Addiction Treatment

Addiction Treatment

“Self Help and The Addicted Mind”

Written By Kirk Markey — January 22, 2017

There has been a revolution in addiction treatment over the past decade or so.  This is great news for the millions who suffer from a substance abuse disorder, as the treatment community has become more responsive to individual needs.  But one thing has remained constant through all the massive changes – recovery from addiction is a group project.

Self Help And Addiction Treatment 

Each year, American consumers spend billions of dollars on self-help materials to assist them with an endless variety of emotional difficulties.  In many cases, self help proves effective in helping the sufferer overcome these difficulties.  It seems especially beneficial in dealing with problems related to finances, relationship, and social anxiety.

Unfortunately for the addict or alcoholic however, self help is often of no avail.  In fact, self help programs can sometimes make addiction problems even worse.  Far too often,  the addict continues to relapse despite their best efforts and spirals further into discouragement.

Why Doesn’t Self Help Work With Addiction?

In a way, the answer is simple.  The addicted mind is fundamentally irrational, at least when it considers itself and its drug abuse.  For the addict, self help amounts to using a damaged tool to fix itself.  Therefore, it cannot be successful.

In clinical terms, addiction is an egocentric disorder.  This means that the sufferer cannot distinguish between fact and fiction in matters related to the self.  This is by no means a condemnation.  The self distortions of the addict are easily explained and should be viewed with compassion.  They derive from childhood trauma, low self esteem, and drug use itself.

The True Path to Recovery Lies in the Group

Despite the many changes in addiction treatment, the essentials of recovery haven’t really changed.  Recovery from addiction still requires the following three things: medical detox, addiction counseling, and long term maintenance.  It’s easy to see that all of these treatments require some form of intervention from the outside.

The revolution in addiction treatment has occurred within these broad parameters.  Self help alone simply will not remedy addiction.  There is absolutely no shame in this state of affairs.  It’s merely a statement of fact and a caution.  No one need continue to suffer from addiction.  They’ll just need a bit of help from the group.