This is an ongoing debate in the medical community, but it is generally agreed that there is no one cause for the development of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, contributing factors may include a genetic predisposition to develop addictive tendencies, an environment that is permissive of drug abuse, access to illicit substances, and certain developmental issues. The existence of a Dual Diagnosis is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of addiction.
There are two routes typically applied to a cognitive approach to substance abuse: tracking the thoughts that pull patients to addiction and tracking the thoughts that prevent them from relapsing. Behavioral techniques have the widest application in treating substance related disorders. Behavioral psychologists can use the techniques of “aversion therapy,” based on the findings of Pavlov's classical conditioning. It uses the principle of pairing abused substances with unpleasant stimuli or conditions; for example, pairing pain, electrical shock, or nausea with alcohol consumption.[37] The use of medications may also be used in this approach, such as using disulfiram to pair unpleasant effects with the thought of alcohol use. Psychologists tend to use an integration of all these approaches to produce reliable and effective treatment. With the advanced clinical use of medications, biological treatment is now considered to be one of the most efficient interventions that psychologists may use as treatment for those with substance dependence.[37]
The Benchmark Recovery Center, formerly known as the Mark Houston Recovery Center, bases their treatment program on a 90-day, 12-step program. Part of the program includes life skills and a fitness program. The Center recognizes that every patient has unique needs to achieve recovery, so it avoids the one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. The Center consists of two separate facilities for men and women; it can provide for 58 patients at a time and currently claims a 74% success rate.
Take an inventory of how you experience the craving. Do this by sitting in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in a comfortable position. Take a few deep breaths and focus your attention inward. Allow your attention to wander through your body. Notice where in your body you experience the craving and what the sensations are like. Notice each area where you experience the urge, and tell yourself what you are experiencing. For example, “My craving is in my mouth and nose and in my stomach.”
The hidden cost of alcoholism does not stop with health. Alcoholism is also linked to violent crime, resulting in a cost to the economy in terms of policing and prosecution. However, it is difficult to put a price on the impact that alcoholism has to society. A report by the IAS showed that a figure of £21 billion is regularly quoted by the Government in terms of the cost of alcohol to society (in England and Wales). This does not include the personal cost of alcoholism and only considers the cost that is imposed on others.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states, “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” Addiction can result from a variety of factors and catalysts, including genetic predisposition, circumstances, environment, trauma and mental health disorders. While addiction often starts with drug abuse, it is not an indication of a person’s moral status or stability. In fact, many addictions spring from prescription drug use or casual use of legal substances.
Depending on your treatment priorities, you may also want to consider a facility that shares your philosophy. For instance, some people prefer faith-based rehabs if their religion is important to them. Others may choose to enroll in a holistic treatment center that utilizes alternative and complementary practices, such as acupuncture, meditation, and yoga. Regardless of the treatment program you choose, it’s important to confirm that it possesses the above-mentioned qualities.
Alcoholism treatment typically consists of a detox, followed by rehabilitation. Rehab programmes take place in either an inpatient or outpatient clinic, depending on your needs and circumstances. How severe your illness is, the length of time you have been addicted, and your personal situation will all play a role in what type of programme you choose.
Drug addiction is a chronic brain disease that causes powerful physical and psychological cravings for mind-altering substances, including illegal intoxicants like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and PCP. Many people also become addicted to misused prescription drugs, or to chemical substances not manufactured for human consumption (inhalants), to party drugs (ecstasy), hallucinogens like LSD, or to marijuana, which despite its benign reputation is the most widely abused illicit drug.
The disease model of addiction has long contended the maladaptive patterns of alcohol and substance use displays addicted individuals are the result of a lifelong disease that is biological in origin and exacerbated by environmental contingencies. This conceptualization renders the individual essentially powerless over his or her problematic behaviors and unable to remain sober by himself or herself, much as individuals with a terminal illness being unable to fight the disease by themselves without medication. Behavioral treatment, therefore, necessarily requires individuals to admit their addiction, renounce their former lifestyle, and seek a supportive social network who can help them remain sober. Such approaches are the quintessential features of Twelve-step programs, originally published in the book Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939.[26] These approaches have met considerable amounts of criticism, coming from opponents who disapprove of the spiritual-religious orientation on both psychological[27] and legal[28] grounds. Opponents also contend that it lacks valid scientific evidence for claims of efficacy[29]. However, there is survey-based research that suggests there is a correlation between attendance and alcohol sobriety[30]. Different results have been reached for other drugs, with the twelve steps being less beneficial for addicts to illicit substances, and least beneficial to those addicted to the physiologically and psychologically addicting opioids, for which maintenance therapies are the gold standard of care.[31]
Research from NIAAA also suggests that alcoholism can stem from genes. While the specific “alcoholism gene” hasn’t yet been identified, there are known genes that can boost the power of alcohol and reduce the impact of a hangover. People with these gene combinations may get a bigger high from drinking, and they may not feel ill or sick after a long day of drinking. Their bodies just seem primed for alcohol abuse, and that can make them more likely to develop alcoholism.

