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Drug Rehab and the Concepts of Addiction


A Look at Drug and Addiction ConceptsDrug rehab article was originally posted to the web by Cirque Lodge on April 4, 2008 discussing the different concepts used in addressing addiction.

Different Concepts that Continual Surround the Addiction Debate

Anyone who has worked with or struggled with it knows that alcohol and drug addiction is something that is not entirely understood. The cause of the ever present substance addiction problem in this world is not one that is perfectly known. Drug rehab programs have different ways of treating individuals with alcohol and drug addiction issues. These different ideas or concepts have led to much debate and questions over what addiction really is.

With all of the approaches and different concepts it can be tough to find a treatment for those who truly need it. An alcoholic or addict can go through a few treatment centers before they find the concept that helps them to kick the habit. For others it only takes one. When it is time to get the alcoholic or addict help one should not be afraid to explore all the concepts and treatment options. Below are three of the concepts of addiction.

a) Addiction as a Disease Concept:

This concept is the most looked at and debated concept. Ironically it is also the most practiced and used treatment modality. The disease concept is an altered state of central nervous system that comes from an inability to quit abusing drugs and alcohol. The result of which is sickness in the brain caused by this inability. This altered state of the mind is ever present in alcoholic or addict and can only be lessened through sobriety. The disease concept is found in most 12-step based programs and is considered the standard treatment practice by a majority of drug rehab facilities. Why the debate? Because people have a hard time seeing a self-inflicted problem like they do cancer. Still, most governmental treatment officials do refer to the addiction problem’s “disease” like symptoms when discussing addiction.

b) Addiction as a Choice Concept:

A lesser concept used in treatment, the choice concept is the idea that a person has fallen into addiction because they have chosen to do so. Interestingly enough, the choice to quit the addiction is also up to the individual, and once so chosen it’s over with. The choice concept can look into a person’s background and address some of the social and behavioral situations that have made this choice possible. A drug rehab that uses this type of concept can use forms of therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy, to look at the alcoholic or addict’s lifestyle and address why they have chosen addiction. Treatment then addresses changing the behaviors that lead to those choices.

c) Addiction as a Product Concept:

This concept focuses on the underlying issues that cause addiction. Alcohol and drug addiction are a product of other factors. The drug rehab with this concept will use therapy and sometimes hypnotherapy to look into the emotional and psychological factors that fuel the addiction. These influences can be caused by childhood trauma, medical factors, and can even be a psychiatric disorder. The feelings in this concept are that the results of these influences can create the desire to use alcohol and drugs to suppress such issues. A continuance of therapy can help the individual to come to terms with the underlying factors and thusly help them with their addiction problem.


So what is the answer to the question? Is addiction a disease? A choice? Or a product of underlying traumatic things? The most correct response is “Yes.” No one perfectly understands why a person abuses drugs and alcohol. And when you are dealing with distinct individuals, it is hard sometimes for particular concepts to be effective. If you tell a heroin addict that there problem is their own choice to get out of, and they still struggle with losing control. Maybe the disease concept would work better. Let’s take a person who has had an alcohol problem for a number of years, and one day they decide to put the bottle down for good, and everything is just fine. A person like this may struggle with the whole disease concept.

In drug rehab you are working with individuals. They have different wants, needs and thoughts when it comes to their problems and addiction factors in their life. It can be elements of an underlying issue. It can be factors due to a psychiatric disorder. When it is time for drug rehab, the person in need of treatment should look for an addiction treatment that best meets their needs with the right concepts. Cirque Lodge is a 12-step based program that focuses on the disease concept of addiction. As a leading treatment center, Cirque Lodge has also incorporated many additional therapies like one-on-one therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and an experiential program to help individuals address all the areas that cause the addictive struggle.

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