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What Is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is a disease that causes long term changes in the brain that's characterized by an uncontrollable urge to seek out and use drugs despite knowledge of all the harmful consequences. These alterations in the brain can cause dangerous behaviour in a person who uses drugs. It's also easy to relapse back into drug addiction. Relapse means going back after some time, to using the substance one had stopped using.


Addiction starts when the decision to take drugs is first made. With time, the user is unable to stop voluntarily the need to use the drug. The desire to search for and make use of drugs will now rely on a very huge urge. The increased length of time that the person's brain relies on drugs to function is the cause of this. Dependency affects regions of the brain that are involved in learning and memory; motivation and reward; and command over behaviour.

Addiction is a sickness that influences both the mind and conduct.


Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?

It can, however it is hard. Since addiction is a chronic ailment, individuals can't just quit utilizing drugs for a couple days and be treated. Most patients need long haul or rehashed care to quit utilizing totally and recoup their lives.


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Enslavement treatment must help the individual to the accompanying

  • stop using the substances
  • remain drug-free
  • Resuming their responsibilities at home, workplace and community

Values Of Successful Rehabilitation

These values have been observed since some scientific research was done in the mid-70s as the foundation for a successful recovery plan

  • Though a complex brain altering illness, drug dependency can be successfully treated.
  • There is no one treatment that will work for everyone.
  • Treatment needs to be readily available.
  • Successful treatment looks at all the needs of the patient, not simply his/her substance use.
  • Going through with the programme is essential.
  • Psychological and other behaviour remedies are used in treating the habit.
  • Together with psychological treatment, pharmaceutical drugs are also administered.
  • Treatment procedures must be measured frequently and altered to fit the patient's evolving needs.
  • Other possible mental disorders should be considered during treatment.
  • The cleansing administered by medical personnel is the beginning step of the journey.
  • The treatment does not rely on the volition of the patient to yield positive fruits.
  • 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?

Different steps are involved in effective treatments

  • medical detoxification, when the body physically rids itself of the drug
  • Therapy or counselling
  • medication (for tobacco, alcohol or opioid dependency)
  • 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

A scope of care with a custom-made treatment program and follow-up choices can be pivotal for achievement.


Treatment ought to incorporate both therapeutic and emotional well-being services as required. Follow-up care may comprise group or family-based recuperation supportive networks.


How Drug Addiction Treatment Incorporates Medications?

The treatment of co-occurring health issues, avoidance of relapse and amelioration of the withdrawal symptoms are some of the cases where medications are needed.

  • Withdrawal The withdrawal symptoms that are witnessed when detox is done could be alleviated with medications. Detoxification is only an initial stage in the process; it is not a "treatment" on its own. Patients who only go through detoxification and don't have any additional treatment typically relapse back into drug use. As revealed by a study of treatment facilities, 80% of the cases of detoxification involved medications (SAMHSA, 2014).
  • Relapse Prevention The cravings for drugs can be lowered and normal brain functions restored in the patients with the help of medications. There are medications for the treatment of addictions to alcohol, tobacco/nicotine, and opioids, such as heroin or prescription pain pills. Researchers are creating different solutions to manage stimulant (cocaine, methamphetamine) and cannabis (marijuana) dependence Individuals who utilize more than one drug, which is extremely normal, require treatment for the majority of the substances they utilise.

How Drug Addiction Is Treated Using Behavioural Therapies

Patients are helped by behavioural therapy with

  • Change their conducts and practices linked with drug usage
  • Upturn healthy life abilities
  • Continue with varying forms of treatment like medication

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

Outpatient behavioural treatment involves different programs designed for patients with an organised calendar of regular meetings with a counsellor for behavioural health. The majority of the programmes incorporate group or one-to-one substance counselling or both these forms.


Other forms of behavioural therapy available in these program include

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy used to help the patient identify trigger circumstances where they are most vulnerable to taking the drugs and how to avoid them and move on to overcome the addiction
  • 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, which gets most of the addicts disposed to work on their behaviour and commence treatment
  • 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.


For a patient with severe problems, including coexisting conditions, inpatient or residential treatment is very effective. The around the clock care available at residential rehabilitation centres includes safe boarding facilities and close monitoring of patients. Inpatient treatment facilities can use many therapeutic approaches and are usually working toward assisting the patient after treatment to maintain a drug free, crime free lifestyle.


Cases of residential treatment settings include

  • Rigidly structured programs where patients remain inpatient for 6 to 12 months are called therapeutic communities. 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.
  • Residential treatment that is shorter term usually focuses on detoxification and beginning focused therapy in preparation for follow up in a community based setting.
  • There are also recovery housing services aimed at giving a patient a place to stay in the short term as they recuperate from treatment in other establishments. People can move onto independent life through recovery housing - it assists them for example to learn financial management or job hunting, while linking them to community based support groups.

Difficulties Of Re-Passage

Substance abuse alters the functioning of the brain, and several things can activate a craving for the substance within the brain. For everyone in treatment, but especially for those in an inpatient program or prison, it's essential to learn how to recognize, avoid, and handle any triggers they may encounter after treatment.