaviours.
Treatment centers and rehabs quickly picked up on this, and in the specific case of people who have problems with both alcohol and drugs they refer to them as being dual diagnosed. In addition, the rehab industry widened their scope of potential clients or a client base by beginning to define people as an addictive personality.
This meant that in effect, any individual who had any addiction to any substance or any type of addictive behaviour could be labelled as an addictive personality, and their particular addiction, whether substance or behaviour, could be labelled their drug of choice.
There are many people who believe that the terminology employed in the idea of an addictive personality and a drug of choice is simply to enhance the pool of people who can be susceptible to needing to go into treatment.
There are other people who defend the term addictive personality as being a reasonably good definition of some help an individual who has a number of differing emotional drives and issues which fuel that alcoholism or addiction.
Whatever someone’s take on the term dual diagnosis, in reality it simply means that it refers to someone who has a problem but with alcohol and drugs, or has had a problem with alcohol and drugs and is now clean and sober.
In terms of 12 step recovery, what it really means is that individual will have used both alcohol and drugs at different stages of the alcoholism and addiction, and probably recognises a need to keep clear of both in order to stay clean and sober.
Chemical dependency is a term that has come to be used with reference to almost any type of substance abuse or addiction to alcohol/drugs etc.
The original sense of addiction in the context of a 12-step recovery was an addiction to alcohol, normally referred to as alcoholism.
As an understanding that alcoholism was an illness grew in medical and therapeutic circles, treatment centers and rehabs began to treat people who they referred to as being dual diagnosed, that is that they had an addiction to some type of drug as well as a problem with alcohol.
Since then rehab’s and treatment centers have broadened their concept of addiction treatment programs to essentially deal with anyone who had any type of addiction, to any type of substance or behaviour.
This approach certainly has its critics, many will argue that seeing the individual as an addictive personality, and their chemical dependency or behaviour is simply a drug of choice is highly oversimplistic.
At the same time, most people who have had any dealings with anyone who is an alcoholic or addict, either active or in recovery, will happily testify that they have significant personality and identity problems that have undoubtedly fuelled that alcoholism or addiction.
The linkage between chemical dependency and addiction and rehabs is one that is important to seek an context.
It is very easy for someone unfamiliar with the world of 12-step recovery who is confronted with someone who has a terrible addiction to simply follow the dictates of a particular rehab or treatment center.
Sometimes time is of the essence, and it is often essential to get someone into a rehab or some type of detox program so that the health can be stabilised, at least in the short term.
The process of recovery from any type of addiction or alcoholism, in the context of 12 step recovery, can be done either in a rehab or by going to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or another 12 step organisation.
This process of 12 step recovery is by necessity a long-term process, and one undertaken by someone who had at some level either acknowledged their chemical dependency and are willing to try and deal with it, or are willing to acknowledge the life is a complete disaster and are willing to try and change it, even if they don’t know why.
Anyone entering a rehab is likely to be referred to as an addict.
This is in one sense a bit of a label, in another sense anyone entering a rehab is looking for help or treatment with one or more addictions, either to alcohol, drugs, gambling, food or a combination thereof.
Inevitably, a rehab or treatment center will offer a wide range of treatment addiction programs, normally based upon the 12th program of Alcoholics Anonymous, as a way of helping the individual overcome any or all of these addictions.
This approach may work for some people, may be helpful to some people and unhelpful for other people.
When treatment centers first came into being they were essentially hospitals and detox units for people who had a problem with alcohol, such people commonly referred to as alcoholics.
Truman centers then began to work with and help people who had other addictions such as narcotics and prescription drugs, and would refer to these people as being dual addicted.
Over time people were admitted to rehabs and treatment centers who were not only alcoholics, but had other problems as well.
REHAB ADDICT TREATMENT
Treatment centers quickly realised that they could effectively treat anyone who had any addiction to anything, if they focused their efforts on the person, and treated their addictive substance or behaviour as ‘a drug of choice’.
Whether this approach was based on clinical evidence or not is unclear, but it did allow a significant growth in the number and scope of treatment centers and rehabs.
The potential problem with this approach, and the categorisation of everyone as an addict, is that it can be a slight distortion of an individual’s reality.
Dealing with the underlying emotional causes that can fuel someone’s alcoholism or addiction to drugs or other substances is inevitably going to be helpful, but it can also distort reality of what an individual’s problems with that substance or behaviour actually are.
