When you go to your doctor for an infection, you expect that you’ll be cured. You know you’ll receive antibiotics and be a little tired for a few days, but soon you’ll feel better and be back to your old self. In fact, eventually you’ll probably forget all about the time you were sick and you most likely won’t make any adjustments in your lifestyle because of it. But what about recovery from an addiction? Can you achieve the same level of healing? Can you leave a treatment facility and forget about what you’ve been through?
Unfortunately, this scenario doesn’t work with addiction. Achieving a cure, in the pure sense of the word, is unlikely. You will have to work to maintain your new clean lifestyle and be aware of triggers that could cause you to relapse. But in many ways you will be stronger than before your recovery process began. You’ll feel better physically and mentally. And you will have the pride of knowing that you have overcome an enormous obstacle in your life!
Is There a Cure for Addiction?
The word “cure” implies the removal of a disease or a condition. If a doctor could pronounce you cured of addiction, you’d no doubt feel a great sense of relief and joy. The substance abuse or alcoholism would be completely behind you and you could return to social drinking and occasional drug use without consequence if you wanted. However, addiction isn’t something that’s so easily cured.
Recovery isn’t the same as the traditional definition of cure. A person who has problems with addiction or substance abuse always needs to be careful of slipping back into the mindset that prompted the addiction in the first place. Managing the addiction requires constant vigilance to stay away from old habits. You need to use the coping skills learned in recovery to maintain your health.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary offers these definitions of ‘cure.’
- Something (such as a drug or medical treatment) that stops a disease and makes someone healthy again
- Something that ends a problem or improves a bad situation
- The act of making someone healthy again after an illness
The problem with answering the question of whether or not drug addiction can be cured lies in the definition of the word. The best treatment facilities can make someone healthy again if they’re committed to being healthy. But it doesn’t stop the disease. Part of the disease of addiction includes the inability to stay in control when drinking alcohol or using drugs. A person with these tendencies has a hard time becoming a social or casual user again successfully. So using “to stop a disease” as the definition means a cure is not possible.
Looking at the second definition of “ending the problem,” the best medical treatment can improve a bad situation. However, it doesn’t end addiction. You’ll have to monitor your condition for the rest of your life.
The third definition above says a cure is the act of making someone healthy again. That is definitely possible, as many studies have shown! However, given all of the research with many addictive individuals, a total cure is unlikely. You’ll always need to watch your behavior and watch for triggers in your life that caused your struggle in the first place. You should abstain from drug and alcohol consumption. You will definitely want to associate yourself with people who are supportive of you and are not addicted to drugs or alcohol themselves. This will be a life-long process for you. Surrounding yourself with the right people can go a long way in making your recovery successful.
An honest and caring treatment facility will never advertise or promote addiction “cures” because there is rarely such a thing. The effects of long-term alcohol and substance abuse begin to change and physically alter the mind and body. Excessive drugs and alcohol can be just as damaging as any physical disease. The result of that damage is that your mind and body crave addictive substances and it may be an ongoing problem when life circumstances are particularly challenging. It’s a never-ending battle with addiction that can go into remission when properly monitored and managed, but like a dormant disease, it can return. Think about a disease like asthma or diabetes. They are manageable with medications and lifestyle changes, but they never go away.
If someone who has one of those conditions and doesn’t adhere to their prescribed health regimen, they can suffer from serious complications. Likewise, when a person has an addiction, which is also a disease, they’ve to make lifestyle changes to preserve their health or they risk losing control with addictive substances or alcohol. Extreme stresses of life and dramatic family/relationship issues can really test your resolve to stay on track with recovery. These external factors will never go away, so a relapse into addiction is an ongoing possibility for someone with addictive tendencies.
Can You Put Addiction Behind You?
Once you’re able to stop using and abusing drugs and alcohol, you might feel that you have a deep enough understanding of why you became addicted in the first place. You might think you no longer need support or no longer need to abstain from the occasional social indulgence. You want to feel that you’re cured! Most people don’t want to refer to themselves as an addict forever.
For some, the thought of attending addiction support group meetings for years is overwhelming. Many abusers understandably want to put this nightmare behind them and move on, confident that they’ve permanently conquered the addiction. The problem with this attitude is that it makes people feel like they can safely become casual or social users just like their friends who are able to stay in control. The majority of recovering alcoholics and drug abusers are not able to stay in control once they begin drinking or using. They aren’t capable of stopping how much they’re consuming.
