There are some addiction rehab centers that insist they can cure alcohol and drug addiction. Is this claim realistic? Can drug and/or alcohol addiction be permanently cured?
Extensive research attributes addiction largely to changes in brain structure and function. Because these changes make it much harder for the addict to control substance use, health experts recommend professional treatment and complete abstinence.
Today, most experts agree that drugs provide an instant shortcut to our brain’s pleasure center. They flood our brains with dopamine and condition us to seek the next high. As a result, our bodies begin reducing their natural dopamine output. With repeated drug use, pleasure dissipates but the cravings remain. Thus, drugs hijack our natural drive for pleasure. Addicts pursue drugs despite the fact that the pleasure they experience from them progressively diminishes.
Vaccines and medications like naloxone, which block the rewarding effects of drugs, have increased the likelihood that addicts can stay off drugs or alcohol. In addition, the federal government recently revised drug policies to recognize addiction as a disease and has emphasized treatment over punishment. Will any of these developments, by themselves, cure addiction? Probably not. Nevertheless, they are steps in the right direction.
Effective treatment can result in lifelong sobriety
According to the addiction experts at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the chronic nature of the disease means that relapsing to substance abuse at some point is not only possible, but likely. Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors and relapse does not mean treatment has failed. For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment and counseling need to be reinstated or adjusted or that another method of treatment should be tried.
Professional treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on their brain and behavior and to regain control of their lives.
“Because each resident is different, the counselors at The Discovery House design each treatment program to cater to the individual’s specific needs, choices and concerns,” notes David Dequa, Program Director at the Los Angeles rehab facility. “We use the therapies that will best allow the resident to open up with counselors and work to balance their life. Different types of drug abuse have different effects on individuals. We use methods for drug addiction therapy that help the individual manage the triggers and cravings for their particular substance.”
It Is Possible To Lead a Drug-Free Life
In order to commit to sobriety, the addict will need to find positive ways to deal with life’s problems and avoid the triggers of their old lifestyle. During their initial months of sobriety, the craving for drugs can be strong, which makes it crucial to avoid anything that could spark a relapse. At The Discovery House, clients learn new skills and coping mechanisms to overcome cravings when they occur.
It is important to realize that one is never completely “cured” of an addiction. For example, a recovering alcoholic is always aware that he/she could be tempted to have a drink and so will learn to take each day as it comes.
This applies to all forms of addiction. Every addict knows that there is always a risk of returning to old ways, but proper support and building a new way of life will help.
So, is it possible to cure a drug or alcohol dependency? No, but through effective treatment and counseling by substance abuse experts at a qualified addiction rehab center, it is possible to lead a drug-free life.
The Discovery House, a fully licensed, Joint Commission accredited facility located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, utilizes a variety of treatment programs that allow each client to receive the individualized care they deserve. The pet friendly Southern California rehabilitation center offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient drug treatment programs to help drug addicts and alcoholics achieve and maintain sobriety.
Each client at The Discovery House receives customized care to end their dependence on prescription drugs, heroin and other opiates and/or alcohol in order to live a clean and sober life. To learn more about The Discovery House, visit TheDiscoveryHouse.com or call (855) 203-7930.
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