From Decision to Disease
Many thousands of individuals are affected by substance abuse. But it is still an extremely misunderstood, stigmatized illness. People think substance dependency is a decision, so instead of being helped to conquer their illness, addicts must be disciplined. Sometimes substance abuse starts out as a decision someone choosing to drink or use drugs. The problem is that the decision quickly turns into a literal disease. An addict’s body changes to the point that it can’t function correctly without the addictive substance. The disease is complicated and almost impossible to overcome without help. A drug addict must be given resources and skills to overcome the disease.
Sadly, as a result of the stigma of being ‘an addict,’ many hide their problems with substance abuse from their family. Occasionally, the addict’s family will hide the addict’s problems from the outside world. This is common, but it normally creates a lot of ill will and hostility among loved ones, friends, and the addict. In these cases, most rehabilitation (rehab) facilities encourage utilizing a counselor, or an interventionist (an intervention specialist) to help get the addict into rehabilitation. Interventions help the addict by effectively convincing them to agree to rehabilitation. They help the friends and loved ones of an addict by giving them a safe place to verbalize their fears, frustration, and fury. The goal of an intervention is to convince the addict that something must be done immediately to stop the harm caused by the addiction. Sadly, in many cases, this is easy to demonstrate.
Benefits of Rehab
Detox is a procedure that many addicts must go through prior to entering rehab. Detox, or detoxification, lets an addict to easily and correctly withdraw from their substance of abuse, occasionally with assistance from medication. Detox centers offer detox in response to client’s needs. In most cases, that can mean a social detoxification or medically supervised detoxification. Generally, the needs of a person who has been abusing cocaine for a couple of months are considerably different from the requirements of a person that has been a chronic alcoholic for decades. Detox is just a first step not a ‘miracle cure’ and should be followed by a treatment program before recovery can start.
Rehab centers know that dependency is a disease that has far-reaching effects for loved ones and friends of an addict, not just the addicts themselves. When developing a treatment program, rehab centers look at the big picture not just the addiction, but the overall health of the addict. The treatment is meant to help the whole person, not just stop the addiction. This specialized treatment makes all the difference in helping a person gain control over their addiction. With expert help by your side, you can overcome any addiction and learn to live a life where you’re back in control. If you live in the Chicago, Illinois area, you can call (312) 465-4640 to learn more about rehab facilities near you.