There is a danger of fine tuning reality to fit a model that suits the finances and growth of the treatment center industry.
That is not to say that the majority of rehab’s and treatment centres do not approach that addiction treatment programs correctly, the majority of them do.
What is important is that any addiction treatment program at a rehab treatment center offers is based on solid clinical evidence and on solid therapeutic evidence such as the process of the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
‘When Gov. Dannel P. Malloy last year signed into law a comprehensive bill targeting opioid addiction, many touted it as one of the toughest in the nation, often pointing to the seven-day cap on opioid prescriptions and new prescription monitoring requirements as reasons why.
But a lesser known aspect of the law is one that fosters a new relationship between primary care providers and licensed alcohol and drug counselors, or LADCs.
In essence, the law encourages primary care providers to keep an eye out for signs their patients may be becoming dependent on opioids.
An example, according to Connecticut Association for Addiction Professionals President Susan Campion, is a patient who, not long after coming in with one injury, quickly returns with another.
If the provider suspects an addiction is developing, he or she can refer the patient to an LADC, who will follow steps outlined in Section 6 of the law by gleaning information about the person’s family and personal history of addiction and determining how likely he or she is to abuse drugs prescribed for pain.’
Whilst many people use the word addiction in a very general sense to cover a lot of normal day life activities, in the context of 12 step recovery it has a very definite and specific place.
The 12 step recovery movement began with Alcoholics Anonymous, and over time grew to include huge numbers of people who suffered addiction to other substances and behaviours, resulting in 12 step organisations such as Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous.
The nature of all these other 12 step recovery organisations was that they substituted a particular substance or behaviour for alcohol, and used the same 12-step recovery program for that specific addiction rather than for alcohol.
In that context, addiction became seen as a widespread illness, with the person who had the illness often referred to as an addictive personality, and their substance or behaviour being referred to as their drug of choice.
This idea of an addictive personality and of that personality using their drug of choice is not accepted by a significant number of people, although the nature of specific addictions and the problems they cause, and the recovery help available intervals of organisations is generally acknowledged.
ADDICTION and RECOVERY
The nation of an addictive personality stemmed largely from treatment centres and rehabs, where the more cynical view is that they used this concept as a way of furthering their client base, initially only been able to treat people who are alcoholics.
The idea of an addictive personality allowed them to treat people with the same recovery process, irrespective of their addiction, as all the focus went on treating the individual.
The nature of addiction is still widespread, and for many people it can create unbelievable have and chaos in their lives, both internally and externally.
The 12 step recovery process has a number of critics, and is by no means perfect, but does in many ways offer the best hope and chance of recovery for people whose lives are blighted, or trapped in the cycle of alcoholism or drug addiction.
Anyone entering a rehab treatment center is likely to be able to take a certain amount of hope and of value in the wide variety of addiction treatment programs that are offered.
Anyone who is looking for help for someone with a cocaine addiction, either for themselves or for someone they know is likely to investigate the process of residential treatment in a rehab, given that this is a fairly standard route for drug addiction recovery.
People are quite often confused by the process of treatment, and the sheer number of rehabs and treatment centres that are available offering help, knowing which one to choose and wondering how effective in terms of recovery they actually are.
The majority of residential rehabs will offer a number of addiction treatment programs, designed to help people with addictions to alcohol, normally referred to as alcoholism or alcohol addiction, or a variety of narcotics and prescription drugs.
Most rehabs will list the various drugs that they offer treatment for, and the following is a selection that will directly appear on most rehab’s websites : benzodiazepines, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, demerol, ecstasy, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamines, methadone, morphine, OxyContin, Suboxone, Valium, Vicodin and Xanax.
The approach that a rehab will take should consist of two main elements.
Firstly any individual should be properly assessed by medically collar five personnel to see if a medical detox is warranted.
If it is, either the rehab itself or a nearby local clinical facility should undertake the process, and oversee it to make sure that all medical protocols regarding a detox or adhered to.
Once a detox has been assessed and if necessary undertaken, then the majority of time spent in a residential rehab will largely be spent undertaking a variety of therapeutic and counselling addiction treatment programs.
The aim of these addiction treatment programs will be to give the individual the basics of an understanding into the nature of their addiction, and begin the process of recovery.
