History Of Alcoholism Treatment Types

The History Of Alcohol Rehab

When you think about it, the history of rehab facilities is a story of how we, as a race, have come along at understanding one of the toughest parts of our nature; addiction. Addiction has always been a problem that humans have suffered with.

The joy of drinking alcoholic beverages, of abusing narcotic substances and other types of addictive activities have always had the serious consequence of addiction. Over time, many forms of treatment have been created and tested over the years, and some still help people to recover today.

Native Americans and the 12-Step alcoholism program

Native Americans were not averse to alcohol, but it was generally only used for celebrations. However, the prospect of drinking more often was introduced by European colonists and since the native tribes had no regulations to control the amount of alcohol consumed, the colonists traded alcoholic beverages to the natives for necessities, such as food, water and even land.

After some time, the tribe leaders had begun to see the problems of alcohol addictions. In an attempt to put a stop to the problem, the leaders would gather the members which had become alcohol addicted to use their faith and beliefs to guide them to recovery.

This kind of treatment is still used today. Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups also use the concept of a “higher power” to help an addict to draw the strength they require to become sober again. 12 step programs are based upon this style of treatment.

The evolution of drug addiction and alcoholism treatment

Drugs have been abused all around the globe for hundreds of years - and so have their effects. Since drugs have been found, there were always people who took them, which led to addiction. And with addiction came the harmful side effects that come with each substance.

As humans have studied the physical and mental health effects of a drug addiction, more rehabilitation ideas began to appear.

Benjamin Rush (who was one of the Founding Fathers of America), had believed that an addiction was not just a matter of personal willpower, but instead due to the narcotic itself. At the time, people believed that addiction was a moral failing, and so the University of Utah treated addiction as a criminal offense. However, Rush shifted the way of viewing addiction to an illness that could be managed.

In 1864, the New York State Inebriate Asylum became the first hospital to only treat addiction as a mental health condition. And, as the public began to view drug and alcohol abuse more seriously, more community groups and sober houses began appearing.