Of the most talked about is alcohol and drug abuse, or substance abusers. Substance abusers are unable to use their feelings as signals and guides in managing or protecting themselves against the instability and chaos of their internal world.
All treatment of addiction is a time dependent process. Effective addiction treatment is in treatment strategy. The first stage of treatment is abstinence to the later stage of treatment which is prevention from relapse.
Currently most addition treatments are in three step processes which are; 1) Achieving sobriety, 2) Early recovery or abstinence and 3) Advanced or late stage recovery.
1. Since substance abuse is an attempt at self-repair, (which aggravates the individual's already impaired capacity for attachment and intimacy), abstinence and detachment from the addiction is required before the individual can make a new attachment to sober group or establish a therapeutic alliance of safety with a therapist.
2. Early treatment requires that the gratification, support, and containment of safety are given priority, because these approaches maximally enhance attachment opportunities.
3. Once abstinence and attachment to the recovery process are established, rather than attachment to their drug of choice, the shortfalls of self and character pathology must be identified and improved. An essential part of this stage of treatment requires the client to develop the capacity for conflict resolution in a nondestructive manner while becoming familiar with empathy for others and the particulars that define healthy interdependence and intimacy.
Often times addictions are formed when the individual has mental health issues which have not been diagnosed. The drug abuse again, is an attempt at self repair to manage the co-occurring disorder. Clinicians can diagnose other mental health issues typically after 30 days of an abstinent period when the effects of substances begins to leave the system.
What evolves for the recovering addict is that they discover that their alcohol and/or drug use is only a symptom and their personal and social difficulties. Those issues are not the only the result of their substance abuse there are deeper issues, when in fact there are deeper issues to heal.
Lack of age-appropriate, developmental needs leaves the substance abuser constantly searching for something "out there" than can be substituted for what is missing "in here."