A Look at the Different Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a complicated but treatable disease that can impact your health and behavior and have a negative knock-on effect on your mental health.
Drug addiction usually shows up in people as an uncontrollable or extreme desire to seek out substances despite their harmful and dangerous effect on the body and mind. Addiction can impact the brain negatively and can lead to destructive behavior.
Even when treated and eradicated, relapses can occur and further damage those addicted and their surrounding circles. At first, the usage of drugs can be voluntary, but it becomes a crutch over time, and the person will begin to seek the drugs out compulsively. As a result, the brain slowly starts to suffer, and unless treatment is sought, the addict can damage the body to the point where health professionals cannot repair it.
Can You Treat Addiction?
Professionals can treat addiction, but you can’t shut it off immediately because it is a chronic disease. Most patients will need long-term care to stop and recover completely. Effective treatment will help patients stop using drugs, stay drug-free, increase their productivity and healthy social interaction.
Things to Consider
When seeking addiction treatment, it is a good idea to remember a few key things.
- Addiction is a complex disease of the brain and body; a cure is not possible with medication alone.
- Everyone is different with different triggers and will react to treatment differently.
- Committing to treatment is a crucial step on the path to recovery and must be taken seriously.
- Sufferers must access treatment easily and quickly for it to be effective.
- Treatment will include behavioral therapy that will investigate possible mental health disorders and involve regular check-ups tracking progress.
- Detoxification is a challenging but critical stage in the process of becoming drug-free.
Available Treatment Options
As every patient is different, professionals will choose every treatment according to the specific addiction and state of mind. Quoted below are a few of the most common treatment forms; this is not an exhaustive list, it is, however a place to start.
- Intensive and specific counseling
- Proven medication programs
- Long-term follow-ups
- Medical devices and applications to help with withdrawals and increase mental health and treat other disorders.
- Treatment programs tailored to you and your addiction.
Medication In Treatment
When treating drug addiction, health care professionals often use medication to control symptoms, withdrawals and prevent relapse.
When a person decides to quit taking drugs, their body will go into the withdrawal process, which can be tough to manage without medication. This detoxification process is the first step towards becoming drug-free. If the patient receives no further treatment following this detox phase, they will most likely relapse and resume their drug usage. Medication is recommended when treating patients as it can help relieve the symptoms.
Other ways of relieving symptoms are using electronic stimulation devices such as the NSS-2 Bridge, which is placed behind the ears and will send non-invasive electric impulses to the correct brain nerves and help beat the cravings and other withdrawal symptoms involved.
Relapse can be controlled by medication as the effects restore normal brain function to avoid cravings. Patients suffering from tobacco, opioid, and alcohol addiction are more likely to take this route.
Behavioral therapy is used in several ways when treating drug addiction. It helps patients alter their attitudes and behavior. It will also help patients focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and focus on the other elements of their treatment.
Various behavioral therapy forms, such as outpatient behavioral therapy programs, require patients to visit a health counselor regularly. These programs will most likely involve other forms of therapy, such as cognitive and multidimensional, which serve entirely different functions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps patients find coping mechanisms when faced with various situations that might have pushed them to do drugs in the past by teaching patients to recognize and establish a plan for occasions where they might feel like returning to their old ways.
Multidimensional family therapy is an option when treating teenagers suffering from drug abuse problems by involving the family. The process’s design helps the whole family understand the issue and support the child as he/she goes through their treatment. The therapy aims to improve the family environment and relationships that may have suffered due to the addiction.
Motivational interviewing and the usage of incentives help positively reinforce and encourage abstinence from drugs. Patients should leave treatment motivated and ready to take on their drug addiction due to their new understanding of themselves and the reasoning behind their self-sabotaging ways.
A Combination of Therapies
A combination of therapies and treatments will often be most effective and may need to be carried out under supervision, in a residential program, or at an outpatients rehabilitation center. It is also possible to remove the person entirely from their environment after treatment using a sober living home.
Addiction treatment is a specialist subject and should only be addressed by a healthcare professional.