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The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines addiction as “a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence.” The American Psychiatric Association explains substance use disorder (SUD), colloquially referred to as addiction, as a complex, neurological “condition in which there is uncontrolled use of substance despite harmful consequence,” and, as such, it is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). The path of recovery from addiction is not necessarily linear, nor will it be the same for every person. There are a plethora of suggestions surrounding substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment, from a variety of sources. Industry experts offer the following fifteen key principles that are advantageous for any form of addiction treatment:

  1. Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
  2. Addiction does not develop overnight, nor should an individual expect his or her recovery from substance use disorder to occur instantaneously.
  3. Habitual abuse of drugs and/ or alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways and can affect the way the brain looks and works.
  4. Current research regarding addiction indicates that its development is attributed to a confluence of factors such as environmental risk factors, genetic risk factors, psychological risk factors, socioeconomic risk factors, and more.
  5. People require fast access to treatment.
  6. Treatment should address other possible mental disorders.
  7. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) assert that nearly half of the people “who have a mental [health] disorder will also have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives and vice versa.”
  8. Anyone undergoing treatment for addiction is required to complete detox, which is the process of abolishing a substance of dependence from the body in a way that does not hinder the body’s physiology.
  9. Counseling and other behavioral therapies are the most used methods of treatment for addiction.
  10. Depending on one’s needs integrating a combination of both psychotherapy and medication into one’s treatment plan may yield the most successful long-term results.
  11. Treatment plans must be reviewed often and modified to fit an individual’s changing needs.
  12. There is no universal treatment method that proves successful for every person struggling with substance abuse and/ or addiction.
  13. Relapse prevention is essential. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 40% to 60% of people relapse after drug treatment. Clinical treatment studies estimate that more than two thirds of individuals relapse within weeks to months of initiating treatment.
  14. Aftercare, which is a general term used to describe any ongoing or follow-up treatment that occurs after an initial substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program is completed, is integral to one’s long-term recovery.
  15. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the longer an individual spends in substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment directly increases his or her outcome in recovery.

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com

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