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What Is 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 dependency is a degenerative 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. However, as time passes, an individual's ability to decide not to use drugs weakens. 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. Dependence influences parts of the mind required in reward and inspiration, learning and memory plus control over conduct.

Drug dependency is an illness that alters both brain functions and actions.


Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?

There is, but it is a long journey. Since dependency is a chronic illness, individuals cannot just quit using the substances for a day or two and be cured of it. 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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Dependency treatment must assist the individual to achieve the following

  • quit utilising drugs
  • Remaining drug-free
  • achieve more productivity in the society in general and in the family and workplace in particular

Principles Of Effective Treatment

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

  • Though addiction is very complicated, it could heal completely, and it affects the workings of the human brain and human behaviour.
  • There is no one treatment that will work for everyone.
  • Individuals must be able to access treatment quickly.
  • Treatment deals with more than just drug use, addressing all of the patient's needs.
  • It is extremely important to remain under treatment for a very long period of time.
  • The prevalently applied types of treatment include counselling and some other therapies that centre on behaviours.
  • Behavioural therapies are often combined with medications, which are another important aspect of therapy.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When in treatment, possible drug use must be constantly monitored.
  • People who use drugs easily contact communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and others and as such, they should be tested so that their treatment can be taken into account during rehabilitation.

How Is Drug Addiction Treated?

Effective treatment comprises many steps

  • detoxification (the procedure by which the body frees itself of a medication)
  • Therapy or counselling
  • medication (for tobacco, opioid, or alcohol addiction)
  • Diagnosis and management mental illness associated with drug addiction such as hopelessness and nervousness
  • long-term after treatment care to avoid relapse

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


Both medical and mental health treatment should be utilized as needed. Often, community or family based recovery groups or support systems are used as part of follow up care.


How Is Drug Addiction Treated With Medication?

Administered under professional supervision, prescription medicines are used to help the patient ease into a life without the effects of the drug, stop cravings and manage associated ailments.

  • Withdrawal The withdrawal symptoms that are witnessed when detox is done could be alleviated with medications. Cleansing the body is not the same as treatment, it only the beginning of the journey. Those who stop at detox will most likely relapse into drug abuse again. One research of treatment centres found that drugs were utilized as a part of just about 80 percent of detoxifications (SAMHSA, 2014).
  • Relapse Prevention A patient can make use of medication to assist in re-establishing normal brain function and reducing cravings. Alcohol addiction, tobacco (nicotine) and opioid (heroin, prescription pain relievers) have medications for their treatments. Scientists are busy to develop other medications to treat cannabis (marijuana) and stimulant (methamphetamine and cocaine) dependency. Individuals who utilize more than one drug, which is extremely normal, require treatment for the majority of the substances they utilise.

What About Behavioural Therapies And Drug Addiction

Behavioural therapies assist a patient to

  • change their character and disposition towards the use of drugs
  • Adopt healthier psychosocial competency
  • continue receiving medication and other types of treatment

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

In an outpatient treatment programme, the recovering addict attends therapy sessions on appointed times. The majority of the programmes incorporate group or one-to-one substance counselling or both these forms.


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

  • cognitive-behavioural therapy, that assists a patient to identify, steer clear of, and deal with the circumstances in which he/she is most probable to resort to substances
  • 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 meeting, which capitalizes on individual's' status to change their conduct and enter treatment
  • Motivational impetuses (possibility management), which utilizes uplifting feedback to support restraint from medications

Initially, a patient will receive many hours of treatment and will have to frequently attend clinical sessions if they opted for the outpatient therapies. 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.


For people with problems of high severity (plus co-occurring disorders), residential or inpatient programs will have better effects. 24-hour planned and organised care system, coupled with proper medical care and safe housing are given in residential treatment facilities that are licensed. 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.


Cases of residential treatment settings include

  • Therapeutic communities which are exceedingly organised programs in which patients stay at a home, normally for 6 to 12 months. The whole community, everyone from the staff to the patients in recovery, act as agents of change, helping to change every patient's attitude, understanding, and behaviour toward drug use.
  • Shorter-term residential treatment, which ordinarily concentrates on detoxification and also giving early extensive counselling and readiness for treatment in a community based setting.
  • Short term, supervised housing for patients called recovery housing is sometimes utilized after residential treatment. The recovery housing programme provides a bridge for the patients between the long term inpatient facility and re-joining the society; patients are helped to prepare for life on the outside by enabling them to look for jobs and learn how to take care and budget their money.

Difficulties Of Re-Passage

Habitual intake of drugs alters the normal functions of the brain, and various things can cause one to have a burning desire to take the drugs. 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.