EDUCATION – What Is Treatment And How Does It Work?

What Is Treatment?

Treatment is the process of going through a rehab program. The purpose of rehab is to get off whatever it is that you’ve been abusing and staying off of it.

But getting and staying off of your addictive behavior is the first part. Once the cravings begin to subside there is much more work to be done if you are to remain abstinent from your addiction.

Addiction is a brain disease that needs to be treated. This brain disease is called Alcoholism. Alcoholism is having a warped and twisted perception of life. We go to our addiction to check out and get relief from our troubled minds.

If an addicts Alcoholism isn’t treated they will be irritable, restless, and discontent, sober. The addict wont be enjoying life sober and they wont have their addiction to temporarily alleviate the pain.

The same way Cancer patients need Chemo Therapy, addicts need to treat their disease too.

How is Alcoholism Treated?



Before the alcoholism can be treated the addict will have to withdrawal from the drugs or alcohol they’ve been using. This is usually done in a hospital but some rehabs have detox programs too.

Going to detox in a controlled environment can prevent very unpleasant or sometimes fatal consequences resulting from the sudden stoppage of drug or alcohol use.

Depending upon the drug, patients in detox go on a medication protocol to alleviate the drug symptoms. For example, an opiate addict will be given suboxone and clonidine.

Once the withdrawals are over in the first week the patient is ready for treatment.


Once and addict goes to rehab they do an intake and assessment which consists of personal information from the past and what and how much they’ve been using.

Patients receive group and individual therapy when they go into treatment. Group therapy sessions have different topics like relapse prevention, anger management, grief & loss, etc.


what is treatment
whether it is art therapy, group meditation, or a process group, group therapy is common in rehab


The patient will meet with a therapist and a drug counselor on a weekly basis. General topics discussed are past and current relationships, things that are troubling them in the day that they are in, accomplishments, etc.

They talk about their past, the environment they grew up in, and relationships with friends and family members. They discover the root of why they’ve been self medicating for so long.

Maybe a traumatic child experience or an abusive father. It is common for alcoholics to feel like they don’t fit in and have low self esteem in childhood. Addicts will commonly share about the amazing sense of relief from that first drink. That all of a sudden they began to feel confident and that they could talk to anybody.

Patients in rehab attend groups and have individualized sessions during the day and got to  meetings at night. They also see a psychiatrist and in some cases get put on medication which can be very helpful if they are suffering from anxiety or depression.

Another form of therapy is bonding with the other addicts in the treatment program. The whole program of Alcoholic Anonymous began with one alcoholic helping another. Alcoholics can relate to one another therefore developing trust, friendships, and support among each other. Long lasting friendships and sometimes marriages and children come out of people meeting in rehab.

Treatment programs that are faith based and non profit will have the addict work along with receiving treatment.

Sober Living

Depending on the case, it is recommended after treatment to go into sober living. Sober living is the half way point between leaving rehab and going completely back into society.

Sober livings have a manager that oversees the residence. They are generally inexpensive and are a great place for an addict to get back out on their feet as they go back into the work environment.

In Sober livings the residents are drug tested weekly. If they test positive while they are there they’ll get thrown out.

Sober livings have curfews in place and have the residents attend a certain amount of meetings per week.

Maintaining Sobriety

Rehab will not cure your addiction. If you want to remain happy and sober you’ll have to change your character. This means changing your mindset which can be done through the twelve steps in Alcoholics Anonymous

Once the obsession to use has been lifted you are still the same person sober if you don’t change and develop a new character. You need to change and be very much aware of your negative thoughts and not allow them to control you. Disassociating yourself from your ego and not letting it control you anymore. The book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Toole is based on this.

The book “Sermon on the Mount” by Emmet Fox is about developing a positive and spiritual mind set. This is crucial if the addict is to remain free from suffering in sobriety.

The addict must stay away from toxic situations and dysfunctional people in order to maintain their serenity in sobriety.

If family members push buttons healthy boundaries must be established to maintain the family relationship.

Making friends with others in recovery is crucial for fellowship and support. This is where real friends are made.

It is important to get a sponsor. A sponsor is someone in a 12 step program that takes you through the steps. They are also someone you can go to for advice in challenging situations.

Regularly attend meetings and pick up a commitment.

Meditate and pray and read inspirational and spiritual literature.

Smart Recovery

Smart recovery is basically group therapy. It is not faith based or predicated on the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous. It is an alternative to those not interested in a spiritual/faith based program.