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Obtaining Help - Treatment

What's substance Dependency?

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. Substance dependency is also a relapsing illness. Relapsing is when a person starts to use drugs again after he/she attempted to quit.


The way to drug dependence starts with the wilful act of using drugs. However, the mental strength to decide whether to use drugs or not is eroded with time. Seeking out and using drugs becomes an obsession. This unrelenting craving results from the effects of the drug on the brain over time. The parts of the brain that control reward and motivation, learning and memory, and self control are all significantly affected by addiction.

Dependency is an illness that affects 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 users require repeated or long-term care to quit using it altogether and get their lives back.


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Rehabilitation from drug use should result in the patient:

  • stop using the substances
  • stay drug free
  • Be a productive member of society, in the family, and at work

Principles Behind 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:

  • Addiction is a complicated, chronic disease that affects the brain and behaviour, but it is treatable.
  • There is no one treatment that will work for everyone.
  • Easy access to rehab is of utmost importance.
  • Successful treatment looks at all the needs of the patient, not simply his/her substance use.
  • Adhering to treatment sufficiently long is critical.
  • Advising and other behavioural treatments are the most usually used types of treatment.
  • Medications are regularly an imperative component of treatment, particularly when consolidated with behavioural therapies.
  • A treatment plan must be evaluated frequently and adapted to suit the changing requirements of the patient.
  • Mental illnesses associated with drug dependency need to be treated too.
  • Therapeutically helped detoxification is just the primary phase of treatment.
  • For treatment to be successful, it does not need to be voluntary.
  • Drug usage amid treatment must be observed constantly.
  • The treatment programs must ensure that patients are tested for tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, and other infectious ailments, while they should also be informed about the best way to avoid contacting those.

How Is Drug Addiction Treated?

Rewarding treatment has a few stages:

  • detoxification (the procedure by which the body frees itself of a medication)
  • Behavioural advising
  • medication (for tobacco, alcohol or opioid dependency)
  • assessment and treatment for any co-occurring mental health concerns like anxiety and depression
  • Relapse prevention through long-term check-ups

A variety of care with a customised treatment programme and follow-up options can be key to being successful.


Both medical and mental health treatment should be utilized as needed. The follow-up can compromise family- or community-based recovery support systems.


How Are Medications Used In Drug Addiction Treatment?

Managing withdrawal symptoms, preventing relapse, and treating coexisting conditions are accomplished through medication use.

  • Withdrawal During rehab, taking some prescription drugs assists in reducing withdrawal reactions. Detoxification is not in itself "treatment," rather just the initial phase all the while. Patients who only go through detoxification and don't have any additional treatment typically relapse back into drug use. The SAMHSA, 2014 study has shown that about 80% of detox programmes use prescription drugs.
  • Relapse Prevention Medications can help manage cravings and help patients re-establish normal brain activity. There are medications for the treatment of addictions to alcohol, tobacco/nicotine, and opioids, such as heroin or prescription pain pills. Medications that could be used in treating cannabis (marijuana) and stimulant (cocaine, methamphetamine) addiction are being developed by scientists at present. Users of multi drugs to fully recover must be treated for each one.

How Are Behavioural Therapies Used To Treat Drug Addiction?

Psychotherapy assists addicts to:

  • Change their conducts and practices linked with drug usage
  • develop life skills that are healthy
  • Endure with different types of treatment, for example, medication

The settings upon which patents can access their treatments and the approaches used varies.

Outpatient behavioural treatment involves different programs designed for patients with an organised calendar of regular meetings with a counsellor for behavioural health. There are therapy sessions that a patient is alone with the counsellor and others that utilise group therapy, sometimes a patient may attend both types.


Other forms of behavioural therapy available in these program include:

  • cognitive-behavioural therapy, which helps patients perceive, dodge and adapt to the circumstances in which they are destined to utilise drugs
  • Multidimensional family therapy in which not just the patient but also his/her family is involved able to sort out a lot of things and help the whole family cope with the changes and heal together
  • Motivational interviewing has been used to prepare a patient to accept their problem and wants to change their actions by seeking help
  • Motivational incentives, which uses positive reinforcement to encourage continued abstinence

Treatment is at times strenuous initially, where a patient attends many outpatient sessions weekly. After the intensive treatment is complete, patients move on to regular outpatient treatment to help maintain their recovery by continuing to meet weekly but for fewer hours.


Residential/inpatient treatment can also be extremely successful, particularly for patients with more serious issues (including co-occurring conditions). Residential treatment facilities are licensed to offer safe housing and medical attention plus around the clock structured and intensive care. Private treatment offices may utilize an assortment of remedial methodologies and they are for the most part gone for helping the patient carry on a drug free and crime free way of life after treatment.


Benefits of taking an inpatient treatment programme:

  • Therapeutic communities which are exceedingly organised programs in which patients stay at a home, normally for 6 to 12 months. Everybody at the facility, whether caregivers or administrators and fellow patients play a role in the recovery of the patient helping them cope with the changes and challenges of withdrawal.
  • Shorter-term residential treatment, where detoxification is done and the patient prepared for community based treatment through preliminary intensive counselling.
  • Recovery housing that offers supervised, short-term accommodation for a patient, frequently after other kinds of inpatient/residential treatment. 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-Entering Society

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.