Addiction to alcohol and drugs can be a devastating experience for the addict and the family. 

Addiction is classified as a 'disease" It has 5 definite characteristics:

  1. It is progressive. Consumption increases over time. Problems associated with drinking and drugging also increase.
  2. It is primary. The problem is with the addict – not his spouse, parents, friends, city or society.
  3. It is a family disease. Addiction not only affects the addict/ alcoholic, but all those around him or her.
  4. It is relapse-prone. Addiction is a chronic condition. Staying clean and sober is nothing but preventing relapse. The addict has to maintain his or her sober status.
  5. It is fatal. If not treated, addiction can, and often does, kill.

Why holistic treatment is best?

Addiction affects all areas of the addict’s life – physical, mental, social (relationships), emotional and spiritual. Since it is a psycho-socio-spiritual disease, treatment has to be holistic.

Addiction treatment should address all the affected areas of the addict’s life. In short, it aims at bringing about a significant change in the alcoholic’s personality – changing his or her thinking and behavior patterns. A change in attitudes is essential, so that the individual learns to manage the normal stresses of life without resorting to alcohol or drugs.

There are different methods adopted by rehab centers and doctors to treat addiction. However, a combination of medical and psychological therapy works best. Traditional therapies such as Yoga and meditation can add immense value to the therapy process. The famed 12 Steps approach has proven to be hugely effective and popular worldwide. It originated in Minnesota in the United States and is now widely employed by treatment facilities all over the world.

Addiction treatment needs to be individualized

It should be kept in mind that addiction treatment is complex and deals with the human condition. No two human beings are same. Their cultural and family background varies, as do their individual perceptions. Therefore an effective treatment should be individualized to suit the addict’s unique personality.