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Drug and Alcohol Addiction Are Symptoms: What is the Cause?

Every day we read about solutions to alcohol and drug addiction. Unfortunately, most treatment for these conditions doesn’t really get down to the bottom of the problem. Instead, the focus is turning more and more to figuring out how to keep people alive and functioning while still being addicts. Why is this, and how do we fix it?

While it’s true there are physical addictions, addressing those doesn’t address the reason(s) why the person started taking drugs recreationally in the first place, or even why that recreational use turned into an addiction. And without figuring that out, there is always a possibility they’ll start taking drugs or drinking again after they’ve stopped.

Perhaps that’s why they tell you in Alcoholics Anonymous that once you’re an addict, you’re always an addict. Some people go for decades without having a drink, but they still go to AA meetings. They believe that if they have even one drink, they won’t be able to quit. They believe they are an alcoholic, even though they haven’t had a drink for 23 years.

But what AA fails to recognize is that people CAN and DO change.

How does that change come about?

  1. Get rid of the idea that hanging around people who tell you can’t change, that you will always be an alcoholic. It’s almost impossible to believe in yourself when you’re surrounded by people who don’t believe that people – including you – can change.
  2. Find out what the person needs to change in their life to not be tempted to drink or take drugs. They need a new life. There is a reason the person started drinking or taking drugs in the first place, there’s a reason why they continued and did so much of it that they became an addict. And there are reasons why they’re still drinking. Find out what they are, help the person change them, and they have the new life they need.

That’s how the most successful rehab facilities operate. It takes a while – short term or outpatient programs won’t be enough, it has to be residential, long-term (several months) treatment.

The cause of addiction is different for everyone. But without getting down to the cause for each individual, there’s a very, very good chance they’ll keep taking drugs or drinking, or start again.

It’s unfortunate that the government continues to fund programs that have very low success rates. If they’d stop spending money on them, and start spending money on the programs that get good results, then the problem could start getting resolved. Instead, the money is starting to go toward the bare minimum – keep them addicted, but keep them alive.

Right, alive is better than dead. No doubt about it. But why settle for that when you can truly change someone’s life?

Call us if you need recommendations for good treatment centers.

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