Treatment. Deciding on which clinic to attend is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Addiction is defined as the continued use of a substance such as drugs or alcohol, or the continued participation in a behaviour, even when it is clear that the substance or behaviour is causing you harm.
The World Health Organisation define addiction as ‘the repeated use of a psychoactive substance or substances, to the extent that the user (referred to as an addict) is periodically or chronically intoxicated, shows a compulsion to take the preferred substance (or substances), has great difficulty in voluntarily ceasing or modifying substance use, and exhibits determination to obtain psychoactive substances by almost any means. Typically, tolerance is prominent and a withdrawal syndrome frequently occurs when substance use is interrupted.
Life as an addict
The life of the addict may be dominated by substance use to the virtual exclusion of all other activities and responsibilities. The term addiction also conveys the sense that such substance use has a detrimental effect on society, as well as on the individual; when applied to the use of alcohol, it is equivalent to alcoholism. Addiction is a term of long-standing and variable usage. It is regarded by many as a discrete disease entity, a debilitating disorder rooted in the pharmacological effects of the drug, which is remorselessly progressive. From the 1920s to the 1960s attempts were made to differentiate between addiction ; and “habituation”, a less severe form of psychological adaptation. In the 1960s the World Health Organization recommended that both terms be abandoned in favour of dependence, which can exist in various degrees of severity.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an umbrella-term for psychotherapeutic approach that that deals with cognitions, interpretations, beliefs and responses, with the aim of influencing problematic emotions and behaviors.
CBT is widely accepted as an evidence-based, cost-effective treatment for many disorders and psychological problems. It is often used with groups as well as individuals, and the techniques are also commonly adapted for self-help manuals. One of the objectives of CBT typically is to identify and monitor thoughts, assumptions, beliefs and behaviors that are related and accompanied to negative emotions and to identify those which are dysfunctional, inaccurate, or simply unhelpful. This is done in an effort to replace them with more realistic and useful ones.
A twelve-step programme is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for the recovery from addiction, or other behavioural problems. A twelve-step programme usually and symbolically represent human structure in three dimensions. These are physical, mental, and spiritual. The original Twelve Steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous are.
The 12 Steps
1. We admit we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn your will and life over to the care of God as you understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Make a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as you understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for you and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, you try to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all your affairs.