Drug treatment is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, last for different lengths of time and take many different forms. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment is usually not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and regular monitoring at a rehab center.

There are a variety of evidence-based approaches to treating addiction. Drug treatment can include behavioral therapy (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or contingency management), medications, or their combination. The specific type of treatment or combination of treatments will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs and, often, on the types of drugs they use.

Treatment medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone (including a new long-acting formulation), are available for individuals addicted to opioids. Disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone are medications available for treating alcohol dependence, which commonly co-occurs with other drug addictions, including addiction to prescription medications.

Treatments for prescription drug abuse tend to be similar to those for illicit drugs that affect the same brain systems. For example, buprenorphine, used to treat heroin addiction, can also be used to treat addiction to opioid pain medications. Addiction to prescription stimulants, which affect the same brain systems as illicit stimulants like cocaine, can be treated with behavioral therapies, as there are not yet medications for treating addiction to these types of drugs. This is why we recommend that you contact one of our treatment centers.

Behavioral therapies can help motivate people to participate in drug treatment, offer strategies for coping with drug cravings, teach ways to avoid drugs and prevent relapse, and help individuals deal with relapse if it occurs. Behavioral therapies can also help people improve communication, relationship, and parenting skills, as well as family dynamics.

Many treatment programs employ both individual and group therapies. Group therapy can provide social reinforcement and help enforce behavioral contingencies that promote abstinence and a non-drug-using lifestyle. Some of the more established behavioral treatments, such as contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy, are also being adapted for group settings to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness. However, particularly in adolescents, there can also be a danger of unintended harmful (or iatrogenic) effects of group treatment—sometimes group members (especially groups of highly delinquent youth) can reinforce drug use and thereby derail the purpose of the therapy. Thus, trained counselors should be aware of and monitor for such effects. This works best in a controlled setting like a treatment center.

Because they work on different aspects of addiction, combinations of behavioral therapies and medications (when available) generally appear to be more effective than either approach used alone.

Finally, people who are addicted to drugs often suffer from other health (e.g., depression, HIV), occupational, legal, familial, and social problems that should be addressed concurrently. The best programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet an individual patient’s needs. Psychoactive medications, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety agents, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic medications, may be critical for treatment success when patients have co-occurring mental disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder), bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. In addition, most people with severe addiction abuse multiple drugs and require treatment for all substances abused.

Contact National Treatment Centers today by calling (844) 523-2021.

 

Source: drugabuse.gov

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  • "I was out of control and headed for disaster. I needed help but was denying there was even a problem that I couldn't handle on my own. The counselor came to my home, worked with me and I was in treatment later that day. The intervention saved my life. It's over one year later and my life is better than ever, thank you!"
    - Liz – San Francisco, CA
  • "Addictive Behavior Management has helped me get through treatment and stay in recovery. Getting healthy can be more difficult than imagined after being addicted. The counselors worked with me and now I'm back in school and enjoying life. Thank you!"
    - Lisa – New York, NY
  • "Our son was agressive and manipulative, we couldn't even start to talk to him about his problem. He was in some legal trouble and we feared he would end up in jail or worse. The counselor came to our house after we set up a treatment plan and then drove him into the treatment center that night. We could not have helped our son without the intervention."
    - Phoenix, AZ
  • "My husband is the best thing that ever happened to me and is the loving father of our three daughters. I love him and knew something had to be done, our marriage and household was unraveling. I tried to get him help on my own, but he wouldn't get real treatment. The intervention helped me understand what it takes to get someone you love into treatment and save a marriage. Thank you for all your help."
    - Lori – Orange County, CA
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