Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive, or uncontrollable, drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences and changes in the brain, which can be long lasting. These changes in the brain can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who use drugs. Drug addiction is also a relapsing disease. Relapse is the return to drug use after an attempt to stop.
After the physical detoxification process, the next stage of alcohol treatment involves treating the mental health of the patient with counseling and therapy. A psychologist or psychotherapist will work closely with the patient to help identify the reasons that the patient turned to problem drinking. Once these reasons are understood, the next stage is to apply the understanding to the future, giving the patient the tools they need to make better choices and decisions. Part of the treatment process is to break associations with the people and environments that encouraged the patient to drink past healthy levels. Since alcohol is so prevalent in society and even everyday life, treatment will also involve learning how to resist the temptation to drink in socially acceptable situations, and how to deal with the thoughts and memories of the pleasure derived from drinking.
Getting alcohol out of the addicted person’s system is the first part of recovery. People with a severe alcohol addiction can experience intense withdrawal symptoms. A supervised alcohol detox is usually necessary for people addicted to alcohol to prevent potentially fatal complications. Shaking, sweating, seizures, and hallucinations are possible alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Woman Turns to Rehab After Struggling With Drugs, Alcohol: Part 1