Outdated Treatment Methods Impede Alcohol Addiction Recovery
A person’s struggle with addiction is never easy. Worse, admitting that one has a problem and needs help is only the tip of the iceberg. Many trials and tribulations await those who are serious about trying to kick their bad habit for good. But upon entering treatment, addicts should be supported and treated with respect and concern. They should also receive the most up-to-date, current care available to aid in their recovery. Unfortunately, the testimonies of many who leave recovery facilities are not consistent with this type of care.
Many of us know someone close to us that has been impacted by an alcohol addiction. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports just how rampant that addiction is. Nearly 18 percent of those over 18 years old have a problem with the drug. Worse, alcohol addiction results in over one million deaths in the United States each year.
Alcohol addiction does not just affect the person suffering from addiction but also the family and friends of the addict as well. Alcohol can change a person, and in the process, it can destroy friendships, tear down marriages, alienate children, or cause a person to lose his or her job. Everyone involved in the addict’s life gets dragged down the rocky road of addiction. It is hard to watch someone you care about struggle with this disease.
Many times those struggling with addiction are beat down and broken and don’t feel worthy of respect. They may also be struggling with the guilt of their addiction. This explains why they might not know what is appropriate and what is not appropriate treatment from staff of a rehabilitation center. Journalist Kim Lute described her rehab experience after entering treatment for opioid addiction.
Lute describes an environment full of rules and regulation, devoid of compassion. She recalls being treated like a criminal for choosing to shave her legs on the “wrong” day as there were only certain days where patients were allowed to possess razors. She described a cold, dark room, not unlike a cell, where everything was bolted down. This was not an environment that helped her feel comfortable and at ease when trying to also deal with the pain of withdrawal.
In fact, experiences like these are why as many as 80 percent of patients in these types of centers relapse and fall back into the grips of addiction. These outdated treatment methods that only focus on the physical side of addiction don’t work. Most of the time, alcoholics and addicts in general use these substances to numb themselves from something. In other words, there is something much deeper at the root of the addiction that needs to be confronted.
The modern, enlightened treatment program treats patients with dignity and respect, not like criminals. They provide emotional support and recovery tools to ensure that these individuals succeed in their journey to sobriety. While the instinct might be to think that people who abuse alcohol deserve an unpleasant environment so they “learn their lesson,” the evidence shows that when the treatment center is a pleasant, homey environment, participants get more out of it and are more likely to complete treatment, which is the biggest indicator of whether or not a person will stay sober in the long run.