Regardless of how widespread drug addiction, especially opiate addiction, is in this country, many people still have huge misconceptions about drug addiction and what it takes to get and stay sober. Many people incorrectly assume that addiction is a choice and overcoming addiction is as easy as making a different choice, but that idea is far from reality. Here’s why drug addiction requires professional help to overcome.

What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction, also referred to as substance use disorder, is a dependence on a legal or illegal drug or medication. Alcohol and nicotine are legal substances, but are also considered drugs. When a person is addicted, they’re not able to control their drug use and may continue using the drug despite the physical, psychological or emotional harm it causes. Drug addiction can cause an intense craving for the drug. A person may want to quit, but most people find they can’t do it on their own. Drug addiction can cause serious, long-term consequences, including problems with physical and mental health, relationships, employment, and the law.

What does it take to overcome a drug addiction?

There is no one-size-fits-all process to overcome a drug addiction. Research shows that combining treatment medications (where available) with behavioral therapy is the best way to ensure success for most patients. Treatment approaches must be tailored to address each patient’s drug use patterns and drug-related medical, psychiatric, and social problems. A successful drug rehab center is one that is able to create customized foundations resulting in long-term success in sobriety. Since addiction can affect so many aspects of a person’s life, treatment has to address the needs of the whole person to be successful. The best programs for drug addiction integrate a variety of rehabilitative services into their comprehensive treatment programs. Treatment professionals will leverage treatments for meeting the specific medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal needs of their patients to foster their recovery from addiction, which is why drug addiction requires professional help.

Is it not possible to overcome addiction on your own?

While it is possible for someone to overcome a drug addiction on their own, there are several factors that make it difficult, if not dangerous. First, as mentioned above, drug addiction is based on several factors, ranging from emotional to genetic to social. Understanding what caused the addiction in the first place, or triggers drug use, is critical in overcoming addiction in the long run. Second, depending on the type and severity of the addiction, trying to treat an addiction on your own can be very dangerous. For those addicted to substances like alcohol, opiate painkillers (i.e., Vicodin, Percocet, etc.), heroin or benzodiazepines (i.e., Xanax or Valium), the initial detox process is intense and should be done under medical supervision, also known as medical detox. Under the strict supervision of experienced medical and addiction treatment personnel, the medical detox process will allow you to withdraw gradually from the substances you are abusing, and you can do so in a manner which minimizes the dangers of the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that occur when you quit taking substances. Anyone who wants to get off a dependence on alcohol or drugs should only pursue detox through a licensed detox facility where the process is monitored and supervised by medical professionals. Sudden drug cessation can cause hallucinations, convulsions, and even heart seizure that may result in death. This is an excellent reason not to try to detox on your own and why drug addiction requires professional help.

Drug treatment is much more than simply stopping the use of drugs


Study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration

Drug treatment professionals understand that drug addiction treatment starts when drug usage stops, but there is so much more involved than simply stopping use. As highlighted above, many issues cause drug use, and stopping drug use does not make those issues go away. Drug treatment professionals look at all aspects of the addiction, and work with patients not only to get sober but to stay sober. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the relapse rate for drug addiction is 40% to 60%. It recommends a treatment program that begins with medical detoxification followed by behavioral therapy and relapse prevention. Detox alone is not an effective treatment for addiction.

Understanding the cause of addiction, what kinds of treatments are needed, and the dangers of going it alone illustrate why drug addiction requires professional help to overcome.

If you’re struggling with addiction, contact Scottsdale Recovery Center now to get the help you need. For over a decade, Scottsdale Recovery Center has offered an acclaimed recovery environment that merges upscale and luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare, providing “The Gold Standard in Care” with the Joint Commission Accreditation. 

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 602-346-9142.

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