Alcohol Addiction and Rehabilitation

For every addiction there is a recovery program. A common misnomer is that alcohol is addictive. Alcohol in its own right is not addictive. According to Friedbert Weiss PhD. and Linda J. Porrino Ph.D., it is the effects from alcohol on the brain that make it addictive. The effects that make alcohol addictive are the large amount of dopamine and endorphins released into the body. This chemical surge increases the body’s cravings for the effects of the substances.This craving is also elevated by genetics. According to Doctor Todd Detar at the Medical University of South Carolina, the disease of addiction is a chronic brain disease. Not to be confused with a drug dependency, addiction stems from a genetic trait carried down from a parent to child. Addiction manifests as a compulsive obsession to use a substance regardless of its detrimental and sometimes irreversible effects. Generally, once the brain is exposed to the increase of dopamine and endorphins, the constant cravings become stronger and stronger.The stronger the cravings the more substance is consumed, the more substance consumed the more the body becomes accustomed to it. The cycle is vicious and unyielding, until the individual takes the first steps towards recovery. Once the individual realizes that he or she is addicted, they then need to take steps towards recovery. Societal views of addiction rest predominantly on the perception that those fighting addiction are weak or bad people, unwilling to lead productive and moral lives and control themselves. There is also a less common yet existent public view that an addict is victim of their societal situation, according to Alan Leshner. He also states that there is revealing research showing great differences in the brains of the addicted and non-addicted, regardless of the substance. However, with the dramatic latency between scientific advancements and their appreciation by the general public, a large disconnect has formed leaving many in society with older, more out of date views of addiction.Among the common substances abused by millions daily, Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance according to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Alcohol rehabilitation is common around the globe as more people suffer its effects than other substances. Since the 1800′s, leaps and bounds have been made to combat the effects of addiction. Where once drastic measures were taken to fight off the addictive bug, now, consultations with addiction counselors and groups have allowed increased rates of success. Further, depending on the quantity being consumed daily by the individual, some cases may require medical intervention in the beginning; other cases may require an increase in time at a treatment center.Alcohol rehabilitation works; some instances just take a bit longer. According to a study by Stephen A. Maisto, Ph.D., there is an increase in successful addiction recovery based on an increased period of time in treatment. An increase in both residential and medicated outpatient groups showed an increase in success in the recovery of persons fighting addiction. Combined with lecture style training, small group meetings, and one-on-one counseling, individuals have a better chance at a successful recovery than ever.This battle against the disease of addiction is one of the hardest someone will ever fight. Once the brain chemistry is changed, an individual must fight daily against the urge to self-medicate, falling into the grips of substance abuse once more. The pressure is all around to use these addictive substances. That need to relax or calm the nerves is strong, but human will is stronger. Never give in and never give up the fight. Alcohol rehab is a means to recovery; you are the method to success.

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