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Drug Rehabilitation; The Key Component

By Jay Stockman

Drug and alcohol use can be traced back to 4000 B.C., in Egypt. By the 19th century, active substances were being extracted from the raw materials, and these psychoactive substances were being sold without any regulations. By the early 1900s there were an estimated 250,000 drug addicts in the United States. The anti-war upheaval of the 1960s brought with it a dramatic increase in drug use and increased social acceptance. The 1980s saw a decline in most drug use, with a slight increase in Cocaine use. Despite this overall decline, most Americans still regard illegal drug use as one of the nation's most serious problems. Opinion polls show the public favors a variety of different approaches to the drug problem. In addition to strict laws, it is vital to effectively treat individuals already suffering from drug dependence and substance abuse, through education, therapy, medicine, and group support. Drug rehabilitation is a key component to a successful campaign against the use of illegal drugs.

At its fundamental level, humans use substances such as alcohol and psychoactive drugs because these substances give the user a feeling of pleasure. Pleasure is a very powerful force. Our brains are wired in such a way that if you do something that gives you pleasure you will probably want to do it again. All drugs that are addicting can energize and enhance the brain's pleasure circuit. Addiction is a chronic disease that affects ones brain, and ones behavior. Addicted individuals abuse drugs without regard to the consequences of health, relationships, money, work etc. It is a consuming disease that not only effects the individual directly, but others indirectly. If left untreated, this disease can lead to the social death, as well as the actual death of the inflicted individual. Proper management must be instituted immediately to return the individual to a life that is more manageable, and drug free. A program of drug rehabilitation best achieves this goal.

Drug rehabilitation is the process of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment for substance abuse. The goal of any drug rehabilitation program is to provide comprehensive drug treatment and alcohol rehabilitation services, and introduce individuals to a new lifestyle free of chemicals. Successful treatment of substance abusers depends upon the severity and nature of the addiction, as well as motivation. Some treatment programs use medicines that neutralize the effects of the drug. Acupuncture has also been successful in treating the cravings that accompany drug withdrawal. Comprehensive substance abuse counseling and education is another component for a successful plan. Evaluating the efficacy of any treatment plan is difficult because of the chronic nature of drug abuse, and the fact that the disease is usually complicated by personal, social, and health factors.

Statistics show that getting sober is easy; staying sober is the hard part, and the first year of recovery is the most difficult. It may take a number of attempts before success is achieved. Nobody chooses to become a drug addict or alcoholic, this disease cannot be wished away, it has to be treated.


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