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Views on Addiction
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Changing Perspectives on
Addiction Treatment in Philadelphia


Views on Addiction in Philadelphia
All over Pennsylvania, the public's perception of alcoholism and addiction treatment have grown and changed along with advances in brain mapping, psychology, and physical medicine. Increasingly, alcoholics, addicts, their families and care providers truly engaging the reality that addiction is a disease and not a moral failing or will power weakness.

Still, old ideas about addicts and alcoholics remain lodged in the minds of many in Philadelphia and througout the Northeast. Local and national media sources continue to reinforce outdated concepts of addiction treatment as a luxurious waste of time. Too often, addiction is depicted as a moral failings. In Philly, thankfully, the number of educated and forward-thinking individuals who study and contend with addiction treatment is quite high; the culture in Philadelphia has adopted a more modern attitude toward addiction and alcoholism treatment. Sober Coaching is the wave of the future and it is finally available in Philly.

The Nature of Addiction
Alcohlism and addictions are diseases of obsession and compulstion. Medical science continues to buttress what we treatment professionals have known for decades: the minds, bodies, and personalities of addicts and alcoholics are qualitatively different from those of non-sufferers. From university- and government-funded brain scans to simple, anecdotal evidence from recovered drunks and dope fiends, we see old ideas about incarceration and proselytizing simply do not work to arrest the progress of addiction and alcoholism.

Addiction in the Media
When the media - internet sources, television "news" teams, and talk radio hosts - keep playing the same old cards, the average media consumer becomes jaded at best and cold-hearted at worst. Our response to the plight of truly sick humans ought not to be the same response Roman plebes had to witnessing Christians thrown to lions. This attitude is neither civilized nor compassionate. Philadelphia is a transitioning city with both a monstrous substance abuse problem and compassion that is not reserved for a select few. Addiction education and a critical assessment of purveyors of information are bottom-line requirements of a thinking population. In Philly, it is so.

Our Best Practice and Your Willingness
The idea that a population will form its idea of response to suffering through repeated exposure to a few reality shows and 10-second clips of loaded celebrities exposing their private parts while exiting expensive cars is absurd, of course. Philadelphia is one of the rare places in our country where independent thinkers are highly valued and where truth-tellers are sought.

Modes of Thinking About Post-Treatment Relapse
Unfortunately, when relapse occurs many deem treatment a failure. This is not the case: "Successful treatment for addiction typically requires continual evaluation and modification as appropriate, similar to the approach taken for other chronic diseases" (NIH, 2012).  The Sober Companion provides a discreet, caring, seasoned professional to guide the newly recovering person through this maelstrom of misunderstanding and vitriol. When newly sober, it's a great boost to rely on an advocate - at home, at work, at play - who has been there and succeeded, and whose only goal is to assist you in crafting your success.