The majority of rehab’s and treatment centres based their addiction treatment programs on the 12 step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
In addition, it is quite likely that a rehab that is treating someone for a cocaine addiction will either insist or suggest that individual attends meetings of Narcotics Anonymous, both of whilst in treatment, and once they have left is the basis of a support system and network.
It is very difficult to assess the effectiveness in terms of long-term recovery from cocaine addiction of any rehab or treatment center.
To that end, the important things to look for are the levels of staffing in a rehab, what types of clinical staff are available and what ratio of staff to patient or client this actually entails.
Additionally, it is important to make sure that the rehab adheres to all local and national laws and guidelines relating to a clinical facility.
The other thing to be aware of is the extent to which the rehab endorses and embraces the approach of a 12 step program, widely regarded as the most effective form of recovery.
There are some people who prefer a non-12-step recovery approach, and there are some rehabs that base their addiction recovery programs more on a life skills type approach to being clean and sober.
Anyone entering a rehab is likely to do so because there is a recognition at some level of a problem or addiction with alcohol or drugs or some other type of substance.
It is quite possible that this addiction or alcoholism has been recognised by someone other than the person who has got the problem themselves.
It is quite likely that the person entering a rehab is either still in denial of the fact that they have the problem of addiction or alcoholism, or has at some level recognised that they have a problem and are entering the rehab or treatment center of their own volition.
It is important to understand that someone entering a rehab will have other major issues internally, aside from their external signs of addiction or alcoholism and the problems it is causing them in their lives.
Referring to internal major issues is about an individual’s mindset concerning their addiction or alcoholism, and how they see themselves and how they relate to the world around themselves.
This can be quite a complicated scenario, and the work of the rehab once any detox has been done, will be to begin the process of helping an individual realise the reality of the world they are living in, rather than the reality which is inside their head, which is often different.
What is really important to realise is that someone entering a rehab is likely to have a mindset around alcoholism when they see alcohol as being the solution to the problem rather than the problem itself.
Depending upon the nature and type of that alcoholism, it is highly likely that this mindset has been there for most of their drinking life.
It is a common feature of alcoholism that an individual will relate to alcohol more than the reality of the world that their drinking creates, and the truth is that the worse everything gets both internally and externally, the more they turn to alcohol has been the solution rather than the problem.
For this reason, entering a rehab or the idea of getting sober can seem a real threat to the individual, even if their life so out of control emotionally and literally, thta they have no choice.
The major part of a rehabs treatment program for any type of addiction should be to create a safe place where an individual can begin the process of understanding nature of the alcoholism or addiction, and seeing the context of alcohol as being a problem rather than a solution.
The term addiction has become almost synonymous with a rehab, and the sense that if anyone has an addiction to anything they should be put into a rehab and have the addiction dealt with.
The whole world of addiction and addiction recovery is quite a complex one, but needs to be addressed quite carefully in order to make sure that genuine and harmful addictions are dealt with.
The danger is that the term addiction can be used to cover a whole multitude of sins that in effect block the effectiveness and powerfulness that recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction can bring.
Addiction to alcohol has been an issue in society for as long as most people can remember. Rehabs that began to spring up after the advent of Alcoholics Anonymous began to deal with alcoholism as an alcohol addiction.
After a while rehabs began to admit people who were not only alcoholics but had other addictions as well most notably narcotics or drugs. But often there was an overlap between the two and someone who was an alcoholic would often use drugs and vice versa.
Addiction became a term that was used to apply to any type of compulsive behaviour that caused serious damage to an individual or their life or their family.
Addiction then became the focal point for a rehab, with the rehab saying that if an individual had an addiction to any substance or type of behaviour such as gambling, then they most likely had what they referred to as an addictive personality.
This meant that the rehab could treat or offer various addiction treatment programs to the individual, almost irrespective of what their focus of addiction was.
There’s no doubt that in a lot of cases this approach works and is hopeful, although a lot of people will dispute the idea of an addictive personality. The nature of addiction is quite complex, and many people get bogged down in the root causes of it in terms of physiology, psychology and medicine. Most of the scope of that is beyond the nature of addiction as is treated in a rehab.
Addiction is often clearer to those affected by it than to the person themselves was addicted to alcohol or drugs. Perhaps the chief value of a rehab is at it gives individual space, even for a short time, to have to own their addiction, be it to alcohol, drugs or any other substance and to get some sort of very basic reality check.
Any type of addiction can be harmful, but should always be weighed against individual’s ability to deal with it on their own, or have to get to space where they need help whether they are in a position to acknowledge that or not.
