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Defining 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 adjustments in the mind can prompt to the hurtful practices found in individuals who take drugs. Drug dependency is a degenerative illness. Relapse means going back after some time, to using the substance one had stopped using.


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. Looking for and using the substance becomes uncontrollable. This unrelenting craving results from the effects of the drug on the brain over time. Dependency affects regions of the brain that are involved in learning and memory; motivation and reward; and command over behaviour.

Addiction influences both behaviour and the brain.


Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?

It could, but through a complicated process. It is not possible for people to overcome drug addiction simply by abstaining from drug use for some days, because drug addiction is chronic. To come back to their old lives and overcome drug addiction totally, many addicts will require repeated or prolonged care periods.


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An addict in treatment must work toward the following

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

Principles Behind Effective Treatment

According to scientific research conducted since the mid-1970s, the essential principles listed below should be the foundation of all successful treatment programmes

  • Though addiction is very complicated, it could heal completely, and it affects the workings of the human brain and human behaviour.
  • No single treatment is appropriate for everybody.
  • Treatment needs to be readily available.
  • To be successful, the treatment plan should not focus on the addiction only but the whole person.
  • Going through with the programme is essential.
  • Psychological and other behaviour remedies are used in treating the habit.
  • Medications are regularly an imperative component of treatment, particularly when consolidated with behavioural therapies.
  • Treatment procedures must be measured frequently and altered to fit the patient's evolving needs.
  • Treatment ought to address other conceivable mental problems.
  • Medically assisted detoxification is just the very first step of the treatment.
  • Treatment doesn't require being voluntary to be successful.
  • Medical personnel must supervise any medications taken during the rehab period.
  • 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.

What Steps Are Involved In Treating Addiction?

Rewarding treatment has a few stages

  • Detoxification (the way a body is cleaned of toxins and drug residue)
  • Psychological therapist
  • 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

Using a wide range of treatments tailored to the needs of the patient is a key to success.


Treatment ought to incorporate both therapeutic and emotional well-being services as required. Often, community or family based recovery groups or support systems are used as part of follow up care.


How Are Meds Utilised As A Part Of Drug Compulsion Treatment?

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. Detoxing from the drug is not the only necessary treatment, merely the first step in the process. 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 The cravings for drugs can be lowered and normal brain functions restored in the patients with the help of medications. Medication is available for the treatment of tobacco (nicotine), alcohol and opioid (prescription pain relievers and heroin) dependency. Scientists are also currently developing additional medications to treat addiction to marijuana and stimulants, like cocaine and methamphetamines. It's really common for addicts to use more than one drug and they will need treatment for each substance.

What About Behavioural Therapies And Drug Addiction

Patients are assisted by behavioural therapies to

  • Change their conducts and practices linked with drug usage
  • Upturn healthy life abilities
  • Endure with different types of treatment, for example, medication

Patients can get treatment in a wide range of settings with different approaches.

Outpatient behavioural treatment involves different programs designed for patients with an organised calendar of regular meetings with a counsellor for behavioural health. Individual and group therapy, or a combination of both are involved in most treatment programs.


These projects normally offer types of behavioural treatment, for example,

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy, which teaches patients how to recognize, avoid, and deal with any situation that will make them more likely to use drugs
  • multidimensional family therapy - designed for teenagers suffering drug addiction and their relatives - which considers several factors that contribute to their drug addiction, with the intention of affecting the functioning of the family in a positive manner
  • Motivational interviewing has been used to prepare a patient to accept their problem and wants to change their actions by seeking help
  • contingency management (motivational incentives), which makes use of positive reinforcement to motivate refraining from substances

sometimes, intensive treatments that involve several outpatient sessions every week is given at first. 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.


Cases of residential treatment settings include

  • In the period it takes for the patient to recover, usually six to twelve months, the patient becomes a member of the community at the therapeutic facility. The whole group, including treatment staff and those in recuperation, approach as key specialists of progress, affecting the patient's states of mind, comprehension and practices related with drug utilisation.
  • 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 can assist a person to complete the changeover to an independent life-for example, assisting him/her learn how to tackle finances or look for a job, as well as linking them to the community's support services.

Difficulties Of Re-Passage

Because drug abuse changes the way the brain functions, a lot of things can trigger drug cravings. It is key for patients in treatment, particularly those treated at prison or inpatient facilities, to learn how to identify, steer clear of, and deal with triggers that they are most likely to experience after treatment.