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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Is it Possible to Ever Really Get Over an Addiction?

The world is filled with stories of how addicts have been able to, miraculously as it sometimes seems, beat their drug addiction.  However, there are millions of people who wonder if it is possible to completely be free of the urge. The late 60s and early 70s provide a plethora of stories of both civilians and military personnel who were caught up in troubling times—half was across the world and at home.

People tuned to amphetamines, operations, heroin, marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs. Some military personnel were even encouraged to take drugs that would sharpen their senses and keep the awake. College students abused cocaine and relied on so-called mind-expanding drugs. Many military and civilian personnel went on to detox themselves and lead productive lives. Others, were not so fortunate. Then, there are those who found treatment for drug addiction.

The Stark Reality of Drug Addiction


Forward to the present day. Not much has changed in the world, except that there are a whole new set of illicit drugs with names to match. An addiction will arrest an individual’s will, and even after overdosing or spending time in jail, the urge to continue drug abuse still lingers within many.

Addiction knows no boundaries. It has no respect for race, income, age, or gender. Parents, friends, and family members are often left devastated and not knowing what happened to their “gifted” friend or child. There is always that hope that the addict will somehow find a solution to stop. Sometimes the addict will find clinical help; only to relapse after several months of being on the outside again.

Addiction and Two Schools of Thought

Addiction is often debated within two schools of thought. First, a person’s brain is chemically hijacked and the addict has absolutely no control over their progressive, chronic disease. The second school of thought centers around the thought that addicts always had a disposition of not caring for themselves, or others. Many people associate addiction with criminality. When an addict steals or commits other addiction-related crimes, it simply plays into the stereotype that millions of people have about addicts.

When addiction takes control of someone you know or love, the belief is that a “good” person’s mind is under the influence of a wicked substance. When addiction happens to someone you do not know, it is often attributed to a person’s perceived criminal disposition toward life.

Time for a New Perspective

Today’s world has ushered in a whole new understanding of neuroscience. Drug rehab centers in Florida both understand and embrace this new paradigm. Thus the treatments for addiction have changed. Clinicians now understand and know that addiction, while a disturbing brain problem, is not the same as a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is a disorder brought about by a change in brain chemistry.

The brain process information in a particular way because of how its wired. It does this naturally. So it stands to reason that if its wiring is altered, it will process information and help direct behaviors in a different manner. Today’s research of both animals and humans has brought the medical community closer to recognizing what areas of the brain are actually involved in addiction—and more importantly how they are involved. Drugs, simply put, have a tendency to alter that part of the brain where we formulate values and goals, such that focus is on obtaining the addictive substance.

Treatment Centers for Drug Addiction


Today’s treatment for drug addiction takes on a dual approach. A recovering addict will receive medications that can help ease their withdrawal symptoms. Through very careful screening and assessments, the patient is also screened for co-occurring mental disorders that may have attributed to their addiction. A number of drug rehab centers in Florida take this approach. Patients receive the medications and therapeutic solutions that can help them detox and successfully navigate rehab. Cognitive therapies are essential to the process as well. They instruct patients how to examine their own thinking processes, which invariably leads to their actions.

Effective drug rehab centers in Florida can also provide an earnest aftercare program that can help individuals transition back into a normal lifestyle. Treatment for drug addiction is comprehensive, and it works. So, it is possible to stay sober for life. However, sobriety can be a lifelong struggle for many. Treatment centers for drug addiction play an integral role in helping addicted individuals piece their lives back together.

This is a guest blog entry.

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