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Addiction may be defined as an unhealthy relationship with a substance and/or behavior and is characterized by disintegration of normal relationships and out of control behaviors in spite of negative consequences.
The impact of addiction is evident in every nation of the world. Few societies are free from substance abuse and other life controlling problems related to addiction including crime, violence, sexual addiction and abuse, HIV/AIDS, juvenile delinquency, homelessness, breakdown of families, communities and social services plus ever expanding demands on criminal justice systems and the weakening of cultural norms.
Addiction Treatment is seen as a crucial event/ process within the larger context of Recovery which happens within the community. Recovery over time includes positive outcomes in:
- Abstinence from alcohol and other drug use;
- Employment and education for job skills;
- Improving family and living conditions;
- Social support - spiritual/religious/community/support group involvement;
- Decreased involvement with criminal justice;
- Access to needed services; and
- Retention and completion of treatment and/or recovery support services and programs.
Those who experience recovery must examine and reestablish their core beliefs, heal emotional wounds, learn effective life skills, develop adequate social support systems with family and friends in order to find healthy ways to meet their natural relational needs. One of the most empowering aspects of recovery is leaning how to give back to others in the community.