Addiction is a very misunderstood disease, and many people wonder if there’s a cure for it. Many addicts have relapsed or passed away chasing the idea that they were cured. To this day, there is still no known cure for addiction. There are some rehab facilities and medications that claim they have or are the cure for addiction, but science has yet to verify these claims.
The idea that an addict can someday drink or use responsibly is a common reason for relapse. When an addict has been sober for weeks, months or years, they will try to drink or use again, but they quickly find that they’re exactly where they left off or sometimes worse. Addiction is a progressive disease and it only gets worse over time, so many addicts who relapse will begin drinking more or using stronger drugs than they did prior to their stint of sobriety.
Addiction is a Brain Disease
The reason there is no cure for addiction is because addicts have an abnormal prefrontal cortex, which is part of their brain. This portion of the brain is responsible for moderation, impulse control, self-awareness and much more. Since this part of the brain doesn’t function properly and doesn’t repair itself, an addict is never truly cured. The good news is that addiction is similar to diseases like cancer. If the person goes through treatment and does what’s suggested, their addiction may go into remission, but it’s also possible for them to stay sober for the rest of their lives.
Does Naltrexone Cure Addiction?
Naltrexone is a medication that’s sometimes used to help treat addicts. It helps with anxiety and depression, but it’s mostly used to help decrease the addict’s cravings. The medication is extremely beneficial for those early in recovery because their cravings can be very strong. When the medication was originally created, it was meant to cure addicts, but studies have shown that it doesn’t.
The doctor who originally created the drug designed it to help people who had an alcohol addiction to drink moderation. The person was to take the pill an hour or so before they planned on drinking. This would help alcoholics because once they start drinking, they often can’t stop until they run out or are physically incapable of drinking anymore. If the average person takes this medication before they begin drinking, they’ll most likely be able to moderate themselves more than usual. Instead of having three or four glasses of wine, they may only have one or two.
The problem is that studies have found that Naltrexone is virtually ineffective for 10 percent of people. When you compare that to the statistic that shows one in twelve people are addicts on this planet, then the medication doesn’t really work for many people who are truly addicted. Addicts drink and use impulsively, so having a pill that must be taken an hour before they drink or use is often out of the question. There are other people who have taken the medication and still continued to drink or use as they always do, which results in them getting violently ill.
Recovering from Addiction
The best way for a person to overcome their addiction is to go to an inpatient or outpatient rehab center that uses evidence based treatment. The methods the rehab uses have been proven to be effective by medical journals as well as medical schools. If the person completes the program and continues with ongoing care, they may be able to never drink or use again as long as they stay diligent about their sobriety. Although professional treatment helps addicts recover, this is still not considered to be a cure for addiction. It is, however, the only way a person can learn to live addiction-free and enjoy a successful future.