Addiction & Recovery Perspectives

There is a difference between addiction and other chronic diseases

Earlier this month, National Public Radio did a story called “For Addicts, There May Be Another Road To Wellness.

One thing we in the addiction recovery field know and appreciate is that there are myriad ways that individuals have recovered over the ages. And whatever can help someone with addiction find his or her way to freedom from that devastating condition is, in my book, nothing short of impressive. Too many people don’t recover, and the price they, their families and our communities pay is way too steep.

Addiction is a chronic disease, but one with very dangerous and damaging acute phases. Residential treatment offers the safety, security and stabilization that are often necessary to temporarily interrupt the vicious cycle of addiction.

Still, in Minnesota, almost three times more people access outpatient treatment than traditional 30-day inpatient rehabilitation.

The sad truth is that addiction is as common a health problem as diabetes and creates both public health and public safety concerns for every community. There is no single approach to treatment that can promise a good outcome for a particular individual at a specific point in time. However, a collaborative approach, like the one we offer at the Center for Alcohol & Drug Treatment (CADT), can engage the strengths and natural healing capacity of our clients and provide the support needed to achieve the best outcome possible for that individual.

Gary Olson
Executive Director



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