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Can Drug Addiction Be Cured?

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 20, 2019

Physical and psychological addiction develops when addictive drugs are introduced to the system. Following detoxification and rehabilitative treatment, the physical addiction to drugs is thought to be cured. With so many factors involved in addiction, many wonder if there is a clear way out. While the physical aspects of drug addiction are technically removed from the equation after a certain length of sobriety, can the psychological attachment to drugs be fully eliminated?

Elements Of Addiction

There are several factors to consider when it comes to addiction. These factors help determine the sensitivity to a drug, as well as the likelihood that full rehabilitation will stick. Aside from the physiological changes, there are psychological, emotional, and habitual elements to consider. Additionally:

  • A person can be more susceptible to addiction based on socioeconomic conditions.
  • Exposure to drugs at an early age can increase the likelihood that addiction will form later in life.
  • A parent’s addiction can normalize substance abuse for youth and early substance abuse can carry on throughout adulthood.
  • Lack of parental control leaves youth to make poor choices regarding substance abuse.
  • Commitment to rehabilitation can influence the outcome of recovery treatment.
  • Environmental factors, such as poverty or wealth, availability of drugs, lack of education, or even higher levels of intelligence can increase the likelihood that addiction will occur. This also leaves those struggling with addiction more likely to relapse.
  • Mental health disorders can influence the decision to begin using drugs. Impulse control issues and poor coping skills make substance abuse more tempting.

Compulsive drug consumption can begin with the very first contact with addictive drugs. Someone with a higher susceptibility may never be exposed to drugs, therefore never become addicted. On the other hand, a person with low susceptibility can still become addicted if drugs are consumed and continued. Anyone can become addicted to drugs, but is there a cure?

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Always Addicted?

When someone is addicted to alcohol, it is believed that the alcoholism is present long after sobriety is established. Because someone can drink without becoming addicted, it is thought that certain people carry a higher predisposition to alcoholism. In contrast, consumption of addictive drugs can become an addiction after the first use. After rehabilitation from addictive drugs, there may be a temptation to relapse, especially in early recovery. Once addicted to drugs, the possibility of relapse is always present. This makes drug addiction a non-curable, but a treatable chronic condition.

How Is Drug Addiction Treated?

If you are struggling with drug addiction, there are many methods available to help. Upon reaching out to a rehabilitation center, you will undergo a monitored process known as detoxification, or “detox.” There are medications that can aid in this process, depending on which drug needs to be cleared from the system. Once the detox process is over, it is time to focus on other aspects of addiction:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapies allow those struggling with addiction to face their condition head-on.
  • Group therapies promote a community of people who have had similar experiences. These people often provide support and friendship, which is beneficial in the healing process.
  • Life skills are learned through accountability, coping, and management. Many centers offer job counseling, planning, and classes for skill building.
  • Follow-up care involves therapies and communications to promote sobriety.
  • Sober living coaches and sponsors offer lifeline and additional follow-up care.

In addition to the benefits of rehabilitation with a facility, there are many resources within the community to continue treatment for addiction. Continuing care aids in greater success, and increases the likelihood that sobriety will stick.

Time To Quit

Drug addiction is a chronic condition that can be treated through rehabilitation. While there is no simple cure for drug addiction, many individuals find great success by utilizing addiction treatments. Understanding the causes, preventative measures, and treatments involved can increase hope that sobriety can be maintained for good. By acknowledging the presence of a problem, you’ve taken the first step toward finding a solution. If you’re experiencing drug addiction, there is no better time than right now to get help.

We Can Help

Treating addiction is a long process, which may take many years to maintain. A lifetime of sobriety starts with finding the right resources to get the help you need. If you or a loved one needs help with drug addiction, the caring staff at is here to help. We can guide you in the right direction for treatment, and answer any questions you may have regarding addiction and treatment. We’re here for you. Contact us today.

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