Addiction is a serious disease and just as with other medical issues, treatment should be left to the professionals.
Drug Abuse Stats
According to a recent survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 23.6 million Americans age 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem, but only 10.8% of them received treatment at a facility specializing in the treatment of substance abuse disorders.
You wouldn’t go to a foot doctor to treat heart disease or to a dentist for broken leg. In the same way, drug addiction should be treated by a professional trained specifically in that area. A professional treatment program staff has the experience to assess an individual properly, determine if detox is needed, recommend an appropriate treatment plan customized to the individual and uncover any co-occurring issues such as trauma, depression, past sexual or physical abuse or bipolar disorder that may be contributing to addiction.
The Roots of Addiction
Genetics can play a role in addiction. Scientists continue to look for “addiction genes,” but what they are really searching for are biological differences that may make someone more or less vulnerable to addiction, according to Learn.Genetics, the University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center.
Experts agree that scientists will never find just one addiction gene. Susceptibility to addiction is the result of many interacting genes. Like other behavioral diseases, addiction vulnerability is a very complex trait. Many factors determine the likelihood that someone will become an addict.
Detox and Treatment
While we can’t accurately predict who will or won’t abuse drugs, we do know the best way to treat an addiction once it appears: a professional treatment program gives you the best possible chance at long-term sobriety. It can be tempting to think you can overpower a chemical addiction by sheer willpower, but hoping and wishing won’t make those very real physical cravings go away. And trying to manage the effects of chemical withdrawal without medical supervision can be downright dangerous.
Symptoms of physical dependence on a drug can include drug cravings, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes and more. Some substances are so powerful that sudden withdrawal can even be fatal. That’s why medical detox is so important.