5 Characteristics of Addiction and its Treatment

Addiction to alcohol and drugs can be a devastating experience for the addict and the family. Addiction is classified as a ‘disease’. It has 5 definite characteristics:

1. It is progressive. Consumption increases over time. Problems associated with drinking and drugging also increase.

2. It is primary. The problem is with the addict – not his spouse, parents, friends, city or society.

3. It is a family disease. Addiction not only affects the addict/ alcoholic, but all those around him or her.

4. It is relapse-prone. Addiction is a chronic condition. Staying clean and sober is nothing but preventing relapse.

5. It is fatal. If not treated, addiction can, and often does kill. Why holistic treatment is best.

Why holistic treatment is best

Addiction affects all areas of the addict’s life – physical, mental, social (relationships), emotional and spiritual. Since it is a psycho-socio-spiritual disease, treatment has to be holistic.

Addiction treatment should address all the affected areas of the addict’s life. In short, it aims at bringing about a significant change in the alcoholic’s personality – changing his or her thinking and behaviour patterns. A change in attitudes is essential.

Addiction treatment methods vary. However, a combination of medical and psychological therapy works best. Traditional therapies such as Yoga and meditation can supplement the therapy process.

The famed 12 Steps approach has proven to be hugely effective and popular worldwide. It originated in Minnesota in the United States and is now widely employed by treatment facilities all over the world.

Addiction treatment needs to be individualized

It should be kept in mind that addiction treatment is complex and deals with the human condition. No two human beings are same. Their cultural and family background varies, as does their individual perceptions. Therefore an effective treatment is individualized to suit the addict’s unique personality.

Hope Trust rehab (est. 2002) incorporates the 12 Steps approach and combines a range of other therapeutic tools to address addictions – such as CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), psychiatry, medical inputs, Yoga and mindfulness. Families from all over the world come to Hope Trust’s international facility in Hyderabad to reclaim their lives from the clutches of addiction.