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Avoid transfer of addiction when detoxing Information

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Avoid transfer of addiction when detoxing

There has been some recent discussion about the dangers associated with how we classify and treat addictions.  Although it is now becoming recognised that addiction is a disease of the brain, some are concerned about how this affects the treatment options we utilise to help those who are suffering. 

In a recent article published by ABC News (2011) a doctor makes remarks about how our tendency to treat the disease of addiction with medication may be causing further problems down the line.  They report that treating addiction with further substances can lead to a transfer of addiction, where rather than being addicted to alcohol or heroin for example, people become addicted to the medications that have helped them overcome the initial addiction.  This is causing further difficulties for both hospitals and rehab clinics alike as they are less able to offer effective treatment for addiction to prescription drugs than for illicit substances.

In a detox clinic, UK residents are able to access treatment to help them begin their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction by ridding their body of the substances.  However at present, detox clinics are unable to provide a detox for prescription drugs as there has not yet been one developed, and as such transferring an addiction to typical substances to prescription drugs can cause more harm than good.

It is in the interest of most addicted individuals to have access to detoxification centers and rehab clinics that are able to fully address all of the issues associated with addiction, rather than only treating the physical symptoms of addiction. 

Addiction is a extremely complex disease, and although drug treatments can be very valuable in helping treat addicted individuals, often it is not the only avenue that should be explored.


ABC News.  (2011).  The beginning of the end of residential drug and alcohol treatment?  Sourced from:  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/addiction-treatment-medicalization-wrong-approach/story?id=13642451#.T3LlbWGPUl8

Article published on 05/04/2020 by PCUG Addiction Treatment