Everything You Need To Know About Addiction

What is Addiction

Addiction is a complex disorder stemming from a malfunction in the reward circuitry of the brain. Addictions can develop not only to substances, such as drugs or alcohol, but also to certain behaviours or process, such as eating, sex or gambling. Susceptibility to addiction is largely inheritable, with an estimated 60% of all cases of addiction related to genetic factors. In other cases, addiction results from overstimulation and resulting damage to the brain’s reward system.

An addiction begins with an individual consuming a substance or engaging in a process that activates the brain’s reward centre, sparking feelings of pleasure. This behaviour is repeated over and over in order to prolong or regain these feelings of pleasure, eventually causing damage to the brain’s reward circuitry. As the addict continues to stimulate a further and further damaged reward system, additional areas of the brain responsible for judgement and impulse control are impacted making it even more difficult for the sufferer to control their addiction related behaviour. The chronic, progressive nature of the disorder means that an addiction will persist and worsen over time if proper treatment is not sought.

Addiction Treatment Philosophy

A modern understanding of addiction recognizes that this disease is more than just chemical dependency on drugs or alcohol. Indeed, process addictions, including compulsive engagement in eating, sex or gambling, have been found to act on the same brain mechanisms as substance addictions with no chemical component whatsoever.

In accordance with this understanding, The Cabin Melbourne views all addictions as part of the same disorder. This ‘all addictions’ model of addiction treatment is supported by extensive research into the neuromechanisms of the disease. As such, our treatment method follows the same guidelines for the treatment of process and substance addictions.

Outpatient vs Inpatient Treatment

Addiction treatment can take place in either outpatient or inpatient settings. They type of treatment best suited for you is dependent upon on many factors.
Individuals suffering from severe substance abuse disorders may require medically supervised detox from drugs or alcohol. In this situation, inpatient treatment is the best option. Considered the gold standard in addiction treatment, inpatient treatment is most appropriate for individuals whose everyday environment provides too many obstacles to recovery. For these individuals, it is best seek treatment in a controlled environment free from addiction triggers where they may place their focus entirely on recovery. Our general inpatient facility, The Cabin Chiang Mai, and our young men’s facility, The Edge, offer world-class residential treatment for all forms of addiction.

For others who are considered to be ‘high functioning addicts’, or for those who are not able to take leave from work or personal commitments, outpatient treatment is the preferred option. Outpatient treatment allows individuals to maintain their regular lifestyle within their regular environment while receiving treatment for their addiction. During outpatient treatment, clients are able to put the skills they learn in recovery into immediate practice in their daily lives.

At The Cabin Melbourne, we offer flexible outpatient treatment that can fit even the busiest lifestyle. Counselling sessions can be scheduled around your other commitments so that you can work toward your recovery without disrupting the most important things in your life.

Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a complex disease involving biological, psychological and social components. All of these components must be addressed for successful, relapse-resistant addiction recovery. For this reason, The Cabin Melbourne employs a bio-psycho-social model of addiction treatment, separated into two parts:


Medical Treatment

Medical Treatment

To begin any form of addiction treatment it is best to receive a medical evaluation to identify any biological treatment needs and ensure a safe start to recovery. For this reason, the addiction team at The Cabin Melbourne includes an on-site psychiatrist to assess clients for chemical detox requirements as well as any other medical treatment concerns.

Psychological Treatment

The psychological and social aspects of addiction are addressed using proven, evidence-based psychological treatments and counselling methods including:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy(CBT)
  • 12 Step Fellowships
  • Meditation / Relaxation Techniques

This combination of recognised addiction treatments and group and individual counselling sessions provides our clients with the tools they need to predict and manage addiction triggers, identify and modify dysfunctional thought patterns and cope with difficult feelings or situations.