Through the years, there have been numerous studies that have given ample evidence to conclude that addiction is a disease. Addiction is characterized as a chronic disease with compulsive or uncontrollable behaviors in seeking out the use of substances despite harmful consequences. Addiction is a disease that affects both one’s brain and behavior and it has no limits as to who it can impact. The part of the brain involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and control over behavior is affected when a person has this disease. Changes in the brain can be long-lasting. It is also a relapsing disease.
Just like in any other disease, screening and early intervention are crucial in treating addiction. According to research, as much as 40 million Americans age 12 and over meet the clinical criteria for addiction involving nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs but only 1 in 10 receive any form of treatment. Fortunately, addiction medicine is beginning to be integrated into health care systems and medical practice. Addiction must be screened and treated as you would get other diseases, and it is essential that health care providers understand the nature of the disease and the best ways to address it. Intervention is crucial and one of the first steps to address this disease. Treatment should be consistent with medical standards and proven practices like in the Beverly Hills rehab center which provides a full range of effective treatments. Here are 3 ways that addiction medicine is changing recovery for people affected by it.
- Behavioral counseling is beneficial.
Counseling and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used methods of treatment. It is also recommended that counseling should be modified to fit the patients changing needs. Evaluation is important to determine if a patient has co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety which may be contributing to the person’s addiction. Various approaches are explored to help patients modify their attitudes and behavior related to substance use. Counseling helps patients to increase healthy life skills. It includes therapy to address a range of influences on their substance abuse patterns to help them recognize, avoid, and cope with problematic situations.
- Holistic treatment is helpful.
Patients may need other forms of treatment that compliment the intensive counseling and therapy that they receive. A variety of approaches such as acupuncture, music therapy, and yoga act as agents of change and influence patients to successfully remove themselves from a life depended on substance use.
- Relapse prevention is critical.
Addiction medicine aims for a patient to stop using substances, remain addiction-free, and be productive in the family, at work, and in society. It also tackles contingency management to encourage abstinence from substance abuse. Patients need to be monitored continuously, and long-term follow up is required in order to prevent relapse.
There is hope for people with addiction if they or their loved ones will try to seek and find them. Practical solutions to treat and manage addiction can be achieved with the help of institutions and facilities specializing in addiction care. Comprehensive treatment programs and follow up options are available to help those in need of healing, hope, and lasting sobriety.