The Difference Between Alcohol And Drug Addiction

The Difference Between Alcohol And Drug Addiction

Man with his head in his hands

“I can confidently say that entering addiction treatment saved my life. Because I entered treatment I was given the tools I need to live a purpose driven life; and quite simply, I owe my life to that.”

–Joshua K.

With the multitude of treatment facilities and treatment options available, making that crucial first decision to enter treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction may not always seem to be the easiest thing to do. For instance, one question that may arise during the treatment center selection process is: is there actually a difference between drug and alcohol rehab? The answer is yes; there are, in fact, a few differences between the two such as the treatment programs favored and detox processes.


Alcohol Addiction:

Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, was the first 12-step addiction recovery program, as well as the basic model future 12-step programs were based on. Despite the fact that the scientific data of its efficacy is still somewhat debated, AA  still remains as the largest community of recovering addicts in the world, as well as the first choice of many alcoholics who choose to seek treatment. Additionally, the plethora of recovering alcoholics who credit AA with their sobriety is extremely significant in defending its effectiveness.

When it comes to detox, many of the symptoms associated with alcohol detoxification and drug detoxification are similar, however there are a few subtle differences. For instance, delirium tremens, or DTs, is one symptom of alcohol withdrawal that an individual struggling with drug withdrawal would not experience. Though they are not found in all cases of alcohol detox, DTs can involve convulsions, general confusion, and may be serious enough to result in death. Additionally, while there are three medications available to assist individuals recovering from alcohol dependency, they do not work in the same was as drug “substitutes” like methadone do.

Drug Addiction:

Though 12-step programs for various kinds of drug addictions are also well attended, it is much less common for those struggling with drug addiction to rely on such a program as their initial and primary means of recovery as those struggling with alcohol addiction do. Oftentimes individuals struggling with drug addiction will seek a more structured and supervised treatment.
In contrast to alcohol detoxification, when it comes to drug detoxification, medications such as methadone are available to “substitute” for the addictive substance while an individual is recovering from a chemical dependency.

Though the process of long-term addiction rehabilitation may be life-long and there can be significant challenges an individual may have to overcome while recovering from addiction; recovery is possible. With the right support tools any individual struggling with drug or alcohol addiction can be on their way to a new happy and healthy life. Take that first step today and give us a call, we are here to help.


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