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May 14 2019

Treating Addiction

By Barbara Radin Fox for The Island Connection

In the previous column I wrote about addictions. This month I will address the treatment for this disease.

First of all, it is important to note that there is no cure for addictions. There is treatment, however, that is called “recovery” that puts this disease in remission.

For some addictions, abstinence is the only way to achieve recovery or remission. It is virtually impossible for someone who is truly an addict, not just using or abusing something, to control or try to reduce the use of alcohol or other drugs or to only gamble one time per week, month or year.

There are some addictions, though, that are difficult to treat because the addict needs to somehow learn to control. These addictions include food, sex, money, and work and anything else that one needs to do in order to live.

 This brings us to discussing how to be abstinent or how to control the addictions.

There are several levels of treatment as follows.

  1. Individual counseling with a therapist who is knowledgeable about treatment for addictions. I and other therapists use EMDR therapy and other mind-body therapies successfully for the treatment of addictions.
  2. Twelve step groups such as AA, GA, SA. Attendance of 90 meetings in 90 days is recommended in the beginning of treatment. Celebrate Recovery is another self-help group available.
  3. Outpatient treatment through an alcohol and other drug treatment program. There are several options locally, including MUSC, Palmetto Behavioral Health, The Charleston Center, The Kennedy Institute, Barrier Islands Psychiatry, Dr. Buncher, Waypoint Recovery, VA Hospital, Dorchester Drug and Alcohol Treatment, Step Up, Inc., Crossroads, Charleston Recovery Center, HarborMoon Recovery.
  4. Inpatient treatment for alcohol and other drugs, food, gambling or sex addictions. Locally there is MUSC or Palmetto Low Country Behavioral Health for alcohol or other drugs. There are many other inpatient programs outside of the Charleston area and information on these could be obtained from a therapist.

 Barbara Radin Fox is a Licensed Independent Social Worker – Clinical Practice. Email health questions or suggestions about health related topics to For Your Health provides meaningful information, but does not constitute specific medical advice.

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