The beginning of recovery from addiction is to identify the problem and learn what treatment options are appropriate and available. Recovery can be frightening and surprising, bringing up past traumas that can be hard to deal with.
Addiction is a complex illness that must deal with the addict’s uncontrollable cravings. It is a brain disease that affects multiple brain circuits, making it hard for addicts to stop their substance abuse. It can lead to troubles at work, at home and out in society.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has set down a list of guiding principles for the most effective drug and alcohol abuse treatments and their implementations. A summary of those follows:
- No single treatment is right for everyone.
- Treatment plans must be assessed and changed on a regular basis to meet changing needs.
- Treatment should be readily available.
- For treatment to be effective, it must address many needs, not just those relating to substance abuse.
- For treatment to be effective, individuals have to be in treatment for an adequate period of time.
- Counseling and other behavioral therapies are critical.
- Medications are an important part of treatment for many patients.
- Those with other mental disorders must be treated for those disorders as well as their addiction in an integrated plan.
- Medical detoxification, while necessary, is only the beginning. It does little to change long-term substance abuse.
- Even involuntary treatment can be effective.
- There must be monitoring of possible drug use during treatment.
- Addiction recovery is a long-term process. It may require more than one course of treatment.
Addiction recovery is a long and ongoing process. There are therapies and treatments available that have been successful in helping people to live sober. The first step is to get help.