The process of treatment begins with a decision to talk to a specialist in psychiatry. Addiction is a disease that disturbs the functioning of the whole personality, damages physical health, and shakes interpersonal relationships, above all those in the family. An ideal case is when the whole family participates in the first talk, as this increases the addict's motivation to accept the treatment as a perfect choice in solving the addiction problem. A less ideal case is when the addict comes alone, because he/she already feels lonely within his/her problem. In this case, the addict often only wants to be "taken off" alcohol or drugs so as to feel strong again and thus create necessary conditions for falling victim to the disease for the umpteenth time.
Therefore, the most important condition for starting with the treatment is motivation. It should never be based on coercion and persuasion. When it is based on them, it is frequently only the ground on which the addict rightfully expects a counter-favour if he/she accepts the treatment. This, however, does not solve but deepens the problem. In the same way, the feeling of being judged is fatal to starting the treatment. This is why it is necessary to lead the talk in a specific way known as the motivational interviewing technique. In this manner, what should be offered is only a possibility of considering all that comprises the difference between the stoppage and continuation of using the substance. If this kind of communication gives birth to a wish to continue a life without drugs and alcohol, we as a therapeutic team suggest an appropriate detoxification and rehabilitation method.
Highly beneficial is the fact that the latest research has shown that brain changes at the level of cells and brain networks, caused by alcohol and addictive substances, are reversible, which means that they can be restored to their normal, pre-addictive state after establishing abstinence.
The time needed for the physical recovery of brain tissue varies – from three months in treating cocaine and alcohol addiction to almost one year in treating opiate addiction. A complete recovery of the nervous system and its function makes it imperative to go on with the therapy directed at preventing repeated usage of addictive substances (recidivism) and establishing a base for overall increase in the quality of life to a level even higher than the one before using the substances.
Within the diagnostic procedure, laboratory blood and urine tests, and the psychological profiling of the addict are carried out. The main therapeutic principles have been set according to the type of psychoactive substances and their total health and behaviour consequences. However, based on the psychodiagnostic test results, a specific therapy approach system is created for each individual patient.