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Explaining Drug Addiction

Substance dependency is a chronic illness that is identified by uncontrollable substance seeking and use, regardless of the harmful effects and alterations in the brain that can be permanent. These adjustments in the mind can prompt to the hurtful practices found in individuals who take drugs. Drug compulsion is likewise a backsliding illness. Relapse is a situation where the person goes back to drug use after making efforts to overcome addiction.


The road to substance dependency starts with voluntarily using substances. 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. This is mainly because of the effects of long-term substance exposure on the functioning of the brain. Dependence influences parts of the mind required in reward and inspiration, learning and memory plus control over conduct.

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


Is Drug Addiction Treatable?

There is, but it is a long journey. Since addiction is a chronic illness, curing it is not as easy as simply stopping the drugs for a few days. Most patients need long haul or rehashed care to quit utilizing totally and recoup their lives.


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Rehabilitation from drug use should result in the patient

  • stop using the substances
  • abstain from drugs
  • be profitable in the family, at work and in the public arena

Essentials Of Successful Treatment

These principles must be involved, if any efficient treatment program must be arrived at, as opined by several scientific researches since mid-1970s

  • Dependence is a complex yet treatable sickness that influences brain capacity and behaviour.
  • No single treatment is appropriate for everybody.
  • Treatment needs to be readily available.
  • Successful treatment looks at all the needs of the patient, not simply his/her substance use.
  • Adhering to treatment sufficiently long is critical.
  • Psychological and other behaviour remedies are used in treating the habit.
  • When medications are administered in conjunction with behavioural therapies, they form a valuable part of the treatment.
  • In order to accommodate the needs of the patient, treatment methods must be appraised with changes in the patient's needs.
  • Other possible mental disorders should be considered during treatment.
  • Therapeutically helped detoxification is just the primary phase of treatment.
  • The treatment does not rely on the volition of the patient to yield positive fruits.
  • During treatments, the use of drugs by the patient must be properly observed.
  • 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.

What Steps Are Involved In Treating Addiction?

There are several steps to effective treatment

  • detoxification (the process through which drug is expelled from the body)
  • behavioural counselling
  • medication for addictions to opioids, tobacco, or alcohol
  • assessment and treatment for any co-occurring mental health concerns like anxiety and depression
  • long-term after treatment care to avoid relapse

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. Follow-up care may comprise group or family-based recuperation supportive networks.


How Are Medications Used In Drug Addiction Treatment?

Medication can be employed to deal with withdrawal symptoms, treat co-occurring conditions and prevent a relapse.

  • Withdrawal The withdrawal symptoms that are witnessed when detox is done could be alleviated with medications. Detoxification is just the very first step in the process and not "treatment" in itself. Patient who doesn't get any further treatment after detoxification as a rule resumes their drug usage. According to a study, 80% of detoxifications used medications (SAMHSA, 2014).
  • Preventing Relapse The cravings for drugs can be lowered and normal brain functions restored in the patients with the help of medications. Medications are accessible for management of opioid (heroin, prescription pain relievers), tobacco (nicotine), and alcohol dependence. 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.

How Are Behavioural Therapies Used To Treat Drug Addiction?

Behavioural therapies assist a patient to

  • change his/her behaviour and attitude related to the substance use
  • develop life skills that are healthy
  • Keep going with other forms of treatment, like medication and support groups

There are a lot of settings and approaches for patients who are seeking treatment.

Outpatient behavioural treatment comprises a big range of programmes for patients who go to a behavioural health counsellor regularly. 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-devised for teenagers with substance dependency issues as well as their families-which looks at a series of influences on their substance abuse patterns and is created to better family functioning in general
  • motivational interviewing, which gets most of the addicts disposed to work on their behaviour and commence treatment
  • Motivational impetuses (possibility management), which utilizes uplifting feedback to support restraint from medications

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.


Inpatient or private treatment can likewise be extremely compelling, particularly for those with more serious issues (including co-happening conditions). Residential treatment facilities are licensed to offer safe housing and medical attention plus around the clock structured and intensive care. An inpatient treatment facility can make use of different therapeutic approaches and they are usually aimed at assisting patients to lead a substance-free, crime-free life after completing the treatment.


Residential treatment setting samples

  • Rigidly structured programs where patients remain inpatient for 6 to 12 months are called therapeutic communities. The behaviours, understanding and attitude of the addict towards drugs is affected by the whole community, which involves the staff that offer the treatment and those recovering from addiction, as they take up the role of change agents.
  • Also available are short blood cleansing programmes offered at the residential facilities to rid the body of drugs and set the foundation for a longer treatment programme.
  • Recovery housing that offers supervised, short-term accommodation for a patient, frequently after other kinds of inpatient/residential treatment. Recuperation housing can help individuals make the move to a free life, for instance, helping them figure out how to manage funds or look for business and also interfacing them to bolster services in the group.

Challenges Of Re-Entering Society

Because drug abuse changes the way the brain functions, a lot of things can trigger drug cravings. 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.