What Causes Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

What Causes Drug Addiction and Alcoholism

The following is an up close a personal look at what one young women experienced while entering into an addiction treatment program.

When I was seventeen I was given an ultimatum. I could ether willingly admit myself to an addiction rehabilitation program or I could go to jail. I did not think that this was much of a choice at the time, and was convinced that neither would be of benefit, so I chose the lesser of the two evils. My parents, possessed of little or no financial means could only afford to send me to a short term facility which consisted of an interment of thirty days. This was considerably less time than the alternative. I decided to go to addiction rehab. Despite my refusal to admit to my addiction, I was curious.

The first thing that I experienced in addiction drug rehab was the removal of my “street clothes”, to be replaced by a set of hospital scrubs. I was expected to wear these for a week so I could come to understand, physically and emotionally, that what I was suffering from was a disease. I found this to be rather absurd. I was seventeen; young, and still in the early stages of my addiction. Most of my experiences with drugs were limited and I did not believe they could be the cause of my problems or behavior. Later in my life, it began to make more sense to me. They were trying to install the idea, that although I had made bad choices, I was not totally at fault. I suffered from an affliction of the body and the mind, that as of yet I had no control over, and without treatment would progress and possibly become fatal.

There were about twenty of us in the program. It was a coed adolescent facility, so we consisted of both male and female and were all in our late teens. We ranged from a variety of backgrounds, environments, and levels of abuse. There were a few individuals suffering from a melange of psychological problems and drastic cases of withdrawal that had to be frequently medicated. In my opinion these teenagers received little or no help from this particular rehab, and was not surprised to discover they would shortly be removed to attend long term residential facilities.

A typical day consisted of three meals with snacks in between, sessions of both individual and group addiction counseling, an hour long period of recreational exercise, and a classroom session where we were expected to do the home work assigned from our individual high schools. The food was all right, but considering the amount of exercise we were receiving it was excessive and not adequately balanced. In thirty days I gained thirty pounds. The recreational period was very like an elementary recess, where we were basically left to our own devices. Considering how reluctant we were to do anything we were not forced to; none of us got any exercise.

Despite these circumstances, I learned a lot at that rehabilitation center. The sessions of both individual and group counseling were very therapeutic in teaching me positive thinking and ways of dealing with my personal and mental disabilities. I became educated on addictive substances and learned the range of medical facts and potential damage that they could cause. Through family counseling, my parents and I were able to work out some of our issues, that might have otherwise taken years. It gave me a start; a new beginning, which I never would have achieved on my own.