Abstinence Based Treatment Is Not For Sissies – Why It’s Challenging and Why It Works
Abstinence-based drug and alcohol treatment is not for sissies! What makes it so challenging, and what makes it work?
Why it is challenging:
Well, first of all, when drugs, alcohol, and destructive behaviors have been a part of someone’s life for an extended period of time, the ability to completely abstain from all substances is extremely difficult. The human body and brain can become so accustomed to the influence of a substance, that everyday functioning has become dependent upon the upper or downer effect provided.
Abstinence-based treatment means that clients cannot use any substances while in rehab, or ever again, if they want to stay clean and sober, and live a life of recovery from addiction and its consequences.
Staying substance-free, and thinking about the fact that you can never use your drug, or drugs, of choice ever again, can be daunting, and actually adhering to that can be intensely challenging, so it is definitely not for sissies.
Why it works:
Abstinence-free treatment works because only when you rid your system of all harmful and mind-altering chemicals can you begin to work through the issues that lead to your substance abuse, and kept you using to the point of addiction.
In a lot of addiction cases, there is another diagnosable condition at play. Mental illness like depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia can coexist with a chemical dependency. Without complete abstinence, there is no way to determine what other symptoms have played a part in your road to addiction. The treatment team of a good drug rehab program will continuously evaluate your case, and your symptoms, once you are substance-free. Determining what factors are a part of your recovery will help you understand your addiction and how to cope with triggers and relapse.
When you need treatment to stop destroying your life and your body with drugs and alcohol, abstinence-based treatment is the way to go. While it will present challenges and times in which you want to walk away completely, it will ultimately be the way to change your life for the better.
Take a look at someone like Lindsay Lohan, who refuses to get clean and sober. Where do you think she will be in 5 years if she does not enroll in an abstinence-based treatment program? For most addicts very active in substance use, jail and death, generally by overdose, are the two main outcomes. Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and the list goes on.
Give yourself the chance these individuals will now never have, a healthy, drug-free life.