By definition, a cure is something that’s supposed to restore good health and end a disease permanently. While many diseases have cures, there’s no cure for addiction. An addiction can be managed, but it’s a chronic disease. As such, it takes a lifetime to manage your sobriety.
Why It’s Impossible to Find a Cure for Addiction
Reputable drug treatment centers will never promise to “cure” an addiction. Like asthma or diabetes, an addiction is a chronic disease. With treatment, individuals may become sober, but they have to work to retain their sobriety.
The reason why people can’t get a cure for addiction has to do with how addictions work. Some people have genetic predispositions to become addicts, and other individuals develop their addiction because of environmental causes. Once people become addicted, their mind becomes rewired to expect drug or alcohol to feel normal. They may feel like they need to use to feel comfortable in social situations or when they are under stress. The physiology that caused the addiction remains long after the addiction is treated.
An Alternative to a Cure for Addiction
While an addiction can’t be “cured,” it’s possible to remove the behavioral, physical and mental components that fuel the addiction. Triggers in the environment like certain people, bars, clubs or stressors can make a relapse more likely. By learning how to manage these addictions, individuals have to learn how to avoid, recognize and handle triggers.
One of the first goals of addiction treatment is to help addicted individuals learn how to deal with cravings. Some people wrongly believe that a patient will no longer have cravings after treatment. In reality, cravings will still occur. The difference is in how patients respond to these cravings. With professional help, individuals can manage cravings through behavioral techniques, exercise or emotional support.
Can an Addiction Be Successfully Treated?
While an addiction can’t be cured, it certainly can be treated. With treatment, you can learn how to manage the disease and live a productive life. While it won’t always be easy, recovery is possible. Evidence-based programs, pet-friendly rehabs and supportive environments can help you to begin your journey toward sobriety.
Does a Relapse Mean Failure?
Relapsing after treatment doesn’t mean that the treatment failed. While no one wants to relapse, it can happen. It doesn’t mean that you are weak-willed or not committed to your program. When a relapse does occur, it’s important to reaffirm your desire to stay sober and get back on track. A relapse doesn’t mean that you have to give up. You just have to readjust your program and commit to becoming sober again.
With treatment, you can learn how to manage your addiction. You can live a productive, fulfilling life and stop drinking or using drugs. If you or a loved one needs help managing an addiction, contact the Hills Treatment Center at 866-323-4665.