Treatment Of Addiction
Habitual use of an addictive substance can produces changes in body chemistry and any treatment must be geared to a gradual reduction in dosage. Initially, only opium and its derivatives (morphine, heroin, codeine) were recognized as addictive, but many other drugs, whether therapeutic (for example, tranquilizers) or recreational (such as cocaine and alcohol), are now known to be addictive. Research points to a genetic predisposition to addiction; although environment and psychological make-up are other important factors and a solely genetic basis for addiction is too simplistic. Although physical addiction always has a psychological element, not all psychological dependence is accompanied by physical dependence.
Addiction of any form is difficult to treat. Many programs instituted to break the grip of addictive substances have had limited success. The "cure" depends upon the resolve of the addict, and he or she often struggles with the addiction even after treatment.
A careful medically controlled withdrawal program can reverse the chemical changes of habituation Trying to stop chemical intake without the benefit of medical help is a difficult task for the addict because of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. Pain, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and hallucinations must be endured for several days.
Most addicts are not able to cope with these symptoms, and they will relieve them by indulging in their addiction.
The standard therapy for chemical addiction is medically supervised withdrawal, along with a 12-step program, which provides physical and emotional support during withdrawal and recovery. The addict is also educated about drug and alcohol addiction. "Kicking" a habit, though, is difficult, and backsliding is frequent. Many former addicts have enough determination to avoid drugs for the remainder of their lives, but research shows that an equal number will take up the habit again.
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