Various Drug Addiction Treatments


Rehab drug aims to stop compulsive drug use. Treatment can take several forms and last varying amounts of time. The short-term, one-time treatment is frequently insufficient for drug addiction, a chronic disorder with relapses. Treatment often involves many therapies and constant monitoring.

There is a range of evidence-based techniques for treating addiction. Drug treatment can include behavioral counseling, drugs, or both. The particular sort of treatment or mix of treatments will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs and, typically, on the types of medicines they consume.

Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone (including a new long-acting version) are available for opioid addicts, and nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, and nasal spray are available for tobacco addicts. Disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone treat alcoholism, which often co-occurs with various substance addictions, including prescription drug addiction.

Prescription drug misuse treatments are similar to illicit drug treatments since they target similar brain systems. Buprenorphine can treat heroin and opioid pain prescription addictions. Prescription stimulant addiction, which affects the same brain systems as cocaine, can be treated with behavioral therapy.

Behavioral therapies can motivate people to participate in drug treatment, offer skills for coping with drug cravings, educate ways to avoid drugs and prevent relapse, and help with relapse. Behavioral therapy can improve communication, parenting, and family relationships.

Many programs use individual and group therapy. Group treatment can give social reinforcement and promote abstinence and a drug-free lifestyle. Some behavioral treatments, such as contingency management, and cognitive-behavioral therapy, are being adapted for group settings to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness. In teenagers, group treatment can have unanticipated adverse (or iatrogenic) effects—sometimes group members (especially extremely delinquent children) can support drug usage and derail the therapy. Thus, trained counselors should monitor for such impacts.

Combining behavioral therapy and pharmaceuticals (where available) is often more effective than either technique alone.

Drug addicts typically have other health (depression, HIV), occupational, legal, familial, and social difficulties that must be handled. Best programs combine therapy and other services to fulfill patient needs. Psychoactive drugs such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety agents, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics may be crucial for therapeutic effectiveness in patients with depression, anxiety disorders (including PTSD), bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Most addicts abuse many drugs and need therapy for all of them.

Is Drug Treatment Effectiveness?

Treatment is to stop drug abuse and restore family, job, and community functioning. According to research tracking persons in treatment over time, most quit using drugs, reduce criminal activity, and enhance occupational, social, and psychological functioning. Methadone treatment increases behavioral therapy attendance and reduces drug usage and crime. Individual treatment outcomes rely on the patient’s concerns, the appropriateness of treatment and accompanying services, and the quality of the patient-provider relationship.

Addiction is manageable, like other chronic conditions. Addiction’s destructive effects on the brain and behavior can be reversed with treatment. The chronic nature of the disease makes relapsing to drug abuse possible and likely, with symptom recurrence rates similar to other well-characterized chronic medical illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.

Many consider treatment a failure when relapse occurs. Similar to other chronic conditions, addiction therapy requires ongoing review and modification. After a patient’s hypertension symptoms lessen throughout treatment, the treatment is judged successful, even though symptoms may return when treatment is stopped. For an addict, relapses signal that therapy needs to be reinstated, altered, or changed.

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