Is There a Cure for Addiction?
Someone can stop taking drugs for a period of weeks, months or even years, but that isn’t the same thing as being cured from addiction. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, an addiction to drugs or alcohol is like having diabetes; it is a chronic condition that can be successfully managed, but there is no cure.
The belief that addiction is a continuing disease is largely based on the fact that addiction causes structural and functional changes in the brain. These alterations make it much harder for addicts to resist certain actions – their addictive behavior – than it is for non-addicts to do so. While addicts can retrain their brains, they can’t simply erase the damage that has been done. Instead, addicts learn new behaviors that allow them to live healthy, sober lives.
When Is Recovery Over?
Recovery is an ongoing process for most addicts. It’s not something that is automatically achieved after a set period of time. Instead, it is something that is continually achieved every day that the addict stays sober. While the journey to recovery will undoubtedly feature tough times, sobriety isn’t a constant uphill battle for most recovering addicts. You don’t have to fear an endless, painful struggle against your impulses; most addicts find that their addictive behaviors are more easily controlled the longer they remain in treatment and commit to their ongoing recovery.
Many 12-step groups, such as AA and NA, debunk the old notion that addicts are forever chained to their addictive actions. Instead, they believe that addicts ultimately have the choice – and the power – to conquer their addictions. Recovery isn’t a straight line; it often involves setbacks along the way. It’s important to know that relapse is not failure. According to the NIDA, relapse occurs with addiction in a similar way that it occurs with other chronic diseases. Rather than viewing relapse as a failure, it should be viewed as a motivating factor to re-enter or re-commit to treatment.
While it cannot be officially cured, addiction can be treated. With the proper professional help, an individual can maintain sobriety for the rest of their life. The steps involved in treating addiction look like this:
- Detoxification to break free from the physical effects of drugs and/or alcohol
- Getting counseling and therapy from a drug or alcohol abuse rehab center to address the root causes of addiction
- Follow-up care at a sober living house and other methods of aftercare to help stay on track and transition back into the “real” world
A Sample of Treatment Programs Available:
- Alcohol Rehab
- Drug Rehab
- Prescription Drug Detox
- Prescription Rehab
- Eating Disorders
- Group Therapy
- Holistic Therapies
- Individual Therapy
- In-Patient Treatment
- Women’s Only Treatment
The success of these treatments, however, depends solely on one person: the addict. No amount of detox, counseling and aftercare will have any long-lasting effect if the patient is not fully dedicated to getting clean for the rest of their life.
Start on the Road to Recovery Now
People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are described as being “in recovery” when they are living sober lives. Being in recovery means you have power over your addiction. You are able to live a healthy, fulfilling life, free from the stranglehold of addiction. You aren’t cured but you are in control. To take the first step toward recovery, call 1-800-565-0577 to get information about drug abuse treatment options. Whether the right fit for you is an inpatient program, an outpatient clinic or a luxury facility, help is available. Just pick up the phone and call now. You also have the option of answering a few questions on our online form. Don’t wait; get help for your drug addiction today.
I thought my addiction was going to destroy me. I was wrong because I found help. I cannot thank you enough."-David
A private, luxury environment made me feel safe and comfortable during this process. This was my BEST decision." - Mya