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Clinically referred to as substance use disorder (SUD), addiction, is a complex mental health disorder that is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Addiction is a chronic psychiatric disorder characterized by the persistent, compulsive, and uncontrolled use of a drug despite harmful consequences. There is no single scientific reason explaining why a person develops substance use disorder. Rather current research indicates that its development is more accurately attributed to a confluence of factors such as environmental risk factors, genetic risk factors, psychological risk factors, socioeconomic risk factors, and more. Every individual is different and will have or lack various predispositions that can contribute to developing substance use disorder. Still, the risk of addiction can be decreased. While there is no single way to prevent addiction experts assert that education, strengthened support systems, and greater awareness of the factors that affect substance misuse can mitigate the risks.


The typical treatment process for substance use disorder is comprised of three stages in sequential order: the detox stage, formal treatment program, and aftercare. The first step to overcoming alcohol addiction is to undergo detox, which is the process that cleanses one’s body of all foreign substances. After an individual has successfully completed detox, depending on the needs of the individual, continuing the recovery process by attending a substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program may be recommended.

Formal substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs provide customized recovery plans that are developed to incorporate the best possible treatment methods which are specifically geared to address each person’s nuanced needs. Treatment plans could include one or more psychotherapeutic modality, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), expressive arts therapy (e.g., play therapy, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, sand therapy, etc.), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), and more. To further improve one’s overall health and wellbeing, treatment plans could also include refining one’s daily habits (e.g., practicing mindfulness techniques, exercising regularly, developing healthy sleeping habits, eating nutritiously, etc.). Some may benefit from integrating certain medications into one’s treatment plan.

During the formal treatment program an individual will develop an aftercare plan with his or her clinical team. This serves as a personalized resource that provides individuals with both detailed and broad guidance, often including suggestions for how to navigate challenges post treatment, strategies for relapse prevention, and more. A combination of treatment strategies and therapies within each stage of the recovery process generally offer the highest potential for a successful, long-term 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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