Rehab addict is a term that can have two very specific but very different meanings.
The most normal and traditional meaning is that it is a term that has applied to an individual who enters a rehab because they have an addiction to alcohol or drugs or some other type of compulsive behaviour such as gambling.
Such an individual will enter a residential rehab for a fixed period of time, normally about 28 days, where they will begin the process of recovery from their addiction.
They are quite often known as a rehab addict, and during the course of their treatment or when attending 12-step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous will refer to themselves either as an alcoholic or as an addict.
The other use of the term rehab addict is as real, but very different. It is a term normally applied to someone who knowingly is addicted, or is said to be addicted to entering rehabs to do with their life problems, which may well include serious addictions such as alcohol, drugs or gambling.
This can be a serious problem, but is one that rehabs themselves very rarely tend to address.
Anyone entering a residential rehab for a fixed period of time will normally have a fairly clear message given to them.
The message will be that the time spent in rehab is in many ways simply the beginning of the process of recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction, and that the main work needs to be done once the individual has left rehab.
As such the individual will most often be encouraged to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous as a way of sustaining and maintaining long-term sobriety.
The truth is that many people entering a rehab may struggle with this, and hope that simply going into a rehab once will solve their problems.
After they have left they inevitably find this is not the case, and whether or not they tend to offset meetings this will struggle with many of the underlying emotional difficulties fuelled that alcoholism or drug addiction in the first place.
There is quite often a tendency to want to go back into a rehab, not least of all because a rehab is often a very structured, quite rigid institution which creates a sense of safety that the individual in recovery does not necessarily experience in day-to-day life.
A rehab addict in this context, is someone who simply is always trying, albeit over a period of years to get their recovery sorted by continually going back into rehab.
This may be because although they have stayed sober they have not dealt with their underlying issues, or it may be because they have continually tried to give up alcohol/drugs and have been unable to do so.
The inherent danger in this type of approach is that it simply makes the individual dependant upon some type of institution rather than on their own recovery program, 12 step or otherwise.
Recovering addict or recovering alcoholic is a term that is often used by people either in rehab or when they are attending a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous . It generally tends to mean that they consider themselves to be an addict or an alcoholic who is in recovery from the illness or disease of alcoholism or addiction.
When an individual first enters a rehab or starts attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, one of the first things they will probably hear people say to them or at them is that alcoholism is an illness, and also that addiction is an illness or disease.
However it is put to them, the message is intended to be that they are an individual suffering from an illness or disease not a bad person.
The nation of alcoholism and addiction being an illnesses or disease is widely accepted within the recovery world, and within the medical world, although there are a number of individuals and organisations which disputes these terms.
Once someone has entered a rehab or started going to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, and continues to stay sober, they generally consider themselves to be in recovery. This simply means that they consider themselves to have started the process of getting sober and staying sober with all that that entails.
This is where the term recovery addict comes from. People who are in rehab, or who tend meetings of both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous may use the term alcoholic and addict interchangeably, but quite often the time recovering addict seems to cover both.
When an individual gets sober, either in rehab or through AA, there is a sense that physical sobriety has been established and needs to be continued through a number of processes.
Physical sobriety is often taken as a prerequisite to the individual embarking on a lifelong journey through the process of doing a lot of therapeutic work on the underlying emotional drives and issues which may well have fuelled their alcoholism or addiction in the first place.
For many people in recovery they see this journey as a long-term, lifelong process hence they will refer to themselves as a recovering addict. Some people in recovery can get quite purist about this and insist on calling themselves a recovering addict as opposed to a recovered addict or alcoholic.
This is a personal choice dependent upon how people see the nature of their own alcoholism or addiction and thereby refer to themselves as a recovering addict or a recovered addict or recovered alcoholic.
Addiction recovery is a term given to the process of recovering from alcohol addiction or alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction and a variety of other serious addictive or compulsive behaviours that are seen as either life-threatening or likely to cause significant damage to an individual or family.
The notion of addiction recovery is a broadening of the idea of alcoholism as an illness, with the idea of addiction being a wider church that people can enter into.
Addiction recovery can in some ways be quite a controversial term, often because people tend to think that the idea of addiction as an illness, or alcoholism as an illness or disease simply a bit of a whitewash that allows people to get away with very destructive or life-threatening behaviour.
