Drug abuse and addiction are complex problems that can only be resolved with thorough rehabilitation treatment that aids the individual in addressing and resolving all of the causes and effects of drug use. At some point in the individual’s life, he encountered some difficult life event that he either didn’t want to deal with or didn’t know how to deal with. He made a conscious decision to use drugs in order to deal this difficulty, and things continued downhill after that point. Drugs were not able to help the individual actually resolve the difficulty for which they were taken, but they did provide the individual with relief by numbing the undesirable sensations of that difficulty. Regular drug use can lead into tolerance, wherein the individual no longer experiences the desired effects through the same amount of drug ingestion. This new problem is “handled” by taking more drugs, or sometimes more potent drug substances. Since drug substances interfere with the normal functions of the human body, their regular ingestion can cause the body to create a new normal that includes drug use. This is drug dependence, and takes the individual’s control over their drug use entirely out of their hands as they are driven by powerful cravings and the desire to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms to continue their drug-seeking behavior. Many individuals describe drug addiction as a trap from which they are completely unable to escape. This is why addiction treatment is so valuable. Addiction Treatment The purpose of addiction treatment is to help an individual successfully and fully recover from drug problems by helping them address and resolve all of the physical, mental and emotional causes and effects of drug use. Addiction treatment normally includes the following components: ● Physical detoxification to help the individual withdraw from and eliminate drug toxins as safely and comfortably as possible. ● Counseling services to help the individual get to the root causes for their initial and continuing drug use and address and resolve these. Counseling can also help the individual rebuild their self-confidence and self-respect so they can repair their life and build a stronger future. ● Life skills courses to help the individual gain the tools and abilities they need in order to have a happier, more productive future. Unfortunately, an individual who simply enrolls in addiction treatment services and goes through the motions of recovery is unlikely to actually achieve and maintain their sobriety. Successful addiction treatment requires that the individual be dedicated to and disciplined in their treatment, and willing to make changes in their life that will lead to successful recovery. Changes To Be Made During Addiction Treatment Obviously an individual who is suffering from substance abuse or addiction will need to change the way they think and act in life. The main changes that need to be made during addiction treatment include: ● How one deals with stress. Stress is one of the leading causes for drug use, and the simple fact is that addiction treatment itself can often be highly stressful. The recovering substance abuser or addict needs to find healthy new ways to deal with stress that are helpful during addiction treatment and into the future. ● The people one associates with in life. A recovering substance abuser or addict needs to surround himself with healthy, happy people who are able to solve problems and live happily without drug use. ● What one does in their free time. If a recovering substance abuser previously spent a lot of time sitting on the couch and watching television or hanging around with substance-abusing friends, they definitely need to change these patterns and routines in order to successfully achieve and maintain their recovery. ● One’s view of self. Many substance abusers and addicts suffer from low self-confidence and self-respect. However, these difficult emotions are not conducive to one’s success in recovery or in life. A recovering substance abuser needs to recognize their ability to successfully restore their ability to live a healthy, happy and productive life. Setting and reaching small goals along the path to recovery can be very helpful in this area. It’s true that addiction treatment is far from fast or easy, but it is well worth it when the individual is able to move forward into a drug-free future. Making changes to one’s life allows the individual to have control over their successful recovery and freedom in designing the foundation for one’s future.