Can Drug Addicts Be Cured?

Whether you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, you’re probably eager to see the problem reach its end. Many people with substance use disorder think that their cravings, temptations, and overall drive to use drugs will naturally abate if they can only abstain long enough. Sadly, this approach to recovery rarely works.

Addiction is a complex, lifelong disease. Also referred to as substance use disorder, addiction cannot be cured. Instead, it must be managed with a variety of lifestyle changes, therapies, and needs-specific strategies. This is but one of many reasons why people tend to do best in addiction recovery when they receive professional addiction treatment. Addiction has many underlying causes. It also has a number of potentially long-term effects on how the brain and body work.

These things together make it difficult and often impossible for people to simply quit without receiving the necessary support. In fact, with some substances, quitting “cold turkey” can be incredibly dangerous, and may have lasting or even fatal consequences. Drug use conditions the the brain to rely on substances. When drug is suddenly stopped, a person’s emotions, vital signs, and general functioning can enter into a state of tremendous distress. Once these early symptoms of withdrawal have passed, psychological withdrawal symptoms set in. For long-time, heavy substance users, sudden abstinence can result in loss of motivation, severe depression, insomnia, restlessness, and more.

How Addiction Treatment Helps Drug Addicts Manage Their Disease

Detox is always the start of recovery. In comprehensive addiction treatment programs, detox typically includes 24-hour monitoring and medical support. Once this phase is complete and people are physically stable and ready to focus on their treatment, they can take part in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT teaches recovering addicts how to approach everyday stressors and challenges from a positive, proactive mindset. It also assists in addressing early life traumas and other negative events that may serve as underlying causes of addiction.

People with low self-worth and a need to use substances as a means for artificially building their confidence or fitting in can learn how to feel good about themselves without using. Addiction treatment teaches people strategies for dealing with discomfort and distress without returning to their old habits. It also shows patients how to identify unhealthy environments and relationships, and how to develop and nurture healthy social connections. Patients have access to group therapy, various options in private therapy, and a diverse array of workshops, classes, and activities that are all aimed at developing and maintaining healthy, sober, and ultimately sustainable lifestyles.

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders as Part of Addiction Management

Some people turn to drugs as a means for alleviating pain that they don’t understand. People with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, chronic anxiety, and severe depression often used substances to establish feelings of normalcy. During addiction treatment, dual diagnosis services ensure that all underlying mental health issues such as these are properly identified and properly managed. For people with co-occurring disorders or comorbidities, dual diagnosis treatment eliminates the need to self-medicate in unhealthy ways. Given that substance use disorder is a lifelong battle, staying on top of treatments for comorbidities is essential for ensuring ongoing success in addiction recovery.

Learning New Coping Strategies

Stress management workshops in addiction treatment also condition people to deal with temptations, cravings, and stress in healthful ways. Patients take part in yoga, meditation, and other activities that promote relaxation and self-discovery. Whether a person attends inpatient or outpatient rehab, the goal of stress management is to limit the likelihood of stress, and to keep it from causing relapse. When people understand their addictions as ongoing illnesses, they are more prone to maintaining life habits that limit unnecessary challenges.

The Importance of Life-Planning and Long-Term Recovery Support

Among some of the greatest barriers to long-term recovery are joblessness, homelessness, and isolation. Thus, addiction treatment also has services for goal-setting, long-term life planning, and long-term recovery support. Goal-setting classes and workshops help people identify the services and resources they’ll need upon completing addiction treatment. When paired with life-planning, patients can learn how to transition into sober living homes or other healthy and sustainable living arrangements. They can find jobs, restart their careers, find options in professional training, and take steps to start resolving any legal issues they’re facing. People in recovery also learn the importance of receiving ongoing support after their treatments have ended, and explore their options in:

  • Accountability partners
  • Sober sponsors
  • Support groups
  • Outpatient addiction services
  • Relapse prevention programs

Although addiction isn’t a curable disease, it is certainly a manageable one. With the right help, countless drug addicts have been able to overcome substance use disorder to establish stable and successful lives. If you or someone you love is living with addiction, we can help. Get in touch with us today by calling 844-639-8371.

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