A Contemporary View of Drug Addiction and Substance Use Disorder

The way we perceive addiction, substance use disorders and mental health makes all the difference in how we treat them.

Decision Point takes a contemporary view of the disease of addiction and one that is shared by leading addiction medicine researchers and clinicians. We view addiction as a chronic disease, not a choice. While suffering from the disease of addiction is nothing to be ashamed of, bad feelings, frustration, anger, damaged relationships and poor health can result from the symptoms of untreated addiction and its associated behaviors. Learning the skills to effectively manage the disease of addiction is absolutely possible. And like any chronic condition, addiction must be managed throughout one’s life. But this does not mean having to live life any less fully or with limitations. On the contrary, we believe that by learning to manage the condition of addiction and its associated disorders, people become better at learning to overcome the many other adversities they will encounter throughout their lives. We believe that treating addiction should be seen as a positive and healthful path of hope and growth.

Being a chronic disease also means that it's possible for symptoms of addiction to periodically recur. In traditional recovery settings, relapse is seen as a failure. Increasingly, however, the field of addiction medicine is coming to view relapse as an acceptable aspect of a normal recovery, and that the goal of treatment should be ongoing reduction of the number, duration and severity of relapses. Giving people the tools to anticipate and recognize their relapse and seek help getting back on track reduces their pain, reduces harm, and eases the burden and cost of addiction treatment on families, loved ones, and a medical system ill-equipped to treat this specialized condition. At Decision Point, we believe that part of successful addiction treatment means helping our clients achieve the resilience needed to keep the symptoms of addiction in remission and under control, and to quickly stop a relapse from taking them back out of recovery.

Modern Techniques for Greater Treatment Effectiveness and Comfort

A deep and thorough assessment makes an enormous difference in effectively treating the co-occurring issues of substance use disorder, mental health and failure to launch syndrome. Only by truly understanding the complete nature of each person's problems and experiences can we design a drug and or alcohol addiction treatment plan that best applies the therapies and thinking to help the range of issues, not just treating all clients for addiction or substance abuse alone. 

While many traditional addiction treatment programs do not embrace the use of medications in treatment, Decision Point believes that every thoroughly tested, approved and efficacious treatment option should be made available to our clients. Modern medications are reshaping the field of addiction treatment and offering new hope to sufferers. Medicines such as naltrexone (branded as Vivitrol or Revia) help reduce the long-term cravings of drug and alcohol addiction and decrease the frequency and likelihood of relapse. Not only can these medications help people stay in remission, they can make living free from opioids and alcohol a much more comfortable experience. New medical research is promising new therapies in the near future and we will work to stay abreast of this progress to ensure the best therapies become available to our clients.

Decision Point is an organization deeply experienced in the traditional approaches to addiction treatment, but also very open to evolving ideas and understandings of this disease and its treatment. Much of the cognitive behavioral therapy, experiential therapies and psychology that we practice is informed by long-established proven methodologies. At the same time, we believe that by remaining open to advances in addiction medicine and learnings from the field of neuroscience, we can remain an innovative and forward-thinking resource for our clients and the community. To ignore the progress of today and advances in addiction treatment is to relegate our clients to old ideas and old therapies. The process of better understanding and better treating the disease never ends. So too, our approach to treatment must always adapt, grow and evolve.

Learn More About Our 45-Day Residential Primary Care Addiction Treatment Program