Knoxville, TN (PressExposure) June 10, 2009 -- The term "addiction" is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence to an activity or substance. Addictive activities such as video gaming and work may pose minimal to major threat to health and social life, but addiction to psychoactive substances may pose deadly health risks to addicts along with the involvement of risks pertaining to the addict's environment or social circle. Professionals have considered drug or alcohol addiction as a disease which affects both the psychological and physical being of a person.
According to studies, addiction is characterized by compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use that persists even in the face of severe adverse consequences. For many people, drug abuse becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence. In fact, relapse to drug abuse occurs at rates similar to those of other well-characterized, chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.
Drug or alcohol addiction, being considered as a disease, is treatable by use of different methods including the use of therapy (or group therapy) and with the use of medications. Though both can be used as an adult and adolescent addiction treatment, professionals have also stated that it could be combined as a way to treat addiction and prevent a relapse from happening.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment by use of Medication
Opioid (heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, oxymorphone, fentanyl or other opioids) antagonists such as naltrexone and nalmefene have also been used successfully in alcohol adult and adolescent addiction treatment, which is often particularly challenging to treat. These drugs have also been used to a lesser extent for long-term maintenance treatment of former opiate addicts, but cannot be started until the patient has been abstinent for an extended period, otherwise they can trigger acute opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment by use of Therapy
Substance-abuse rehabilitation (or "rehab") centers frequently offer a residential treatment program for the seriously addicted in order to isolate the patient from drugs and interactions with other users and dealers. Outpatient clinics usually offer a combination of individual counseling and group counseling. Frequently a physician or psychiatrist will address with prescriptions the side effects of the addiction (the most common side effect that the medications can help is anxiety).
One of many recovery methods employed by different rehabs is the 12 step recovery program, with prominent examples including Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. As one of the most success form of adolescent addiction treatment, it is commonly known and used for a variety of addictions addressing both the addicted individual and the family of the individual.