Substance abuse means the use of potentially addictive substances such as alcohol, various forms of opiates, including heroin, and regularly prescribed pain medications of all sorts, which interfere with the quality of life and functioning at work, home, and in the social realm.
Substance abuse becomes substance dependence when the individual can no longer adequately function without the substance. At first, substance abuse can serve to relieve pain and anxiety and sometimes depression. It can even bring pleasure. Eventually, however, these palliative results fade, and the abuser must consume the substance just so as to not to experience the withdrawal symptoms that occur when the central nervous system is deprived of the substance. Medically monitoring these withdrawal symptoms is unfortunately the major and often times only "therapeutic" focus for the typical drug rehab center. Monitoring withdrawal symptoms is the easiest part of the road to sobriety. Many addicts and alcoholics have been through this initial stage multiple times in one drug rehab center after another. These withdrawal symptoms inevitably become harder to manage the older the addict gets, even in the drug rehab centers where the staff are highly trained.
Drug and alcohol addiction can be devastating not only to the one suffering from the disease but also to family members and caregivers. Substance abuse radically affects judgment, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the abuser to recognize his own pain and dysfunction as well as the dysfunction and pain the abuser causes the family. Family and friends should recognize that they will have to intervene in order to ensure that the loved one gets appropriate treatment. Furthermore, appropriate treatment means going beyond the initial stage of withdrawal offered by the typical drug rehab center.
Tekuma Recovery Group recommends a Therapeutic Community in Israel, which offers a true opportunity beyond the first step of withdrawal, namely the opportunity for lasting sobriety.