Effective Addiction Treatment

I’ve recently read an article by the New York Times that discussed the need for effective addiction treatment.  In this article it discussed how often times many treatment centers utilize methods from the 1950’s rather than state of the art techniques.  It is imperative that those who struggle with addiction shop around for programs that offer well-rounded care.

Even in today’s more open and modern world there are still strong stigmas attached to those that not only struggle with mental illness but especially those that struggle with addiction.  Addiction is often misunderstood as a moral failure or a weakness of an individual that simply needs to try harder.  However as technology has advanced we’ve been able to learn so much more about the impact substance abuse has in the brain.

Substance abuse literally changes the way the brain functions.  It taps into the pleasure center of one’s brain and takes over.  Subconsciously the person struggling with addiction now compulsively seeks out their drug because their brain has told them they need it to survive; more than they need water or food.  I have personally sat across from countless women who question everything about themselves because of their compulsion to seek out and use their substance.  They are mystified and baffled at their behavior, because it defies logic.  They do the very thing they don’t want to do over and over again.  We’re talking intelligent, caring and good people here.  However, there is hope!  Effective addiction treatment is available.

So, how do you look for effective addiction treatment?  Do your research.  Effective addiction treatment needs to be well-rounded.  It needs to address the whole person: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Effective addiction treatment addresses the underlying causes of the substance abuse such as mental health issues, like Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  It helps the person identify and address self-destructive thinking patterns that lead to self-destructive behaviors through evidienced based therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  It is highly recommended that individual and group therapy be utilized in conjunction with medical treatment.  Studies continuously support the effectiveness of individualized treatment.  In addition, better outcomes are observed with active family involvement.  Bottom line is that the more access individuals have to treatment, the more likely they are to effectively cope and manage the illness of addiction.

Remember that effective addiction treatment is available.  Addiction is truly a disease within brain and should be treated as such.  For more information regarding the relationship between addiction and the brian I highly recommend Healing the Addicted Brain by Dr. Harold Urschel.  This is a pretty easy to read book and was written specifically for those that struggle with addiction as well as their family members.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact me at tiffany@ashenfeltercounseling.com.  I would be glad to personally assist or provide more information on the battle of addiction.


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