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Treating Addiction as a Disease

Addictions are complicated, and roadblocks in recovery can feel insurmountable. Some people with addictions also struggle with food or behaviors like shopping or sex. These co-occurring issues can increase the complications of treating someone with a substance use disorder. Process addictions make it difficult to proceed in recovery because these very behaviors are necessary and healthy parts of life. For example, many people rely heavily on food to cope when they are dealing with mental illnesses or substance use. They must, however, learn to relate healthily to food because it is necessary to a functioning life. “That fact requires people with compulsive, addictive behaviors to live in a state of gray — a little but not too much of the dangerous behavior — and addicts are very, very bad at gray,” says Barbara O’Dair, author of “Compulsions Without The Chemicals” in TIME Magazine’s Special Edition: The Science of Addiction. 



Medications can do great things for some people, but they don’t work for everyone. It’s important to note that medications should only be taken when prescribed and taken as prescribed. Medicines can’t necessarily stop people from using and abusing substances. Even so, they can reduce anxiety and depression, which frequently accompanies early sobriety.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be beneficial to everyone. Whether you’re struggling with severe substance use, codependent behavioral issues, or mental illness, learning how to reframe your thoughts and challenge them is a necessary step toward recovery. 



Stigma is present among mental health issues and substance use disorders. If you find yourself dealing with these things, chances are likely that you will have to navigate stigma. Self-stigma is also necessary to overcome. You must learn to allow yourself to receive the help you deserve. 



O’Dair warns that you must keep in mind that no two addictions are the same. This means also that no two treatment plans are the same, either. Treatment must be adapted for each person from this general treatment protocol:

  1. “Detox and support to achieve initial stability.”
  2. “Diagnosis and evaluation to address co-occurring disorders.”
  3. “A treatment plan with a trained specialist, appropriate therapies, and goals for recovery.”
  4. “Ongoing peer support and accountability, such as a 12-step program with people in similar situations.”
  5. “Family support, including support groups for family members, education, and family therapy.”


Villa Tranquil Recovery is here to help you treat your substance use disorder while also addressing the co-occurring mental health issues and codependency issues. Call us today at 214-799-3080. We can’t wait to hear from you and help get you on the road to recovery today.