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Evolution Of Rehabs: How Addiction Recovery Has Evolved Over Time

We’ve all heard the phrase detox and rehab, referring to people who want to get clean from various addictive substances. But how did we get to this point? And what changes have occurred as we’ve learned more about substance abuse treatment? This article details the evolution of addiction recovery over the past century or so, explaining how new medical procedures have allowed us to better assist those in need.

Prehistoric Times – Tobacco, Alcohol and Opium

For centuries, people have been using substances to alter their state of mind. The prehistoric man chewed on tobacco leaves to get a buzz, while the ancient Egyptians and Greeks drank alcohol and used opium for medicinal purposes. In fact, addiction recovery can be traced back to the early days of civilization.

It wasn’t until much later that addiction recovery took its modern form. In 1890, Dr William Silkworth – a New York physician working at an alcohol treatment centre in Bellevue Hospital – referred to alcoholism as the Jimmy Hoffa disease after examining one of his patients, a businessman named Bill Wilson. The name alcoholic was coined from these findings and has since become widely used.

Ancient Greek and Egyptian Civilizations – Treatment Methods: 

In Ancient Greece, people believed that mental illness was caused by possession by demons or gods and could be treated with purification rituals.  Alcoholics were considered mentally ill. The Greeks would use herbal remedies, such as wormwood and juniper berries, which are high in alcohol content to sedate them. They also had a religious ceremony called the bacchanalia, where large amounts of wine were consumed. Eventually, this led to excessive drinking among the populace which resulted in numerous deaths due to drunkenness. These high-risk drinking habits made the term wine lover synonymous with alcoholics among other cultures for years afterwards.

Middle Ages – Coffee Houses

In the 17th century, two of the most popular addiction substances were gin and absinthe. The Gin Craze was a period in England where gin was consumed in mass quantities, often to excess. This led to many social problems, such as public drunkenness and crime. Absinthe, on the other hand, was popular among artists and writers in France. It was said to help with creativity and inspiration. However, absinthe is also a very addictive substance, and many people became addicted to it.

So, how did we manage these addictions without rehab? Well, much like now, there were societal pressures. As a society, we told people that it was bad to drink or use absinthe excessively. There were also natural remedies and preventative measures against addiction that people could take advantage of. Coffee houses became popular in Europe to deal with both alcohol and absinthe addiction. If a person went to a coffee house regularly enough, they would be able to manage their addiction through the social pressure provided by other coffee drinkers at the time. There was also something called temperance cups that were designed for people who wanted coffee but didn’t want any alcohol mixed in with it.

17th Century – Gin Craze and Absinthe

The Gin Craze was a period in the early 18th century when the consumption of gin increased dramatically in Great Britain. This was due in part to cheap grain prices and an increase in distilling licenses. The craze led to widespread social problems, including poverty, crime, and alcoholism. In response, the government passed laws designed to control the sale and consumption of gin. These laws were largely unsuccessful, and the Gin Craze continued until the early 19th century.

Absinthe is a distilled, highly alcoholic beverage. It is commonly referred to as the green fairy due to its bright green colour. In addition to being a popular drink in its own right, absinthe was also used as an ingredient in cocktails during absinthe’s heyday from 1800 to 1915. The original method of making absinthe involved steeping wormwood and other herbs in alcohol, which resulted in very high levels of thujone — a toxin that can induce seizures or cause hallucinations — in some brands of absinthe. As a result, several countries banned the use of thujone, and the production of these brands faded out by 1910 or so.

19th Century – Heroin and Morphine

In the 1800s, scientists discovered that opium could be used to treat pain. This led to the development of two powerful drugs – heroin and morphine. These drugs were used extensively during the Civil War to treat soldiers’ injuries. However, it quickly became apparent that these drugs were highly addictive. In the late 1800s, rehab centres began popping up across the country to help people overcome their addiction to these powerful drugs.

The 20th century saw increased awareness of addiction and more efforts to combat it. During World War II, a variety of different drugs were used to keep soldiers going, including amphetamines, barbiturates and morphine. Soldiers often struggled with addiction after returning home from war. As a result, post-war rehab facilities were established. These facilities are still operating today.

20th Century – Cocaine, PCP, Amphetamines

In the early 1900s, most people didn’t know much about addiction or how to treat it. That started to change when doctors began noticing that some of their patients were becoming addicted to cocaine, PCP and amphetamines. They began to realize that addiction was a real medical condition that needed to be treated.

However, treatment methods in those days were often ineffective. Doctors didn’t yet understand that addiction was a chronic disease. As a result, they had limited options for treatment. Some people received no treatment at all and others received harsh punishments—even executions—for their crimes associated with addiction and substance abuse. This would later change as new scientific research and understanding of addiction developed.

21st Century – Crystal Meth, GHB, K2, Bath Salts

In the 21st century, we’ve seen the rise of new drugs and new ways to get high. Crystal meth, GHB, K2, and bath salts are just a few of the substances that have taken over in recent years. While some people view these drugs as harmless fun, others have experienced serious health consequences as a result of using them. The good news is that there are now more resources than ever before for those struggling with addiction. From online support groups to inpatient treatment centres, there are plenty of options for those looking to get clean and sober.

Since Drug Rehabs first began, we’ve made huge strides in learning how to treat substance abuse. It’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another. Research suggests that a combination of behavioural therapy and medical intervention yields better results than either method on its own. Whatever your situation, you can overcome your addiction with determination and help from others who understand what you’re going through. You just need to reach out for support – because recovery is possible!

Freeman House Recovery – Your Luxury Addiction Treatment Centre of Choice 

Located in South Africa’s economic hub Gauteng, Freeman House Recovery is situated close to Pretoria and Johannesburg. At our Luxury Rehab, we have access to the latest therapies and treatments. Our rehabilitation centre has an international reputation for being one of the best Rehabs in South Africa. We offer a holistic approach to addiction treatment that takes into account every aspect of a person’s life. A team of dedicated professionals are on hand to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care at all times.