The Importance of Fighting Addiction as a Whole

The Importance of Fighting Addiction as a Whole

Addiction affects every aspect of life, so the only way to overcome it is to fight it with integrated care

Addiction is a multi-faceted psychological and physiological disease that requires holistic treatment. Many addicts rationalize the disorder as simply a behavioral or medical problem, but this approach does not promote full recovery. Many people who approach treatment this way end up wrestling with excruciating detox only to relapse weeks or months later, because the underlying causes of their addictions went ignored. Addiction affects every aspect of life, so the only way to overcome it is to fight it with integrated care.

Physical and Psychological Aspects of Addiction

While there is a powerful physical aspect to addiction, the physiological aspects of the disease are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Drugs and alcohol replace natural substances in the brain, so when addicts stop using drugs then they will experience the following physical withdrawal symptoms:

  • Shakes and tremors
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Intense anxiety
  • Pain throughout the body
  • Sleep disorders
  • Appetite disorders
  • Headache
  • Seizures

Once an addict’s natural chemical balance restores itself, these symptoms will recede, but this process can take anywhere from a few days to more than 2 weeks.

However, as difficult as physical withdrawal is to endure, the psychological aspects of addiction are much more powerful. Drug and alcohol abuse directly impacts the “pleasure center” of the brain, the part of the prefrontal cortex that manages the following functions:

  • Learning and the formation of habits
  • Memory
  • Impulse control
  • Mood regulation
  • Sleeping and waking
  • Appetite
  • Sexual function
  • Ambition, optimism and pride

Substance abuse provides short-term relief of underlying psychological distress such as is caused by depression, anxiety disorders, compulsive behaviors, loneliness, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) The brain recognizes this relief and then uses every psychological tool at its disposal to maintain it. The following are some of the most common symptoms of psychological addiction:

  • Denying or minimizing the seriousness or consequences of the disease
  • Blaming others for your problems
  • Becoming overconfident in your recovery to the point of convincing yourself that one drink won’t lead to relapse
  • Dishonesty with friends or loved ones about your use of substances
  • Telling yourself you’ll quit tomorrow

Without thorough physical and psychological rehabilitation the odds of lasting recovery are extremely low. Some people relapse after just a few weeks while others can stay sober for months or even years before slipping back into their old habits.

Holistic Addiction Treatment

The most successful and effective treatment programs provide help for the whole addicted person through the following combination of techniques:

  • Individual counseling of various types
  • Group counseling sessions
  • Education about the cause and functioning of addiction
  • Extensive therapy and treatment of any and all emotional disorders
  • Coping skill development and practice
  • Strategic preparation for ongoing sobriety support after treatment
  • Family and marriage counseling when appropriate
  • Spiritual support when needed

These programs often involve intensive inpatient treatment for 30 days or longer followed up by ongoing support group meetings, counseling, and accountability.

24-Hour Addiction Treatment Helpline

For free, no-strings-attached answers to all of your questions and access to the most effective and holistic addiction treatment programs in your area please call our toll-free helpline today. Addiction affects your whole being. We can help you find healing for your whole being as well. Call now.