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Getting Help - Treatment

Explaining Drug Addiction

Drug dependence is an unrelenting illness that presents in obsessive, or out of control drive to access the drug at any cost even when one is aware of the danger and long lasting harm effects on their brain. The harmful habits of people suffering from drug addiction come as a result of these changes inside the brain. Drug dependency is a degenerative illness. Relapsing is when a person starts to use drugs again after he/she attempted to quit.


The road to substance dependency starts with voluntarily using substances. With time, the user is unable to stop voluntarily the need to use the drug. Looking for and using the substance becomes uncontrollable. This is mainly because of the effects of long-term substance exposure on the functioning of the brain. Dependence influences parts of the mind required in reward and inspiration, learning and memory plus control over conduct.

Addiction influences both behaviour and the brain.


Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?

It could, but through a complicated process. Drug dependency is a long-time illness from which it is not possible to quit at will and remain clean. Most patients need long haul or rehashed care to quit utilizing totally and recoup their lives.


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An addict in treatment must work toward the following:

  • stop using the substances
  • Remaining clean
  • be a productive member at work, in society and in the family

Principles Of Effective Treatment

Ongoing scientific research since the 1970s has shown that the following basic principles should be the basis of any effective course of treatment:

  • Dependence is a complex yet treatable sickness that influences brain capacity and behaviour.
  • There is no particular treatment that is fitting for all.
  • Treatment needs to be readily available.
  • To be successful, the treatment plan should not focus on the addiction only but the whole person.
  • It is extremely important to remain under treatment for a very long period of time.
  • The prevalently applied types of treatment include counselling and some other therapies that centre on behaviours.
  • Together with psychological treatment, pharmaceutical drugs are also administered.
  • A treatment plan must be evaluated frequently and adapted to suit the changing requirements of the patient.
  • Treatment ought to address other conceivable mental problems.
  • The first step during treatment involves detoxification that is overseen by medical personnel.
  • For treatment to be successful, it does not need to be voluntary.
  • Substance use during treatment should be observed constantly.
  • A treatment programme must test a patient for hepatitis B and C, TB, HIV/AIDS and other infectious illnesses and educate the patient about things he/she can do to reduce his/her risk of these diseases.

How Is Drug Addiction Treated?

Rewarding treatment has a few stages:

  • detoxification (the procedure by which the body frees itself of a medication)
  • behavioural counselling
  • medication for addictions to opioids, tobacco, or alcohol
  • evaluation and treatment for mental health issues like anxiety and depression that co-occur with addiction
  • Avoiding relapse by providing long term follow up care

Great results can be realised with the customised medical care plan and support services.


Both medical and mental health treatment should be utilized as needed. Post-rehab support could involve the peer or family group therapy.


How Is Drug Addiction Treated With Medication?

Meds can be utilized to oversee withdrawal manifestations, anticipate backslide and treat comorbid conditions.

  • Withdrawal During rehab, taking some prescription drugs assists in reducing withdrawal reactions. Cleansing the body is not the same as treatment, it only the beginning of the journey. Patient who doesn't get any further treatment after detoxification as a rule resumes their drug usage. According to one study of treatment centres, medications were utilised in close to 80 per cent of detoxifications (SAMHSA, 2014).
  • Preventing Relapse Medicines used in the detoxing programme help the brain to restore to its normal functions easier and stop the desire for the drug. Alcohol addiction, tobacco (nicotine) and opioid (heroin, prescription pain relievers) have medications for their treatments. Scientists are busy to develop other medications to treat cannabis (marijuana) and stimulant (methamphetamine and cocaine) dependency. A person who uses more than one substance, which is really typical, require treatment for every substance he/she uses.

What About Behavioural Therapies And Drug Addiction

Psychotherapy assists addicts to:

  • Change their conducts and practices linked with drug usage
  • Upturn healthy life abilities
  • continue receiving medication and other types of treatment

Treatment is available to patients in many different types of locations which use various methods.

In an outpatient treatment programme, the recovering addict attends therapy sessions on appointed times. Personal or group drug counselling or both of them are included in majority of the programs.


Other forms of behavioural therapy available in these program include:

  • cognitive-behavioural therapy, which helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs
  • Multidimensional family therapy, which is for teenage addicts and their families to understand all of the factors influencing the patterns of drug abuse and works on improving the family's ability to function
  • Motivational interviewing has been used to prepare a patient to accept their problem and wants to change their actions by seeking help
  • Motivational incentives that work by positively reinforcing like rewards to help the patient's urge for drugs reduce

Initially, a patient will receive many hours of treatment and will have to frequently attend clinical sessions if they opted for the outpatient therapies. After the completion of the in-depth treatment, a patient moves to frequent outpatient treatment, which does not meet as regularly and for fewer hours every week to assist with maintaining his/her recovery.


Patients dealing with complications caused by long time abuse of drugs may benefit greatly from inpatient also known as residential rehabilitation services. Authorised residential treatment centre offers 24-hour organized and proper care, including safe lodging and medicinal consideration. Several approaches to therapies that are mainly designed to assist the patients to achieve a life that is free of drugs and crime after treatment are applied by residential treatment facilities.


Some examples of inpatient treatment environments are:

  • Rigidly structured programs where patients remain inpatient for 6 to 12 months are called therapeutic communities. The entire community, comprising treatment employees and patients in recovery, act as essential agents of change, affecting the patient's understanding, attitude, as well as conduct linked with substance use.
  • Shorter-term inpatient treatment that usually concentrates on detoxification and offering initial in-depth counselling and preparation for treatment in community-based environments.
  • Recuperation lodging gives regulated, brief-span housing for patients, regularly taking after different sorts of inpatient or residential management. Recovery housing is a great way to help people treatment go back to having an independent life while still having support with things like managing finances, finding employment, and locating support services.

Challenges Of Re-Entry

The excessive urge to take drugs could be "triggered" by several factors within the brain, as the workings of the brain is altered by drug abuse. It's basic for those in treatment, particularly those treated at an inpatient centre or jail, to figure out how to identify, ignore and adapt to triggers they are probably going to be presented to after treatment.