Substance abuse comprises of two main types of addictions namely drug addiction and alcoholism. . Drug addiction refers to the dependence on a street drug or on an over the counter medication while alcoholism is the dependence on alcohol. In this context, alcohol is referred to as a drug since it fits the description of a drug, which is defined as any substance that alters normal human homeostasis. . Once an individual is addicted to a substance, he or she cannot avoid using it irrespective of their desires to stop the habit because of the harm it might be causing to them. The American Medical Association (AMA) defines drug addiction and alcoholism as some of the major lifestyle diseases in the 21st century that may be a result of genetics, environment, or upbringing.
There are numerous approaches that are applied in administering substance abuse treatment. However, some of these treatment methods are ineffective because they neglect not only the substance abuse dependency but also other causative factors such as comorbid mental illness and or any previous traumatic events that may have occurred in the individuals past that may have contributed to the substance abuse. Applications of such ineffective strategies leave substance abuse victims still struggling to maintain sobriety and have a successful life with stability and security in all aspects. An effective substance abuse treatment in individuals with any other causative factors must be inclusive of all factors and illnesses to be effective not only short-term but also long term (Reyes, Elhai &. Ford, 2008). Individuals suffering from substance abuse are not often provided with an opportunity for treatment and it is very unlikely that the treatment is effective and long-lasting because a significant number of persons suffering from substance dependency also have other causative factors that may hinder the success of treatment of the substance abuse. Some of the most common causative factors include traumatic life events such as sexual abuse, or a comorbid diagnosis of mental illness in combination with substance dependency. . Studies have shown that persons addicted to substance abuse and have previously experienced sexual abuse are more likely to have a lifetime drug use disorder by 62% with about 25-35% of individuals suffering from serious mental illness developing a substance abuse disorder. Therefore, the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment in persons is dependent on the dealing causative factors such as an underlying mental illness and or trauma (Reyes, Elhai &. Ford, 2008).