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The History of Addiction Treatment and Rehab

History of Addiction Treatment and Rehab

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The History of Addiction Treatment and Rehab  

Addiction treatment and rehab history stem back further than one may have thought. Opium is extracted from the poppy plant, which was discovered thousands of years ago and is cultivated in numerous locations around the world. The fermentation of fruits was found and used to make alcohol thousands of years ago. From cannabis to tobacco, these drugs have been used in many cultures and traditions. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that rehab and treatment for these substances were established around the same time.  

The History of Drug Abuse 

Alcoholic beverages and hallucinogens both trace back to 5600 B.C., and in Chinese writings, alcohol is mentioned from 1046-221 B.C. Instances of drug use were recorded all over the world in locations like Armenia, ancient Greece and Rome, and Sumer. Greeks and Romans made history regarding drug abuse since it was used as an offering to their gods or for religious rituals and celebrations.  

In addition, around 3,400 B.C., the Sumerians used opium from the poppy seed plant for medical purposes. After a while, smoking opium became a part of their practices since the effects were rapid and potent. Other countries began to desire the use of opium, and the drug eventually made its way into the United States. Morphine and cocaine became popular in the 19th century, and opioids, a synthetic version of opiates, became widely misused. These substances are highly addictive and often cause physical dependence and adverse side effects.  

Today, the most commonly abused drugs in the United States are alcohol, cocaine or stimulants, mushrooms, marijuana, LSD, and methamphetamine. Many of these substances are created in a lab or illegally in the United States, while there are also hundreds of substances that are trafficked or imported from other countries across America's borders. Because of this, alcohol and cocaine addiction treatment skyrockets in numbers at treatment centers in America each year.  

The History of Substance Abuse Treatment 

One well-known rehab opened as a drug treatment center in the 1930s in Kentucky and was known as the U.S. Narcotic Farm. The primary goal of the rehab was to research opioid addiction since the epidemic started and the opioid crisis was raising serious concerns. Believe it or not, jazz musicians were some of the first people to receive formal medical care. What is almost unbelievable is that most of the individuals were paid with morphine in exchange for their time during the research process. 

When did addiction treatment begin? Technically, it started with the discovery of most of the well-known and popular drugs used today. The first rehab that was considered an official facility was opened in the 1800s, but it was nothing compared to the jazz and methadone treatment center in Kentucky. The history of addiction focuses on narcotics and alcohol since they have caused the primary problems in America and around the world, like in China and Great Britain.  

Types of Addiction Treatments  

There are a variety of treatments that work to reduce adverse symptoms, combat cravings, and help people recover from addiction. The history of addiction treatment has provided a foundation and place to grow for clinical workers and rehab facilities to determine the best practices for recovery. In the modern era, types of addiction treatments include:  


  • Psychoeducational  
  • Biofeedback therapy  
  • Art and music therapy  
  • Motivational interviewing  
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy 


If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or a mental health disorder, then speak to a professional, form a support system, and get the help you need to recover and sustain sobriety. Working with professionals helps you to find what best fits your recovery goals since they will determine the severity of your symptoms.  

Treatment at Our Drug Rehab in Massachusetts  

At Banyan Treatment in Massachusetts, our medical staff is well aware of the history of addiction treatment and drug abuse. Our mission is to help our patients to feel safe and secure during the medically monitored detox and therapeutic methods that take place during treatment. Understanding the signs and symptoms of substance use disorder (SUD) and defeating denial is the first step before seeking a drug rehab that will help you achieve your recovery needs and goals.  


Don't hesitate to speak to a specialist at Banyan Massachusetts. Call 888-280-4763 and ask about our partial-hospitalization program to get started on the path to recovery today! 


Related Readings:  

How to Conduct a Medication Review: Why You Should & How to Do it  

Neuroplasticity and Addiction 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
The History of Addiction Treatment and Rehab
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