This can sometimes be true of various individuals, but should not be seen as a black and white issue, or one that divides people. It should be a context within which people can find the notion of recovery helpful, and is in many ways a bit of a distraction to the real issue.
If someone is looking for recovery from a type of serious addiction, then there are a number of routes open to them as a primary resource.
Many people will automatically assume that addiction recovery should take place primarily in a residential rehab or treatment center. This is because rehabs and treatment centers have become the main focal point for the addiction recovery treatment model that most people associate with recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction.
In fact there are many other options that may be worth considering, as well as should be a careful scrutiny of what a drug rehab or an alcohol rehab is offering by way of addiction treatment programs.
Many people who have addiction recovery issues they need help with go straight to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and get over and stay sober via that route. Other people go directly to meetings of Narcotics Anonymous, and similarly through meetings and working the 12 step program themselves that way.
By way of addiction recovery treatment, residential rehabs and treatment centres are normally paid for by health insurance, and will require a period of approximately 28 days, although some rehabs do offer longer term programs.
There are also a number of day options, often referred to as partial hospitalisation treatment or simply as day treatment.
These type of programs allow an individual tp privately carry on working and do some type of rehab program in the evening, or to do day programs during the working day, and be able to go home or go to AA meetings in the evening as a type of structured process similar to that of having a job.
Addiction recovery is a term that normally refers to the type of addiction treatment programs offered in a rehab a treatment center that are designed to help people who are either alcoholics or have an addiction to various types of drugs or other substances.
Addiction recovery can also refer to people who use 12-step organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous as a way of dealing with that alcoholism or drug addiction, whether they have been through a rehab or not.
There are other approaches to addiction recovery as well, often involving a wide range of different therapeutic and holistic approaches to helping the individual deal with the nature of that alcoholism or other addiction.
Addiction recovery in a rehab will be based around a number of addiction treatment programs that are likely to be rooted in and derived from the 12-step principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. The most commonly understood of these principles is the need for the individual to acknowledge that they have a problem, prior to be a able to acknowledge the need for help and begin the process of recovery.
Whilst this is true, many people entering a rehab will have a scant understanding of the fact that they have a problem with alcohol or other substances. What they may well be aware of is that their life has become an awful mess, both internally and externally.
Addiction Recovery – Rehab
It is probably fair to say that anyone beginning the process of addiction recovery whether in rehab or in Alcoholics Anonymous will at some level believe that alcohol is essentially the thing that is holding them together.
Some alcoholics will want to stop drinking but be unable to do so, other alcoholics will be so ingrained with this belief that alcohol is their only survival mechanism that they will be unable to emotionally countenance the idea of living without it.
Anyone entering a rehab for alcoholism will in some level have one or both of these beliefs.
The clinical staff and therapeutic staff in a rehab responsible for addiction recovery programs and addiction treatment programs need to be fully aware and understand this mindset in order to allow the alcoholic the freedom they need to begin the process of unblocking this sense of needing to protect themselves.
Any type of addiction recovery from alcoholism is likely to be a lifelong process, and the therapeutic work done in a rehab should mainly focus on the beginning of that process, helping the alcoholic to understand at some level the basis of their illness, and helping to lay the groundwork and foundations both in rehab and Alcoholics Anonymous to help the individual recover and get better.
Addiction treatment normally refers to the variety of addiction treatment programs that are available and used in a rehab or a treatment center to help individuals who are alcoholics or maybe addicted to drugs or other substances.
Over time the term addiction treatment has also been used and has come to be viewed as a way of helping people with different types of addiction that are deemed to be unhealthy.
This can include addictions to things such as gambling, food and other people, often referred to as co-dependency.
A rehab or treatment center will have as its primary focus people who are alcoholics and or drug addicts. The broad range of other addictions that a rehab offers addiction treatment programs for can easily be brought under this umbrella, largely because the rehab group all addictions together.
The approach that a majority of the rehabs tend to take is that the problem is the individual themselves, and that the substance or behaviour that they are addicted to is referred to as a drug of choice. The individual will normally be referred to as having an addictive personality, with the drug of choice being the solution to that addictive personality.
It is important to note that this approach of grouping all addictions together and classifying the individual as an addictive personality is a hotly disputed one, but it is important to realise that this is the approach that the majority of rehabs take.
One such reason for this is it it allows the rehab to treat virtually any addictive type of behaviour by focusing on the individual as being the problem rather than their behaviour.
