Addiction Therapy Can Help Individuals Overcome Substance Abuse Issues

Traditional definitions of addiction, including criteria of physical dependence and withdrawal have been modified with an increased understanding. With the introduction of certain types of drugs, such as cocaine, that are psychologically or neuropsychologically addicting, and with the realization that its stereotypical application to opiate-drug users was invalid because many of them remain occasional users with no physical dependence. Addiction is now defined by continuing, compulsive drug use despite physical or psychological harm to the user and society, and it includes both prescription and illicit drugs. The term "substance abuse" is now frequently used because of the broad range of substances that can fit the addictive profile. Psychological dependence is the subjective feeling that the user needs the drug to maintain a feeling of well-being. Physical dependence is characterized by tolerance (the need for increasingly larger doses in order to achieve the initial effect) and withdrawal symptoms when the user is abstinent. Addiction therapy has proven to be effective at treating individuals suffering from this condition.

There Are Many Definitions Of Addiction And Addiction Treatment

Many definitions of drug abuse and addiction are subjective and tend to be infused with the political and moral values of the society or culture in which it occurs. For example, the stimulant caffeine in coffee and tea is a drug used by millions of people, but because of its relatively mild stimulatory effects and because caffeine does not typically engender antisocial behavior in users. Drinking coffee and tea, despite the fact that caffeine is physically addictive, is not generally considered drug abuse. Even narcotics addiction is seen only as drug abuse in certain social contexts. In Pakistan and Afgansitan opium has been used for centuries without becoming unduly corrosive to the social fabric. In such a society the concept of addiction treatment would be quite alien if no less necessary from our own concept of drug addiction therapy.

A Drug Treatment Program Has Answers

The United States has the highest substance abuse rate of any industrialized nation. Government statistics have shown that 40% of the United States population has tried marijuana, cocaine, or another illicit drug at some time. By comparison, 71% of the population has smoked cigarettes and 82% has tried alcoholic beverages. Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug. Many individuals who have been affected by the pain of substance abuse have gotten help at a drug treatment program and have been able to stay sober permanently.