Biophysical Drug Rehab Treatment
Just because many of the alcohol and drug rehab centers that we find throughout the country use the 12-step treatment, it does not mean that they are solely religious in nature. However, it does mean that these programs put emphasis on the notion that addiction is a disease. This is problematic for a number of different reasons; the first being that there is no scientific evidence that supports the theory that it is in fact ‘a disease’.
The fact is that addiction is a learned behavior and as with any behavior, it can be 'unlearned' as well. We are not suggesting that this process is easy; we are merely saying it is possible. The proof is no more evident than when we look at those individuals that accept it as a 'disease'. What follows is a life of someone struggling with addiction - constantly dealing with relapse and unable to make long-term changes. Those who perceive addiction as behavioral (not a disease), learn how to undo the behavior and can once again live a life without the use of drugs and alcohol.
Unfortunately, the disease theory opens the door to treating dependence with drug replacement therapy. We see examples of this in medications designed solely to prevent the consumption of alcohol and in replacing an illegal narcotic with a legal one (i.e. Suboxone, methadone, and heroin). The problem is that this type of therapy rarely, if ever, works. This is because more drugs will not resolve the underlying issues that led to a person turning to alcohol or narcotics in the first place. When drug replacement therapy fails, it often opens the door to far more serious problems (emotionally or physically).
The Principles of Any Effective Program
Even though there are a variety of different approaches and styles that programs use, there are a number of characteristics that all treatment facilities should have in common regardless of funding base, religious affiliation or philosophy. These include:
- Recognizing the need for detox - Any program should recognize that there can be no true recovery until the person is no longer struggling with withdrawal symptoms or physical cravings. A good program will ensure that there is a medically trained staff member on site while a patient is going through the detoxification process.
- Both intake and evaluation come first - Any program should have the patient undergo a thorough intake and evaluation process. Even though two patients may both struggle with a dependence on the same illicit substance, the course of action for either patient could be different. It is also important that a patient undergo a physical to avoid potential complications during recovery.
- The primary goal is stabilization - Even though drug detoxification should not be the only step, it needs to be the first step. This is the same for both outpatient and inpatient treatment options. The person needs to be lucid and aware of his or her own surroundings before any type of change can be made.
- The secondary goal is reintegration - Even though it is great to see a patient do well in a treatment facility, the end goal for any program should be to have the patient walk out of the program without the fear of relapse. This means leaving the past behind, making smarter decisions in the future and having the strength and confidence to deal with potential obstacles down the road.
Biophysical Rehab Programs
Once you learn there are a number of different treatment options available either for yourself or someone that you care about, you may begin to wonder how they differ from one another. One of the largest differences between the traditional program and biophysical rehab treatment centers is that the latter does not give credence to the notion that addiction is a disease, nor does it support the practice of using more drugs (legal medication that still comes with side effects) to treat addiction.
Instead, biophysical drug rehabs have a proven record when it comes to making sure that the patient feels good enough to be able to succeed with the rest of the rehabilitation process. This is important because most people arrive at a rehab center feeling sick, tired and unable to focus on the actual treatment that is offered. This type of holistic rehab approach uses a long-term detoxification method that combines specialized nutritional supplements, light exercise and a medical sauna therapy to eliminate all drugs and alcohol from the body.
The reason that this is such an important component is because our body knows that illicit substances are bad for us and it does what it can in order to protect itself from this harm. As a result, it will try to store some of the toxic residue within our fatty tissue. When the body does that, the liver does not have to worry about filtering out all of the deadly toxins. However, the problem is that over time, the fatty tissue slowly breaks down and releases these toxins back into the bloodstream. If not treated with a biophysical rehab regimen, this stored drug and alcohol residue releases back into the blood during normal metabolic processes. This not only makes the patient ill, but will likely lead to an increased desire to use the illicit substance.
Ending Drug and Alcohol Relapse
Most patients who have previously undergone treatment can tell you that serious cravings lead to the desire to use again. This may occur days, months, or even years after completing the traditional 30-day rehab programs. There are certainly emotional triggers that have to be dealt with, but many of these serious cravings are because of drug metabolites that are stored away and can remain in our body for many years. Physical exertion, caffeine, chocolate, sexual activity and other metabolic events can trigger the release of these toxins until the cravings become overwhelming.
The biophysical rehab program is one of the few programs that consider this important component and focuses on getting the patient’s body to release these stored toxins fully. Once eliminated, there are no more physical cravings; they are simply gone and do not return. Prior to treatment, most will find it hard to remember what it feels like to live a life without these urges or cravings.
This type of treatment provides that relief, along with the ability to heal oneself because of having all toxic residue eliminated on a cellular level. When seeking out a non-religious drug rehab program or non-12 step rehab facility, it would be smart to find one that also provides a biophysical rehab treatment regimen as part of their overall rehabilitation process.