Over time, most users need more and more of the same drug simply to achieve the same effects they experienced when consuming a lower dosage less frequently. Eventually, the user must have the drug simply to function and avoid feeling sick or terrible; this is one of the hallmarks of addiction. Stopping use of the drug often causes intense cravings, which is another symptom of withdrawal and addiction.


In-House Treatment Centers provide drug and alcohol rehab for individuals and their families that are suffering from moderate to severe addiction to alcohol, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders.  As differentiated from Hospital Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs, In-House Treatment Centers are often located in resort-style, private facilities designed to treat the whole person with a more personalized and compassionate approach to recovery.
At Costa Rica Treatment Center we ensure that every aspect of our client’s stay is delivered at the highest standard of professional care. We pride ourselves in offering the highest staff to patient ratio in the region. Our multidisciplinary team is comprised of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Family Therapists, Trauma Specialists, Counselors, Art Therapists, Yoga Teachers, Life Coaches, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, and Recovery Mentors. Collectively, our team is responsible for creating the client’s individual addictions treatment plan.
Where alcoholics are concerned, their brains have become so accustomed to dealing with alcohol that the volume of chemicals being produced to overcome the effects of alcohol is excessive. As blood alcohol levels start to fall, those same brain chemicals start causing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The only two solutions are to either consume more alcohol or wait it out until the body readjusts.
Early Use. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, research shows that the earlier a person begins to use drugs, the more likely he or she is to develop serious problems.31 This may be due to the harmful effect that drugs can have on the developing brain.32 It also may result from a mix of early social and biological risk factors, including lack of a stable home or family, exposure to physical or sexual abuse, genes, or mental illness. Still, the fact remains that early use is a strong indicator of problems ahead, including addiction.
Whether or not you can successfully cut back on your drinking depends on the severity of your drinking problem. If you’re an alcoholic—which, by definition, means you aren’t able to control your drinking—it’s best to try to stop drinking entirely. But if you’re not ready to take that step, or if you don’t have an alcohol abuse problem but want to cut back for personal or health reasons, the following tips can help:
The length of a rehab program can vary greatly, and largely depends on the needs of each individual. For some, a weekly outpatient program may suffice, while others may participate in inpatient care that lasts on average 30–40 days. You may ask yourself, “How does rehab work?” Like many things in life, long-term recovery is usually achieved with time and dedication. For some, this may include long-term inpatient drug rehab that involves staying on-site for an extended period of time. This can help some clients better regulate their recovery needs for sustained sobriety. These types of programs may also include sober living housing, which provides patients with a stable place to live while transitioning back into normal life.
High Success Rates. Most drug rehabs keep track of the recidivism, or relapse, rates of their patients and the most effective programs keep in close contact with clients as much as possible after they are graduated from treatment. The success rates for different drugs and situations can help patients compare the efficacy of different theories behind addiction treatment. The Discovery House - the best drug rehab center in Los Angeles, Virtual Tour.
Detox centers are intended to treat drug and alcohol addiction. One of the many benefits of detoxing at a rehab facility is that it’s safer than at-home detox. The reason is that it’s supervised by medical professionals who can monitor any withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be very painful. They typically include specialized programs, such as those at The Recovery Village, in addition to medications and other treatment methods to aid in recovery. Inpatient detox centers provide the highest level of supervision and medical monitoring of any type of detox center.
“Residential rehab” and “inpatient rehab” are two phrases often used interchangeably, as they both follow medical detox, and accommodate the physical and psychological needs of individuals in recovery. They also both involve full-time treatment at a rehab facility, allowing for 24-hour monitoring. However, one major difference between the two forms of treatment is the length of the program.
Many treatment plans begin with a detoxification program to help break your body’s physical addiction to alcohol. Detoxification is often performed in an inpatient therapy treatment center or hospital. It typically takes one week to complete. Because the symptoms of physical withdrawal can be dramatic, you may also be given medications to help prevent:
Drug addiction recovery is a long-term process, and those who attempt to overcome their drug problems must be prepared for a challenging struggle. In the end, persistence and determination will make all the difference, and if people recovering from substance use disorders are strong enough to stay the course, a happy, healthy, drug-free future will be within their grasp.
Dependence is defined as an adaptive state that develops in response to repeated drug administration, and is unmasked during withdrawal, which occurs when drug taking stops. Dependence from long-term drug use may have both a somatic component, manifested by physical symptoms, and an emotional–motivation component, manifested by dysphoria. While physical dependence and withdrawal occur with some drugs of abuse (opiates, ethanol), these phenomena are not useful in the diagnosis of addiction because they do not occur with other drugs of abuse (cocaine, amphetamine) and can occur with many drugs that are not abused (propranolol, clonidine).

