When a patient suffers a stroke and loses the ability to speak or move, their doctor sends them to a speech therapist or a physical therapist because rehabilitation can bring that function back. This is no less true for addicted patients – only the functional problem in this case is an inability to correctly perceive pleasure. Addiction treatment should include pleasure rehab – learning to derive normal pleasure from normal, fun things again.This cannot be achieved by humiliating addicted patients with punitive treatment (this is a shame and pain-based disease – bringing more shame and pain to the situation will not help).
This is one reason the punitive treatment style is not used for impaired professionals – it just does not work. Effective treatment should shotgun the addict with fun – exposing them to many different pleasurable activities so they can they can again learn to recognize the pleasure in normal, fun things. Practicing fun - taking the patient to Disneyland, sending them sailing or flying, or finding them a sport or hobby that they enjoy - will return their pleasure system to full functioning in much the same manner that physical rehabilitation returns speech and movement in stroke patients.