Addiction Treatment – Alcoholics Anonymous
Most rehabs and treatment centres grew out of hospitals that had become increasingly focused on dealing with alcoholics and encouraging them to attend meetings and participate in the 12 step fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
We have realised that they could treat people who are both alcoholics and drug addicts, and as such extended the range of their addiction treatment programs to virtually anyone who had any type of addictive behaviour.
Having said that, the addiction treatment programs that the majority of rehabs offer are rooted in the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, and offer a number of sound beliefs and tools to help the individual gets over and stay sober.
Perhaps most important part of any addiction treatment program is to introduce the individual to the twelve step process, and introduce the individual to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous as a way of long-term support and guidance.
The nature and range of addiction has been around pretty much for as long as humankind itself in various ways, but has probably become much more of a buzzword and a concept for a wide range of destructive behaviours and levels of self-destruction in the last maybe 20 or 30 years.
When alcoholism was beginning to be accepted as a progressive illness in the 1930s and 40s, it was the first time really that the nature of someone who had a problem with alcohol or seen as an illness rather than as some type of personal failing.
It was not thought of as an addiction in the sense that smoking is thought of as an addiction. With smoking, someone will sort off almost forcing themselves to become addicted to nicotine, and one started, the nature of striking deepens the addiction until it becomes incredibly difficult for most people to stop.
Alcoholism is different in that it is not a progressive addiction in the way that smoking is. For most alcoholics the need to drink is already present within them, although it may take a while for period for so-called normal drinking before it manifests itself as a compulsion.
When people started developing the idea of rehabs and treatment centres their primary focus was on people who were alcoholics as well as people who had a problem with various types of narcotics and prescription drugs.
The nature of rehabs and treatment centers meant that they began to talk about people who are alcoholics as having an addiction to alcohol, and essentially making the point that there was little difference between the substances in one sense.
The line of reasoning that came out from rehabs was that the problem was the individual, that they had an addictive personality and that in a sense they had a drug of choice, whether that was alcohol, gambling, food, sex or any type of mood altering substance.
There is a likelihood that rehabs developed this line of debate because it allowed them to treat pretty much anyone on the same basis as being an addictive personality and separating out the individual from their drug of choice.
This sense of understanding of addiction is widely promoted by rehabs, but needs to be looked at with much caution. Alcoholism is different from other types of addictions.
The notion of an addictive personality can be a real distraction from helping the individual. Addictive drugs are addictive by their very nature, not as a result of a personality flaw. Rehabs can be really useful in many ways, but their approach to addiction and alcoholism needs to be carefully understood and examined in order for the most appropriate help to be given.
The notion of addiction has been around for a long time, and the word has been used more in a slang sense in a clinical one for hundreds of years. By slang, the meaning of addiction is treated as more of a factual sense than a problem or illness or disease.
Many people know that they are addicted to cigarettes, but still choose to see it as a choice. Many people will joke about being addicted to coffee or chocolate, meaning they have a real liking for it and see the idea of being addicted to it as almost a bit of a novelty.
Addiction has a much darker side to it, best exemplified by the realisation in recent times that alcoholism is an illness, and is a form of addiction to alcohol that many people have and simply cannot conquer by sheer will of mind.
In addition, since the acceptance of alcoholism has been an illness, much recognition has been generated of people who have real problems with other forms of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, food etc.
The debate but actually what addiction is and isn’t is more of a clinical one than a practical one. Addiction is the main focus for most rehabs and treatment centres, either focusing on alcoholism or addiction to other substances or other problems.
The realisation by way of treatment methods of addiction, be it to alcohol or drugs, is a sense that someone who is an alcoholic or an addict has a number of underlying emotional issues and drives which effectively fuel their illness.
The focus of a rehab, and of the recovery movement such as Alcoholics Anonymous, will be to help an alcoholic understand that the addiction to alcohol is in many ways a symptom of the illness.
The real process of recovery, as recognised through the 12 step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous, is a rebuilding of one’s inner world, which many people will deem as a spiritual process, others as more of a therapeutic process.
Addiction to alcohol or other substances is often seen as a form of moral weakness. What is really important from a recovery point of view is a realisation that an alcoholic or edit seize alcohol as being the solution to their problems not the problem itself.
This is a truth that a rehab needs to own and address, and should be a core part of its treatment philosophy, and should underlie all of its clinical programs.