The concept of systemic addiction treatment may seem paradoxical since most addicts neither ask to be treated nor request for any assistance whatsoever. Most of the time, the problem in the treatment of addicts is that they themselves do not realize, more so, accept, the fact that they do have a problem. This problem, left untreated, will eventually lead to a more serious one as time goes by.
Most addicts will never consider seeking treatment or checking themselves into a treatment facility for their compulsions. There are even those who attempt valiantly to forgo the use of drugs and alcohol, but fail miserably due to a lack of knowledge on the process of treatment and its management. Almost always, addicts are brought to treatment centers by concerned family members, friends, or colleagues. Even if an addict consults an addiction treatment professional on his or her own, the motivation stems not from himself or herself, but from the encouragement or coercion of others close to him or her. This motivation is the root of systemic addiction treatment; addicts are driven by compulsion, and this compulsion is what systemic treatment will modify into something that will benefit addicts.
Systemic addiction treatment initiates a change in an addict’s lifestyle – a change for the better. However, this method helps an addict in such a way that he or she becomes the instigator of his or her own treatment. The change must come from within because, before addicts can be helped by others, they must first help themselves.
In systemic addiction treatment, the addict and the treatment professional develop treatment objectives together and devise an action plan on how to achieve these goals, preferably with the help and full support of the addict’s family. Systemic treatment believes in instigating change not only within the addict, but also with his or her environment. Addiction is not an individual disease, but a disease of the entire family as a unit. Addressing family issues together with the root cause of the addiction will help addicts face their addiction and encourage them to change for the better.