The majority of addicts will relapse and find themselves back where they started, needing to begin recovery again. It isn’t worth the risk! It’s best to avoid alcohol and drugs altogether. By giving their addiction the respect that it deserves (the same way that one respects the power of an ocean wave), you err on the side of caution, safety and self-preservation instead of flirting with alcohol and drug use. 12-step programs and support groups are a tremendous asset to recovering addicts. In these groups, people can find like-minded souls who will help one another stay on the path of recovery.
Is Addiction a Disease?
Medical science and studies have shown that the brain and body undergo physical alternations when a person is addicted to drugs and alcohol. This is what makes it so difficult for people to quit even when they want to. Their body craves these substances, and they need help in order to overcome the addiction. The addiction is very much like any disease in that it needs medical interventions.
Just like any disease under the care of medical supervision, addicts can have relapses during the normal course of recovery. Treating addiction with the medical model allows the medical team to try different approaches to achieve success in recovery. In the same way that your medical team would experiment to find the right medications and treatments to achieve success in disease management, your recovery team will customize treatment for you. Not everyone is the same and not every treatment combination works the same for each person.
Is Detoxification Necessary?
The most important step you have to undergo when you want to recover is detox. It’s vital to have the drugs and alcohol removed from your system so you can focus on recovery. Detox doesn’t have to be painful or uncomfortable under the guidance of an experienced medical team. Withdrawing from alcohol and drug abuse very suddenly can be dangerous and risky without oversight from a caring staff who know what they are doing and know what to look for to help you. The value of the medical team in a quality treatment center is that they will look at the whole person when addressing addiction. They look at the physical, genetic, social and emotional contributions to your addiction. They want to help you uncover the triggers in your life that contribute to your problem. With counseling, they can help you learn to cope in the real world with your addiction and learn to recognize and acknowledge the triggers that you’ll encounter throughout your life.
Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?
Drug addiction can absolutely be treated! Just because it’s technically incurable doesn’t mean it’s untreatable. You can have a better life! In many cases, the brain and body may be able to return to near-normal state. Research has shown that the brain of a person who has stopped using for at least 14 months returns to a near-normal state of activity and health. Does this mean they’re cured? Not necessarily. However, many steps in the recovery process encourage success. Studies have shown that detox and treatment with medical intervention combined with behavioral therapy have the best results for success. Studies have also revealed that there are a number of medications that can be used during the detoxification period to make withdrawal as comfortable and as safe as possible for both alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
Is it Social Use or Addiction?
Although there are people are able to drink alcohol and use drugs recreationally, many people become addicted. How do you know if you are dealing with social use or addiction?
- Loss of concern over appearance — Grooming can take a back seat when your primary focus is getting high or getting drunk.
- Unusual mood swings — When somebody who is normally easy-going develops an addiction, their moods and responses to situations can become extreme.
- Inability to follow through with commitments — You have trouble attending school, showing up for work, or keeping appointments. Family and friend obligations lose priority to the addiction.
- Plans to stay sober fail — A person with an addiction can set a goal for themselves to only drink or use a set amount but will often find that goal unattainable.
- Legal complications are not a deterrent — The fact that you have a DUI or probation for drug use has not stopped you from drinking or using.
- Blacking out — Passing out and forgetting what happened while on a binge is a common occurrence.
- Stealing from friends and family — You take money or “borrow” it in order to buy drugs or alcohol.
These are the signs of an addiction. You are not using or drinking socially this point. You are going to need help to recover successfully.
Does the Right Recovery Center Make a Difference?
One of the biggest choices you and your family can make in the treatment process is choosing the recovery center. The center and its team will play a vital role in the family’s road ahead. JourneyPure Emerald Coast is located in gorgeous Panama Canal City, Florida. We’ve staffed our brand-new facility with all of the professionals you’ll need to begin detoxification of your system followed by the treatment you need to overcome your addiction. We have doctors, psychiatrists, nurses and counselors on staff to work with you.
