For many decades, the accepted view on alcoholism and addiction was clear-cut and simple: addiction is a disease. This disease model of addiction shaped treatment, changed social outlook on addiction and became the acceptable excuse for all individuals suffering from addiction to alcohol. On any given day, actors posing as doctors on television commercials confidently tell us that addiction is a disease. But is alcoholism truly a disease? To truly understand the most effective treatment for alcoholism, it’s first important to understand why the disease model developed.
History of the “Alcoholism is a Disease” Concept
The idea of alcoholism as a disease has been around since the early 1800s. By the late 19th century, scientists and physicians began to more broadly recognize it as an addiction and disorder. In the mid-20th century, advances in medical science helped solidify the concept that alcoholism was a treatable chronic illness. In 1956, the American Medical Association named it a “disease of chronic progression.” Today, alcoholism is widely accepted as an addiction and mental health disorder that can be treated with professional help.
Although the specific causes of alcoholism remain largely unknown, scientists have identified several biological, genetic, environmental, and psychological factors that contribute to its development. Treatment often involves a combination of behavioral therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. With proper support and treatment, individuals with alcoholism can lead successful, healthy lives.
By the end of the 20th century, governmental organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) were referring to alcohol use disorder as a disease. The WHO defines it as “a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking.” Today, alcoholism is widely recognized as a serious illness that requires professional treatment.
Heading into the 21st century, advances in medical science have helped solidify alcoholism’s status as an addiction and mental health disorder. With proper help, individuals with alcoholism can learn to manage their condition and live full and healthy lives.
How Alcohol Addiction Treatment Has Developed
Treatment for alcoholism has evolved significantly over the years. The earliest treatments were based on religious and moral approaches, which emphasized abstinence as the only way to recover. As medical science advanced, more humane treatments with a focus on harm reduction began to emerge. This included hospitalization and detoxification followed by counseling and support services.
In the mid-20th century, advances in medical science helped solidify the concept that alcoholism was a treatable chronic illness. Various types of therapy and medication-assisted treatments were developed to help individuals manage their addiction. Today, treatment often involves a combination of behavioral therapies (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy), support groups, 12-step programs, and lifestyle changes.
With proper help and support, individuals with alcoholism can learn to manage their condition and live full and healthy lives. It’s important to remember that recovery takes time, but is possible with the right treatment plan and dedication.
The understanding of alcoholism as a medical condition has come a long way over the centuries. Today, it’s widely recognized as an addiction and mental health disorder that requires professional help. With the right support and treatment, individuals with alcoholism can lead successful, healthy lives.
Importance of a Support System
The inclusion of family, friends and a support system in treatment is vital for a successful recovery. Having a supportive community can make all the difference in recovery, as it provides someone with resources and encouragement to stay sober. A support system should consist of understanding family and friends, professional therapists or counselors, and others who have been through similar experiences.
This support network will provide necessary emotional strength during treatment, help identify triggers for relapse, and provide necessary accountability. A support system can help someone stay on track with their recovery goals by offering emotional encouragement, providing moral support, and helping the person avoid destructive behaviors. Ultimately, having a comprehensive support network will increase motivation to stay sober while decreasing the risk of relapsing.
Support networks also provide an opportunity for recovering alcoholics to connect with others in the same situation. Hearing stories of successful recovery can help someone struggling to stay sober, and knowing that they’re not alone can be a tremendous source of comfort. In addition, joining support groups offers a chance to build relationships with other people who understand what it is like to battle this addiction. These connections can provide an invaluable level of understanding and empathy that can be hard to find elsewhere.
Get Alcoholism Help From Apex Recovery San Diego
At Apex Recovery San Diego, we help you identify motivating factors for long-term change, develop necessary skills to maintain recovery and include your loved ones in your recovery. We treat individual patients and their unique needs through a model that we recognize is not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to give you the support you need to make positive changes. Call Apex Recovery San Diego today at 619.458.3435 or reach out online for help.