Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers Alamogordo NM
Santa Fe, NM
Las Cruces, NM
Rio Rancho, NM
Addiction and Intervention
Addiction and Intervention
Ben Seymour - 9/10/2007
As an interventionist and addiction therapist, one of the most common misconceptions I run across is the idea that somehow, addiction is a moral failing or learned behavior. In fact, some doctors, social workers and even counselors are still misinformed about the true causality of addiction. Many of the families that I encounter when performing the intervention process have been taught or still subscribe to this belief. In the beginning of the process they often report feelings of anger, hurt and betrayal. Many expect the intervention process to be one of consequences and punishment. However, this is not the case. Intervention is a process of love and education. Once the group is properly educated about the disease and sees that medical evidence has been discovered, the anger dissipates and a visible sense of compassion and understanding takes over. It is my belief that once the family, friends and co-workers are properly educated about addiction, any intervention is a successful one.
Addiction in the Media
Every time I turn on the TV I hear about which celebrity got a DUI or checked into rehab today. Yet the latest medical findings and addiction research rarely get any exposure. The American Medical Association (AMA) announced that they viewed alcoholism as a disease in 1956. In 1987 they included drug addiction to this category. So why in 2007, 20 years later, are we still debating whether addiction is a disease? What happened? The latest research proves that addiction is a disease of the brain which can be active prior to any substances being introduced to the body. Scientists have discovered specific differences in the genetic make-up of children born to alcoholic and addicted people. We have brain scans which visibly show the phenomena of craving in the brains of addicts when they are not using. The evidence is astounding and clearly points to the conclusion of addiction being a disease.
The fact is that many diseases are linked with unhealthy behavior. Clogged arteries, heart disease and acquired diabetes are usually the results of eating certain foods, lack of exercise and/or other unhealthy choices, yet no one goes to jail for eating potato chips. It is time for America to face the evidence that well over 80% of our prison populations are made up of untreated addicts. Treatment not only saves tax dollars, it saves lives.
The Role of Intervention
As I mentioned before, addiction and intervention are both hot topics in the media today. However, the majority of Americans still don’t understand what addiction and intervention really are. Many people believe that intervention is the ultimate showdown between the addict and the family. Families and spouses begin to adopt a punitive attitude about "making" the addict stop. They believe if they just threaten and punish the addict enough he or she will somehow "straighten up." Addiction Medicine shows us otherwise. Brain scans...