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What Is Drug Addiction?

That chronic health condition where people cannot control the way they search for and make use of drugs irrespective of the fact that this can damage their health and alter their mental state forever is called Drug addiction. These adjustments in the mind can prompt to the hurtful practices found in individuals who take drugs. It's also easy to relapse back into drug addiction. 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. With time, the user is unable to stop voluntarily the need to use the drug. The need to obtain and consume the drug becomes a driving force. 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.

Dependency is an illness that affects behaviour and the brain.


Is Drug Addiction Treatable?

There is, but it is a long journey. 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
  • abstain from drugs
  • Be a productive member of society, in the family, and at work

Values Of Successful Rehabilitation

In light of logical research since the mid-1970s, the accompanying key standards ought to frame the premise of any compelling treatment program

  • Dependence is a complex yet treatable sickness that influences brain capacity and behaviour.
  • No exclusive treatment is correct for everybody.
  • Individuals must be able to access treatment quickly.
  • To be successful, the treatment plan should not focus on the addiction only but the whole person.
  • It is crucial to remain in treatment for a long enough amount of time.
  • Psychological and other behaviour remedies are used in treating the habit.
  • Behavioural therapies are often combined with medications, which are another important aspect of therapy.
  • As the patient's needs change, the treatment plan must be adapted to fit the requirements.
  • Some other associated mental problems must be taken care of by treatments.
  • The cleansing administered by medical personnel is the beginning step of the journey.
  • For treatment to be successful, it does not need to be voluntary.
  • Substance use during treatment should be observed constantly.
  • Patients in treatment should be tested for a variety of infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and tuberculosis and also receive education about how to reduce the risk of getting thee illnesses.

How Is Substance Dependency Treated?

Effective treatment consists of several steps

  • medical detoxification, when the body physically rids itself of the drug
  • behavioural counselling
  • medication (for tobacco, alcohol or opioid dependency)
  • Making sure that coexisting mental health issues like depression or anxiety are evaluated and treated
  • lifelong follow-up in an attempt to prevent relapsing

Success could be achieved through different types of care that come with customised treatment method and follow-up options.


Depending on the level of need, mental health services should be added to the medical aspect of any treatment. Often, community or family based recovery groups or support systems are used as part of follow up care.


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 During the detoxification process, medication helps suppress the physical reactions. Detoxification is just the very first step in the process and not "treatment" in itself. Patients normally go back to the use of drugs if their treatment is not continued after detoxification. According to one study of treatment centres, medications were utilised in close to 80 per cent of detoxifications (SAMHSA, 2014).
  • Preventing Relapse Medicines used in the detoxing programme help the brain to restore to its normal functions easier and stop the desire for the drug. 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. Treatment for every substance they have ever abused will be necessary for those that use multiple drugs.

How Drug Addiction Is Treated Using Behavioural Therapies

Behavioural therapies assist a patient to

  • Change their behaviour toward and the way the think about their drug use
  • Adopt healthier psychosocial competency
  • continue receiving medication and other types of treatment

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

Outpatient behavioural treatment incorporates a wide assortment of projects for patients who visit a behavioural health counsellor on a fixed schedule. The greater parts of the projects include individual or group drug advising, or both.


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 - 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, which gets most of the addicts disposed to work on their behaviour and commence treatment
  • contingency management (motivational incentives), which makes use of positive reinforcement to motivate refraining from substances

At first, treatment can be as intensive as multiple outpatient sessions every week. regular outpatient treatment that involves fewer meeting hours few days of the week after the intensive treatment in the bid to ensure a sustained healing process.


Inpatient or private treatment can likewise be extremely compelling, particularly for those with more serious issues (including co-happening conditions). The around the clock care available at residential rehabilitation centres includes safe boarding facilities and close monitoring of patients. At the inpatient rehab centres, various treatment procedures are employed all for the benefit of the patient to help them attain a drug-free life void of crime.


Some examples of inpatient treatment environments are

  • 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. 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.
  • Short term, supervised housing for patients called recovery housing is sometimes utilized after 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.

Difficulties Of Re-Passage

Drug misuse changes the capacity of the mind and numerous things can "trigger" drug longings inside the brain. 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.