Millions in the U.S, and worldwide have abused alcohol at some point in their lives. Due to alcohol’s ability to cause dependence and tolerance, alcoholism tends to be a progressive disease which worsens over time. Unfortunately, not every one is will to admit when they feel they have developed an addiction. Because alcohol is legal, alcohol abuse is not stigmatized to the same degree as drug addiction. It is, however, every bit as dangerous and damaging to one’s health and livelihood. There are three distinct phases of alcohol misuse. They include binge drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcohol addiction. All three of these stages of alcoholism can be successfully treated.
Like alcoholism, drug addiction is a very serious condition. Treatment requires specialized care if positive long-term results are to be expected. Every addict has a different set of circumstance and experiences which contribute to his or her addiction. That’s why a personalized treatment program must be developed which will adhere to each client’s specific needs and goals.
Relapse prevention is equally important to recovery as the treatment itself. While relapse is very common, it doesn’t have to be. Techniques learned during treatment, such as trigger identification and coping mechanisms can help clients avoid relapse after they have re-entered the community. Clients also learn how to avoid setbacks and deal with them if they do indeed occur. The key is to understanding exactly why relapse happens and what to do to avoid it or mitigate it.
An underlying condition is an illness which precedes or underlies the person’s addiction. Many of these illnesses tend to coincide with and contribute to substance abuse. They are the mental, physical, and emotional factors which won’t go away on their own – even if the substance abuse stops. For persons with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, these overlapping conditions must be treated simultaneously with the addiction. This is the only way to achieve long-lasting results, and overall wellness.