Help for a drug addiction can be attained in many different settings using a variety of approaches. Outpatient treatment covers a wide variety of programs for patients who visit a clinic at regular intervals on their road to recovery. Most of the programs involve individual or group drug counseling. Residential treatment programs are also very effective for those with more severe problems. Therapeutic communities are structured programs in which patients remain at a clinic for 6 to 12 months. Patients here include those with long histories of drug addiction, impaired social functioning, and serious criminal back grounds.
Drug addiction is an illness identified uncontrollable drug craving with compulsive drug use even in the face of horrible consequences. Drug addiction starts with the act of voluntarily taking drugs and using them to a point a person can no longer choose to stop, the act of seeking their next fix becomes a driving force. Addiction is caused when the brain’s control over the regions pertaining to reward hormones like serotonin have been over ridden by chemicals to the point they cease responding without chemical aid. Therapies for addiction treatment treatment is designed to help a person stop using drugs, learn to maintain a drug-free lifestyle, and help families learn to be productive at work, and in society.
Addiction is usually a chronic disease, a person cannot simply put aside drugs for a few days and be suddenly cured. Many patients require long-term or repeated visits to a rehabilitation facility to recover. There are currently two methods in treating addiction, medication and behavior therapy. Often combined, these are important parts of an recovery, a process that often begins with detoxification followed by treatment and relapse prevention. Medication is used to help repair brain associations, prevent relapsing, and often assists in reducing cravings.
Currently there are medications to help recover from only a few addictions, primarily nicotine, opiates, and alcohol. Unfortunately, most drug addicts with severe addictions use more than one substance and have to be treated for all of them. Methadone and buprenorphine suppress withdrawal symptoms and relieve cravings for morphine, heroine, and other opium based drugs. These are often used in conjunction with naltrexone which blocks the effects of heroin or other opiates at their receptor sites and should only be used in patients who have already been through the detox phase. Doctors have not successfully created a medication that eases the rehabilitation of those suffering from stimulant abuse but are working on developing them.
Behavioral treatment helps patients modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug abuse, and learn to cope with life without their addiction.These Treatments are used to enhance the effectiveness of the medication therapy or to treat those able to attempt quitting cold-turkey. These treatments are delivered in many different forms, from one on one therapy sessions or group therapy with other recovering patients to therapy that incorporates a person’s family and helps them all adjust to a new life together