When a person receives a diagnosis of alcoholism, the next important step is getting that person to appropriate alcoholism treatment. Unfortunately, there is a variety of reasons alcoholics are reluctant to seek treatment including, the belief that therapy will not work, fear of being stereotyped and complete denial they have a problem at all. The first thing alcoholic individuals and their loved ones should understand is that alcoholism is a disease. In addition, just as some diseases cause pain, alcoholism produces responses such as fear of withdrawal and severe cravings. It is also good for alcoholics to understand that treatment can be challenging but that it is all worth it to achieve a successful recovery. Intervention by a loved one is usually a turning point for alcoholic individuals, often providing them with the motivation to seek the help they need. While it is important an alcoholic's loved ones express their support, they will also need to be firm in their insistence that the person seeks treatment.
Scientific research since 1970 shows that effective treatment addresses the multiple needs of the patient rather than treating addiction alone. In addition, medically assisted drug detoxification or alcohol detoxification alone is ineffective as a treatment for addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends detoxification followed by both medication (where applicable) and behavioral therapy, followed by relapse prevention. According to NIDA, effective treatment must address medical and mental health services as well as follow-up options, such as community or family-based recovery support systems. Whatever the methodology, patient motivation is an important factor in treatment success.
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In a survey of treatment providers from three separate institutions, the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, Rational Recovery Systems and the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors, measuring the treatment provider's responses on the "Spiritual Belief Scale" (a scale measuring belief in the four spiritual characteristics of AA identified by Ernest Kurtz); the scores were found to explain 41% of the variance in the treatment provider's responses on the "Addiction Belief Scale" (a scale measuring adherence to the disease model or the free-will model of addiction). Addiction Help - Allie Severino Sentenced to 120 Years in Prison at Age 17! Beat Her Drug Addiction.
This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction. Heroin Withdrawal | First Week In