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What is drug and alcohol addiction?

Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease of the brain that compels a person to become singularly obsessed with obtaining and abusing drugs despite their many adverse health and life consequences. [NIDA, 2008] Drugs and alcohol affect the human brain to the point where a person’s memory, judgment and ability to function are inhibited. The disease of drug addiction is preventable and treatable.

What is the process of addiction?
There are three stages of addiction – early, middle and chronic. The early stage of addiction is marked by growing tolerance and dependency, intermittent problems with self, friends, family, career and health. The middle stage of addiction presents itself with progressive loss of control, increasing problems with self, friends, family career and health. The final stage of addiction, chronic stage, is when ones’ life revolves around the substance abused with severe deterioration of self, friends, family, career and health.

What is a relapse?
A relapse is the return of a disease after a period of remission or cessation. Just like people suffering from other chronic diseases, i.e., diabetes, tuberculosis, cancer and obesity, are prone to relapsing – so do addicts. There are many triggers that can cause a relapse like withdrawal symptoms, cravings, co-occurring disorders, environment factors, and the list goes on. It’s key to understand that relapse is part of drug addiction and should not be seen as a testament to a persons’ will to quit. Relapsing after being sober is just like cancer coming back after it’s been in remission. There are prevention programs that offer individualized treatment to minimize the risk of relapse.

Can relapse be prevented?
There are two schools of thoughts on whether relapse can be prevented or not. The first says that since addiction is a chronic disease relapse is naturally a part of recovery. Other known chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity support this theory. The second, which we support and implement, believes that relapse doesn’t have to be part of recovery. It is our goal to take the relapse out of recovery through our multi-disciplinary approach to drug and alcohol treatment that, when followed, results in a relapse free life. We are determined to change the concept of relapse being a part of recovery through our specialized aftercare relapse programs. It is our goal to take the relapse out of recovery. Relapse can be eliminated through proper prevention, treatment, education and implementation of individualized recovery plans. There are thousands of individuals who’ve remained sober and relapse-free so it’s not a far-fetched or unattainable goal.

What is the best treatment for drug and alcohol abuse?
The best treatment for drug and alcohol abuse consists of incorporating a multidisciplinary approach. Multidisciplinary approaches bridge the gap between traditional and non-traditional methodology. An example of multidisciplinary approaches to drug and alcohol treatment is what Palm Partners uses in our treatment programs. Palm Partners offers medical detoxification, clinical therapy, rapid trauma resolution therapy, holistic therapy, personal fitness, life coaching, recovery coaching, 12 step programs and individualized recovery planning. Research has proven that multidisciplinary approaches to drug and alcohol treatment along with a solid recovery plan decrease the chance of relapse. [NIDA, 2009]

What is recovery?
Let’s start with what recovery is not. Recovery is not solely the abstinence from alcohol and drugs. Recovery is a developmental process of progression that consists of the following six stages:

  • Pre-treatment – Recognition of Addiction
  • Stabilization – Withdrawal and Coping Management
  • Early Recovery – Acceptance and Non-chemical Coping
  • Middle Recovery – Balance Living
  • Late Recovery – Personality Changes
  • Maintenance – Growth and Development

Recovery is not the end of the yellow brick road but a lifelong process that requires action, discipline and a plan that works specifically for you. At Palm Partners we focus on implementing recovery into each treatment program we offer. An overview of the goals of each phase of recovery is listed below:

Phase One of Recovery

  • To stabilize emotionally, physically, socially and mentally in the environment.
  • To become educated about your disease and/or disorders.
  • To become motivated to do something about it.
  • To begin practicing a recovery program.

Phase Two of Recovery

  • To continue your education regarding addiction and recovery.
  • To maintain your recovery gains and refine your initial recovery plans.
  • To identify the personal difficulties and generate solutions to maintain active recovery.
  • To identify necessary life skills your need to develop those skills to live a productive lifestyle.

Phase Three of Recovery

  • To continue refining recovery plan as you grow in your recovery.
  • To continue your development of life skills.
  • To identify your goals for the future and plans of how to achieve them.

Recovery does not end here; these are just the foundations of the recovery process as implemented throughout our treatment programs. Once in treatment you’ll be guided through each goal to help you transition from one phase to the next. Recovery is life changing and requires an overall assessment of one’s life in respects to self, family, friends, career, social and work. Every part of one’s’ life must be re-evaluated and a plan of recovery developed to become successful.

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If you’d like to know more about addiction, relapse and recovery or would like to get help for your addiction contact our addiction specialist at 1-877-711-4673.

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