One of the great advantages of addiction treatment is that there is often plenty of education provided on what addiction is.
You have the opportunity to learn about what makes addiction a disease, as well as what makes addiction an illness that you can turn around.
Getting educated on the illness of addiction arms you with what you need to turn addiction on its head.
In fact, learning about addiction as well as the patterns that contribute to it – such as powerlessness, co-dependency, enabling, a tendency to behave compulsively, blaming others, and feeling shame – facilitate making different choices in life.
For instance, if you recognize that you tend to feel powerless in certain situations, you can try to stay empowered in that situation in the future. Although this might not happen the first time, continuing to consciously make that change can bring great feelings of inner power and strength.
Drug addiction treatment isn’t simply about detoxing from the drug; it’s also a process of detoxing from the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to continued use of the drug. And to go through this sort of detoxification first requires learning about the types of thoughts that often accompany addiction.
Resources for Learning About Addiction Include:
- As already mentioned, treatment is likely to include opportunities to learn about the illness of addiction. And, coupled with this education, the environment itself can help someone get sober. These two factors combined can greatly facilitate sobriety for many men and women, and has.
Working with a therapist
- Many therapists specialize in addiction. Some of them might have an addiction history of their own, bringing with them not only expertise and knowledge but also personal experience. Working with a therapist allows you to ask questions and dive into learning about addiction with an expert.
- There is a wealth of knowledge about addiction online. However, one caution is to be sure that the sites you’re visiting are trustworthy. There is a great amount of misinformation online that might steer you in the wrong direction. A few sites that can be trusted include:
Reading texts and books on addiction and its treatment
- This can also be a great resource. You might go to the library and borrow some books on addiction that speak to you. Another reason why this is a great way to learn about addiction is that you don’t have to face the stigma of addiction quite yet. If you’re going to get treatment, shame or guilt about experiencing an addiction might get in the way of treatment, as it does for many people. However, initially reading about the disease can facilitate initial change.
Working with a drug counselor
- Similar to working with a therapist, a drug counselor can provide you with support, guidance, and information about addiction.
Regularly attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings
- Just by being in the milieu of recovery you are likely to learn plenty real-life stories about how to get sober and stay that way.
Lastly, another way to learn more about addiction is to understand how a clinician or drug counselor might view it. For instance, he or she may rely on The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This is the standardized text and clinical reference used by psychologists and therapists across North America to diagnose their clients. Often, prior to being admitted to a residential treatment center, a clinician might use the DSM to arrive at a diagnosis. The DSM also explains that the activation of the brain’s reward system is the key to drug abuse problems. Once the cycle of addiction activates the internal reward system, a rush in the brain, that behavior can become the sole focus of one’s life to the exclusion and detriment of other life-activities.
Learning about addiction makes you smarter than the illness, and that prepares you for making the changes you want to make.
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