Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Centers

Understanding Addiction


(888) 684-0336

Understanding addiction is an essential part of treatment and recovery

Understanding addiction is the first step of the recovery journey. At Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Centers, we treat addiction as a chronic disease. First, we treat the acute problem that brings a patient to us. Then, we examine the social, psychological and biological issues that co-occur with the addiction.


Through detoxification, intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment and continuing care, the Kolmac staff and clinicians are here to support patients and their families through all the challenges that can occur during recovery.

Understanding addiction as a chronic disease

Our experienced team knows that understanding addiction begins with recognizing that it is a chronic disease. Like diabetes or hypertension, addiction requires ongoing care, not a quick fix. It’s also important to understand that addiction does not reflect a lack of willpower or morals.

Addictive behavior stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain’s primitive reinforcement center. As a person continues to turn to an addictive behavior or substance, the primitive part of the brain grows stronger and the higher functioning part becomes weaker. The addiction process drives people to repeat and increase their substance use or gambling.

Addressing co-occurring disorders is an essential part of treatment

Part of understanding addiction is knowing that many patients at Kolmac have co-occurring disorders like depression and anxiety. An important part of our program involves identifying any co-occurring conditions, sometimes called dual diagnosis. If these conditions exist, our team will create an individualized treatment plan that addresses both addiction and mental health.

Relapse prevention leads to better treatment outcomes

Detox is the first step of treatment for many patients. After that, they begin the rehabilitation phase, also called intensive outpatient (IOP). The focus of this phase is on relapse prevention, which helps them avoid returning to using alcohol and drugs. During this phase, patients learn how to maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs while establishing a life that they enjoy. This involves developing coping skills to manage internal and external triggers, implementing relapse prevention techniques in daily life, and developing a recovery support network.

A relapse back into addiction is not a single event. Instead, it is a predictable series of steps that eventually leads to the substance use or addictive behavior. Understanding addiction gives patients the insight to identify the early phases of a relapse and stop it.

At Kolmac, understanding addiction is our focus

Since 1973, Kolmac has helped more than 30,000 patients understand and overcome addiction. Patients seeking drug and alcohol treatment should contact us at (888) 684-0336 or (301) 589-0255.

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We welcome the opportunity to help you in your road to recovery. If you’d like to learn more about Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Centers, contact us at:

  (888) 684-0336

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Shedding Light on Addiction

Our team provides addiction information because knowledge is a powerful tool on the road to recovery.

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