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History of Addiction Rehabilitation

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Had a bit of time today so started looking at the history of addiction treatment and was quite surprised to read the first time anyone tried to rehabilitate an addict was back in 1864 so decided to do a little blog on it for hopefully your interest. Brief History of addiction treatment The effects of drugs and abusing them have been effecting many for hundreds of years or basically since first taken. Ever since drugs have been taken there has always been many that abused them and went a bit further than others using them for recreational or whatever other purpose at the time. These few (maybe not so few) used addictively suffering all the side effects that come with addiction and withdrawals. Once this became clearer with the physical as well as mental health implications then some form of help or rehabilitation became sought particularly in the USA and can be traced back for hundreds of years. A Mr Benjamin Rush was a pioneer in identifying that alcoholism wasn’t a willpower problem with the individual but an issue with the alcohol and challenged the moral failing attitude at the time bringing society closer to the disease concept noted today to be the most effective form of and sort of alcohol or addiction treatment. His work eventually helped stop addiction being viewed as a criminal offence and slowly began to get professionals to come around to the thinking of treating addiction as an illness that may be managed rather than use punishing prayer groups or time in mental institutions as some sort of cure. The first hospital to be set up for only dealing with alcoholism patients as a mental health condition dates back to 1864 in the New York State Inebriate Asylum and as the public began viewing addiction and alcoholism much more seriously than before they began to open community groups offering support plus the equivalent of what we now see as sober homes began to appear for alcoholic’s to try to remain sober in. Obviously now we have thousands of various forms of addiction treatment type centres, sober homes, sober houses, dry houses, drop in centres, detoxification hospitals or centres and basically every area from using drugs or alcohol right through to after care can be taken care of should the addict / alcoholic wish to engage with any of these services. More often than not an individual’s treatment plan or recovery plan will be a mixture of the above facilities working together plus (or) an introduction to a self-help group such as Narcotics Anonymous / Alcoholics Anonymous depending totally on the individual seeking help.