A large body of scientific evidence has been gathered in recent years to show that addiction can run in families. In fact, children of alcohol-addicted parents are four times more likely to develop alcohol addiction in later life than those born to parents without alcohol addictions. How this works is complex, and there is no one ‘alcohol gene’ to blame for this; instead a number of genetic variations, which mean some individuals are more pre-disposed to alcoholism than others.
Addiction is a complex but treatable condition. It is characterized by compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even if the user is aware of severe adverse consequences. For some people, addiction becomes chronic, with periodic relapses even after long periods of abstinence. As a chronic, relapsing disease, addiction may require continued treatments to increase the intervals between relapses and diminish their intensity. While some with substance issues recover and lead fulfilling lives, others require ongoing additional support. The ultimate goal of addiction treatment is to enable an individual to manage their substance misuse; for some this may mean abstinence. Immediate goals are often to reduce substance abuse, improve the patient's ability to function, and minimize the medical and social complications of substance abuse and their addiction; this is called "harm reduction".
Our priority is to offer individual support and attention to residents in a welcoming and comfortable environment in which they are not overwhelmed by a large crowd of people. This allows residents to engage with therapy more easily and get to know us and each other better. In a larger centre, a group therapy session can mean 25 or 30 people listening to a speaker, which essentially makes you a member of an audience. At Searidge a group session is much more of an interactive discussion. This enables residents to better express themselves and have their concerns and opinions be heard. A more open and deeper engagement with group therapy results.
Psychoanalysis, a psychotherapeutic approach to behavior change developed by Sigmund Freud and modified by his followers, has also offered an explanation of substance abuse. This orientation suggests the main cause of the addiction syndrome is the unconscious need to entertain and to enact various kinds of homosexual and perverse fantasies, and at the same time to avoid taking responsibility for this. It is hypothesized specific drugs facilitate specific fantasies and using drugs is considered to be a displacement from, and a concomitant of, the compulsion to masturbate while entertaining homosexual and perverse fantasies. The addiction syndrome is also hypothesized to be associated with life trajectories that have occurred within the context of teratogenic processes, the phases of which include social, cultural and political factors, encapsulation, traumatophobia, and masturbation as a form of self-soothing. Such an approach lies in stark contrast to the approaches of social cognitive theory to addiction—and indeed, to behavior in general—which holds human beings to regulate and control their own environmental and cognitive environments, and are not merely driven by internal, driving impulses. Additionally, homosexual content is not implicated as a necessary feature in addiction.
During the early stages of alcohol recovery, patients can be confused and scared. Their emotions can run high to the point that what they are thinking and feeling interferes with recovery. Meditation addresses these sorts of things. By helping patients relax and focus their thoughts inward, meditation eases patient fears and clears up confusion. Patients are more apt to benefit from treatment in this more relaxed state.
The disease model of addiction has long contended the maladaptive patterns of alcohol and substance use displays addicted individuals are the result of a lifelong disease that is biological in origin and exacerbated by environmental contingencies. This conceptualization renders the individual essentially powerless over his or her problematic behaviors and unable to remain sober by himself or herself, much as individuals with a terminal illness being unable to fight the disease by themselves without medication. Behavioral treatment, therefore, necessarily requires individuals to admit their addiction, renounce their former lifestyle, and seek a supportive social network who can help them remain sober. Such approaches are the quintessential features of Twelve-step programs, originally published in the book Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939. These approaches have met considerable amounts of criticism, coming from opponents who disapprove of the spiritual-religious orientation on both psychological and legal grounds. Opponents also contend that it lacks valid scientific evidence for claims of efficacy. However, there is survey-based research that suggests there is a correlation between attendance and alcohol sobriety. Different results have been reached for other drugs, with the twelve steps being less beneficial for addicts to illicit substances, and least beneficial to those addicted to the physiologically and psychologically addicting opioids, for which maintenance therapies are the gold standard of care.
Nalmefene, an opiate antagonist that is similar in its chemical structure to naltrexone, is one of the most recent drugs being investigated for the treatment of alcoholism. Like naltrexone (sold as ReVia, Depade, or Vivitrol), nalmefene deprives the person struggling with substance use of the pleasurable feelings associated with drinking. But nalmefene is less toxic to the liver than naltrexone. As of 2013, nalmefene was still undergoing clinical trials through the U.S. National Institutes of Health before receiving FDA approval. From Rehab to a Body Bag | Dying for Treatment: VICE Reports (Full Length)