Imagine if addicts and alcoholics were treated like they had a deadly, incurable disease? Would their rehabilitation and treatment be taken more seriously by society?
This is exactly the dilemma we are facing in America today. The reality is that most people still believe that addiction to alcohol and drugs is a choice, and not a disease. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Addiction Is A Disease, Not A Choice
ASAM (The American Society for Addiction Medicine) has declared alcohol and drug addiction a primary chronic and progressive brain disease. The disease affects the body and mind of the sufferer; that person does not need any other physiological issue in order to be diagnosed with addiction. The medical community even agrees that without treatment, many addicts and alcoholics will not recover from this deadly disease.
So, why isn’t this disease being treated more seriously? Because there is still a widely-held misconception that an addict or alcoholic can stop using anytime they want. It’s not so readily accepted as a disease like cancer, for instance. Which brings us to our next point – why isn’t one of the deadliest diseases in the nation being treated as fairly as those affected by cancer?
There are plenty of bad treatment centers, halfway houses, and rehab programs popping up left and right, and yet the general public doesn’t seem to think this is a big deal. Why not? If there were thousands of fly-by-night cancer treatment centers that did not meet regulations and requirements of law, they would be shut down immediately. And yet the same does not happen for the treatment of addiction. We’re not saying one disease is more important than the other; we are simply saying that the same rules that apply to cancer centers should, in theory, be applied to those centers who are claiming to treat addiction.
Addicts and alcoholics are human beings. They have families, friends, and careers. You are likely close to at least one person who suffers from addiction among your family, friends, neighbors or co-workers. Shouldn’t they have the opportunity to receive fair treatment?
Addiction needs to be treated in accordance with the same healthcare standards as any other disease that kills, but that won’t happen without action on our part as a society. It’s important that we smash the falsehood that addiction is a choice in order to protect their lives.
If you or someone you know has become sick from the disease of addiction, there is hope. Drug addiction and alcoholism may not be curable, but it is 100% treatable, providing the person suffering is willing to continue on with a full treatment program. eh
What you may not know is that a good treatment plan consists of a three-part program.
The first phase is detox, where a patient is treated medically to help them safely and comfortably through withdrawal from drugs and/or alcohol.
The second phase is the inpatient/residential phase. This is where the patient learns about the disease of addiction, while attending therapy groups and private therapy sessions to address any underlying mental health issues that may have been muted by drugs or alcohol.
The final phase is an outpatient program. Here the patient is transitioned into everyday life with the support and help of the treatment program’s sober living services, career development programs, and therapeutic groups. This is a crucial part of the treatment process that many people tend to overlook.
If an addict or alcoholic is willing, open-minded, and honest about themselves and their disease; if they follow through with a full continuum of care as outlined by a medical team; then their chances of long-term recovery are extremely high. Addicts and alcoholics can and do recover – we can help. Contact us now for more information on how you can recover today.Tags: ASAM, disease of addiction