Therapy to Treat Addiction

Some people inaccurately believe that addiction refers only to illegal narcotics or alcohol. In reality, addiction describes a chronic condition in which the brain develops an obsession or need for a specific stimulus. Interpreting the subsequent motivation or reward as a necessary pursuit, the brain of a person facing addiction is unable to abstain from the behavior or substance. This uncontrollable craving becomes an intense preoccupation, forcing the individual to ignore all else until he succumbs to it.

The stimulus at the center of an addiction can be one of any number of things, including prescription drugs, gambling, television, shopping, adrenaline, computers, pornography, and even food. In some cases, as with prescription drugs and food, the addiction may have begun as a perfectly normal, healthy thing, however, using too much or for reasons other than the intended purpose can lead to a hazardous cycle of addiction. This often happens when a person turns to food for comfort or uses prescription medicine for a feeling of nirvana. Consequently, something that would pose no threat to most people becomes a dominant force that cannot be overcome. Fortunately, therapy programs have been found to be extremely successful in treating all types of addiction.

In the past, addiction therapy was limited to treatment for drugs, alcohol or tobacco. However, in recent years, the field has become receptive to virtually all forms of addiction. Still, the more common addictions have remained chemically induced. Unfortunately, not everyone suffering from an addiction believes he has a problem. Often, he may feel he is in complete control and be blind to the effects of his addiction. Therefore, the only way for him to receive the help he needs is to force him into a treatment program.

Individuals who are ordered to seek treatment rarely enter with a positive perspective. However, after several sessions, a therapist is able to break through the layers of dependency and convey the true gravity of the situation, what has happened because of it, and what, potentially lies ahead if treatment is unsuccessful.

Providing that the person is willing to wholeheartedly participate in the treatment, he can seek therapy on his own. The type of program he chooses may be individualized or a group session. Individualized therapy might benefit someone who prefers a high level of privacy, whereas group therapy involves a network of individuals in different stages of the treatment process. In group therapy, a person will not only benefit from the knowledge and insight of a therapist, but also develop relationships with others who understand the process and can relate to the challenges recovery can present.

Addiction is a serious problem for countless people and their loved ones. This tragic disease can significantly impact a person’s health, personal relationships and finances, and can even result in death. However, therapy can help these individuals pick up the pieces and regain command of their lives. There is hope for recovery and life after addiction.


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