At JorneyPure Emerald Coast, you will never be lectured or treated with disrespect. The inviting and serene center has everything that the addicted client and the family need during recovery, all in one convenient location. The staff can assist the family with their role in the recovery process and offer counseling to them as well. JourneyPure Emerald Coast is a loving, safe environment where you will find the encouragement you need. We believe in and employ the Enhanced Medical Model of Treatment. This means we understand that there is an underlying cause behind the addiction and substance abuse. In order to reach the goal of helping you to recover, we examine and treat these underlying causes which can be medical, physical, emotional, genetic or social. We are committed to assisting you heal the whole family and making the broken relationships stronger and healthier.
At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, we offer a 12-step program because we are confident that it can contribute to your ongoing recovery. The difference between our program and the more traditional 12-step programs is that we emphasize the spiritual rather than the religious. This means that we can respect and appeal to your spiritual background and individual culture.
When you decide to seek treatment at JourneyPure Emerald Coast, you’ll have the option of inpatient or outpatient treatment and recovery, depending upon which type of therapy is likely to bring you the best results.
What is Inpatient Treatment?
For inpatient treatment, you’ll actually live at our beautiful recovery center for a while. The length of your stay will depend upon your individual needs. Inpatient treatment is ideal for clients who need to begin detox before recovery. Our experienced medical team includes all of the key staff that you need to safely and comfortably detox. Attempting to quit drugs and alcohol in your own home brings the risk of potential medical complications. When your body is used to these substances, detox can be shocking. To suddenly eliminate these substances without medical oversight is risky. In our comfortable facility, we can monitor your progress 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the drugs and alcohol are out of your system.
Another advantage of inpatient treatment is that you‘ll be away from all of the factors that contributed to your addiction. The people, places, stresses and negative influences won’t be there to lure you back to your old habits. Many clients find that the structure and counseling help them to feel normal and allow them a sense of community with other clients. Group therapy, private therapy and activities such as meal preparation help to get you ready for life outside of the center.
Even though you will be away from your family and closest friends, we encourage them to come visit you as often as possible in our treatment center. We also want family to take part in our counseling so they can learn how to support you on your recovery journey. Sometimes family members have their own addictions or codependent behaviors that make your recovery a challenge. When they join us in counseling sessions, they can see what isn’t working and why not and make corrections.
We want to help you channel your energy into new and positive pursuits. As part of our holistic treatment, we will help you to experiment with other modes of treatment such as art therapy, yoga, meditation, exercise and songwriting. Imagine leaving our inpatient treatment center feeling great and being able to embark on a newly discovered talent or healthy regimen!
What is Outpatient Treatment?
Outpatient treatment is not ideal for all of our clients but it can be a good fit for you following inpatient detox if the following factors apply to you.
- Your addiction is recent and has not been going on for years.
- Being absent from your job or school for too long can cause problems for you. If you’re in need of detoxification, you might have to spend a short time in inpatient treatment and then you can transfer to outpatient therapy.
- You have a lot of support from family and friends in your personal life. Outpatient treatment will not be affected by bad influences and factors in your world.
- You need to be discreet about your drug addiction and recovery. Engaging in an inpatient program would draw too much attention to your addiction and would have negative consequences.
- You are the sole caregiver of your children and you aren’t able to find alternative childcare for them.
After speaking with our counselors, they can help you decide which mode of treatment is the best fit for you in your life. Although it might seem that outpatient treatment would be the most convenient, it’s important to select the option that will place you on the most successful road to recovery. Your time in our inpatient facility is actually quite a short piece of your overall recovery. At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, we will not restrict your stay to a certain length of time. We value you as an individual and work to provide you with a program that makes the most sense for your treatment goals. We are very flexible! A complete cure from addiction is not likely, but you will be your happiest and healthiest when you build the strongest possible foundation for your recovery. Moreover, to help you reach your greatest potential, we provide aftercare for one year following your treatment. This includes counseling and help in the event of a relapse, group programs and our 12-Step program.
We want to play the key role in your recovery. We know that true recovery takes four or five years of attention, dedication, discipline and sobriety to reach stable recovery. The stable phase is as close as possible to a cure for most addicts. Please contact us right now to begin your first step in your new life. You can also call us right now at (800) 493-5253. We want to teach you how to create a new way of living that can bring you and your family joy and love. We are here to help you Get Healthy. Stay Healthy.