Work with an intervention specialist. If your loved one is in strong denial about the problem, he or she will probably refuse to get treatment or even to listen to you. A substance abuse counselor or therapist who specializes in intervention can help you plan a formal meeting to confront your loved one with the consequences of their behavior and propose a treatment plan.
Disulfiram (Antabuse®) interferes with the breakdown of alcohol. Acetaldehyde builds up in the body, leading to unpleasant reactions that include flushing (warmth and redness in the face), nausea, and irregular heartbeat if the patient drinks alcohol. Compliance (taking the drug as prescribed) can be a problem, but it may help patients who are highly motivated to quit drinking.
Drug abuse can apply to a wide variety of substances, from prescription medication to illicit street drugs. The term is often used to discuss the improper use of substances, especially substances that can be used for medical purposes. Drug abuse is not limited to those with a history of addiction, as many people develop a substance use disorder after taking prescription medications like opioids, benzodiazepines and more. Regular drug abuse can lead to serious patterns of behavior that result in a substance use disorder or addiction.
  I am a 63 year old woman. When I came to Costa Rica Treatment Center I probably weighed 89 pounds. I had no desire to live for weeks. I couldn't get out of bed. As soon as I was able to get up, the staff began giving me nutritional drinks to get the poison out of my system. They would talk to me at 4 in the morning when I couldn't get the idea of getting high out of my head. Eventually I started eating and was served 3 nutritional prepared meals a day. The talks never stopped. All of my needs were met. There was never a cross word spoken. The staff that nurtured me consisted of a medical M.D. a behavioral health specialist and life coach woman, 2 psychologists social worker a house manager,a wonderful cleaning woman, and the boss.The treatment received here is thorough and rounded. I now weigh 110 pounds have been schooled in A.A. and N.A. meetings. I'm looking forward to a new life. I am so very thankful.
If a program doesn’t include these type of approaches, or claims to use “new” strategies, ask to see an independent evaluation of their program outcomes. An evaluation should measure whether the service has had a positive impact (on drug use, dependence or mental health) and what the completion rates are. It can be conducted by independent specialists, or sometimes by the service itself.

Inpatient rehabilitation is an intensive form of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction that follows the medical detox phase. Inpatient rehab is offered at all The Recovery Village locations. This transition occurs only after a medical professional thoroughly evaluates each client. Those who receive inpatient treatment typically struggle with cravings and should be monitored around the clock to prevent relapse. This is especially important for individuals who are dependent on a particular substance and can’t go more than a few hours without it. While enrolled in this program, the nursing staff monitors clients 24/7.


Drug addiction isn’t always an instantly obvious problem; it often starts small. In fact, drug addiction sometimes begins with simple recreational use, or a “one-time” experiment, trying something new, or even a prescription for a much-needed painkiller after an accident or surgery. The trouble is that for some people—the ones who become addicted—the use of the addictive substance becomes frequent and a necessity.
"The most robust finding in the study is that those receiving any medication did much better than those who received no pills at all," says Professor Barbara Mason, Scripps Research Institute, and an author of the study. "This should be a wake-up call. With less than one percent of those seeking help for alcohol dependence receiving a prescription, medication is underutilized. Medication for alcoholism can offer patients an advantage for their recovery, especially in a real-world setting."
Research the history of the Treatment Center or facility.  What is their success rate?  Can you find any medical recommendations for them online from members of the established rehab or medical community?  How long has the Center been in operation?  Is their leadership on solid ground?  Are there any signs of financial corruption associated with the Center that is readily visible on the Internet?  It is your responsibility to dig for this information.  If you cannot find any information about a given Treatment Center online or at your local library, move on to the next Center on your list! 3 Stages of Drug Alcohol Rehab-How It Works
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