Treatment vs. Rehabilitation

Whether a person is genetically or bio-chemically predisposed to addiction or alcoholism is a controversy that has been debated for years within the scientific, medical and chemical dependency communities. One school of thought advocates the "disease concept," which embraces the notion that addiction is an inherited disease, and that the individual is permanently ill at a genetic level, even for those experiencing long periods of sobriety.
Another philosophy argues that addiction is a dual problem consisting of a physical and mental dependency on chemicals, compounded by a pre-existing mental disorder (i.e. clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or some other mental illness), and that the mental disorder needs to be treated first as the primary cause of the addiction. A third philosophy subscribes to the idea that chemical dependency leads to "chemical imbalances" in the neurological system. Often, these first three philosophies are treated with some type of substitute drug or medication.
The fact remains that there is scientific research to support all of these concepts, but that none of these theories are absolute. Based on national averages, we have about a 20% recovery rate. The message is clear that we have a lot more to learn if we are to bring the national recovery rate to a more desirable level.
There is a fourth school of thought, which has proven to be more accurate. It has to do with the life cycle of addiction. For whatever reason, be it physical or emotional pain or discomfort, boredom, peer pressure or any other problem of life, an eventual addict takes a drug to ease that pain or discomfort. As soon as the addict experiences relief from the discomfort, he inadvertently attaches value to the drug or drink, because it helped him feel better. Even though the relief is only temporary, it is adopted as a solution to the problem and this assigned value is the only reason the person ever uses drugs or drinks a second, third or more times. At this point, it is just a matter of time before the person becomes fully addicted and loses the ability to control their drug use.
When a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, treatment is what is given, but rehabilitation is what is needed to fully recover. The definition for "treatment" is: "to care for or deal with medically or surgically." This is where the substitute drugs and “quick patch” programs fall in place, but don’t always provide an effective solution.
The definition for "rehabilitation" is: "to restore to a former capacity." This simply means for a person to be in the condition he was in before he had the ailments and the subsequent addiction. The three main barriers to overcoming addiction are the cravings (mental and physical), guilt and depression associated with the drug use.
In today’s society, there are few programs that effectively address and handle these areas of addiction on the way to full rehabilitation. One such organization is Narconon Arrowhead, utilizing the drug-free social education methodology of L. Ron Hubbard and achieving a success rate greater than 70%, more than three times the national average. Through replacing vital nutrients stripped by drug use, dry-heat sauna detoxification therapy and a series of life skills courses, addicts regain the respect and responsibility for themselves to become happy, ethical and productive members of society again.

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