Drug abuse treatment recognizes that addiction is a disease like any other. As such, it requires expert help from a licensed counselor and assistance from a medical doctor. Any treatment plan must involve modifying behaviors so that the patient can live a healthy, productive life.
Drug Abuse Treatment Options
Depending on the types of drugs abused, other drugs may be required required in the treatment process. Certain narcotics have been developed and are prescribed by doctors to allow the detoxification from an abused drug. Methodone and Buprenorphine are examples of drugs used for opioid addiction. Without these drugs, patients would undergo severe withdrawal symptoms that might pose a health risk or force them to take illegal drugs to ease their suffering.
No particular drug treatment option will suit every addict. Each drug abuse case must be assessed independently so a program can be tailor-made for each patient. Treatment options need to address other existing issues that may have contributed to the dependency. For example, someone who has experienced grief may resort to alcohol or prescription drugs to numb their emotional pain. Social ties may need to broken, if friends are encouraging or facilitating the addiction.
In some cases, a pre-existing mental disorder needs to be treated as well as the drug abuse problem itself. Occasionally, mental disorders are undiagnosed, misunderstood or drugs meant to treat the disorder have been misused, resulting in chronic dependency.
Easing the withdrawal crisis that occurs when a person stops using drugs is not always possible. No amount of reassurance that things will get better is an effective drug treatment option. Drug abuse treatment programs that use substitute drugs have some drawbacks, because the abuser will eentually need to quit the substitute. An integrated treatment comprising behavior modification therapy as well as the ultimate withdrawal of all medications can produce lasting abstinence.
Types of Programs
Some drug abuse programs are inpatient programs; others rely on regular attendance of an outpatient care facility. Some patients also attend Multidimensional Family Therapy. Entire families participate in these programs, which seek to minimize myriad environmental factors that contribute to drug abuse.
Outpatient care consists of regular, scheduled visits with a doctor or a treatment counselor. Most programs also include support groups, and some have 24-hour hotlines that patients can call for emergency counseling. These programs work best for patients who are abusing drugs that don’t cause physical addiction and who genuinely want to recover.
In chronic drug abuse cases, or cases where the drugs cause a physical addiction, residential treatment programs are often necessary. The patient may be in care for a lengthy period, learning how to interact with others, while at the same time withdrawing from drug dependency and receiving treatment for any drug-related illnesses. Hepatitis or HIV/AIDS are often contracted as a direct result of drug abuse. Other diseases can be contracted, too; some are contagious without sharing drug paraphernalia.
Many people often have a relapse and need to seek help on more than one occasion. Over the course of many years, recovering addicts still report the process as being a day-to-day challenge.