How Society Pays
The Neurochemistry of Addiction
Addiction: A Genetic Disease
Female Issues

Treatment for Addiction

12-Step Fellowship

Relapse: Sex, Love, and Relationships
Addiction and the Family

Can Addiction Be Cured?

Can diabetes be cured? No. It can be managed successfully with proper treatment. But treatment is lifelong. It's chronic, it's progressive, it's characterized by relapses…and if untreated or mistreated, it can and will result in death.

Yet, addiction, a similar disease, is supposed to be CURED in 7 days…or 28 days of treatment. It doesn't make sense. There is no cure for any of these chronic, progressive diseases. They all require lifelong treatment. Addiction is no different.

"Does That Mean I'm Going To Die From My Addiction?"

No! Unlike the diabetic or person with lung disease who is likely to die from their disease, the addicted individual does not have to die from the disease of addiction.

70 percent of alcoholics who stay engaged in treatment for a least one year achieve lifelong sobriety. With drugs, it's between 50 to 60 percent. Those numbers are much better than for other similar diseases requiring consistent life-long treatment. Yet, there's an expectation that 28 days or intermittent treatment works. It doesn't.

We treat the other chronic, progressive diseases aggressively. If a patient relapses, we prescribe more treatment. If an addicted person relapses, he or she "blew it." Society blames the addict for a lack of willpower or scruples.

Treatment for addiction works…if the person stays engaged in treatment. If the diabetic stops treatment, he or she is likely to relapse and may die. Addiction is no different.

Stay engaged in treatment — whatever the individualized prescription for treatment is — it works if you stay with it. So find a way to stay engaged.

Addiction is a biopsychological disease

…yet the aberrant behavior continues because the addicted individual is continually trying to recreate the Kodak snapshot — it's the only way to escape the quicksand…and the only way to recreate the Kodak snapshot and get out of the quicksand is to grab the vine — the drugs or alcohol…

This is why addicted individuals do what they do.

And the only thing that can break the cycle is treatment.

Recent research studies with PET scans have shown that the amygdala "lights up" with dopamine when a person is doing spiritual meditation. AA and 12-Step Fellowship have known for years that spirituality or some form of contemplative meditation is an important part of treatment. They just don't use the scientific vernacular for it. It simply raises dopamine levels in the amygdala that helps restore some semblance of balance — of normalcy to the addicted person's life — hence, the science validates 12-Step Fellowship and spirituality.

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