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What Is 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. Substance dependency is also a relapsing illness. Relapse is returning to a habit of drug use after a serious attempt to stop using.


Addiction starts when the decision to take drugs is first made. With time, the user is unable to stop voluntarily the need to use the drug. Looking for and using the substance becomes uncontrollable. This is generally because of the impacts of long haul drug exposure on brain work. The portion of the human brain that controls human behaviour, learning and memory, and reward and motivation are negatively influenced by addiction.

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


Can Substance Dependency Be Treated?

It can, however it is hard. Since addiction is a chronic illness, curing it is not as easy as simply stopping the drugs for a few days. 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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Enslavement treatment must help the individual to the accompanying

  • stop using the substances
  • stay drug free
  • be profitable in the family, at work and in the public arena

Essentials Of Successful Treatment

These values have been observed since some scientific research was done in the mid-70s as the foundation for a successful recovery plan

  • Addiction is a complicated, chronic disease that affects the brain and behaviour, but it is treatable.
  • There is no one treatment that will work for everyone.
  • 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.
  • Going through with the programme is essential.
  • The most frequently used forms of treatment are counselling and other behavioural therapies.
  • Behavioural therapies are often combined with medications, which are another important aspect of therapy.
  • A treatment plan must be evaluated frequently and adapted to suit the changing requirements of the patient.
  • Treatment ought to address other conceivable mental problems.
  • The first step during treatment involves detoxification that is overseen by medical personnel.
  • Patients do not necessarily enrol for treatment by choice.
  • 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.

What Steps Are Involved In Treating Addiction?

Effective treatment consists of several steps

  • detox (the process when the body cleanses itself of a substance)
  • Behavioural advising
  • treatment (for opioid, tobacco, or alcohol addiction)
  • assessment and treatment for co-happening psychological well-being issues, for example, depression and anxiety
  • Avoiding relapse by providing long term follow up care

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


Treatment should compromise mental and medical health services as required. Family or community based recovery support systems are some of the things involved in a follow-up care.


How Is Medication Employed In Substance Dependency Treatment?

Managing withdrawal symptoms, preventing relapse, and treating coexisting conditions are accomplished through medication use.

  • Withdrawal During the detoxification process, medication helps suppress the physical reactions. Cleansing the body is not the same as treatment, it only the beginning of the journey. Patients who only go through detoxification and don't have any additional treatment typically relapse back into drug use. According to a study, 80% of detoxifications used medications (SAMHSA, 2014).
  • Relapse Prevention Patients can utilize medicines to help rebuild normal brain functioning and reduce desires. There are medications for the treatment of addictions to alcohol, tobacco/nicotine, and opioids, such as heroin or prescription pain pills. 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?

Patients are helped by behavioural therapy with

  • change his/her behaviour and attitude related to the substance use
  • Adopt healthier psychosocial competency
  • Endure with different types of treatment, for example, medication

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

In an outpatient treatment programme, the recovering addict attends therapy sessions on appointed times. There are therapy sessions that a patient is alone with the counsellor and others that utilise group therapy, sometimes a patient may attend both types.


Treatments available in some of these treatment sessions address psychological issues like

  • cognitive-behavioural therapy, which helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs
  • Multidimensional family therapy, which is for teenage addicts and their families to understand all of the factors influencing the patterns of drug abuse and works on improving the family's ability to function
  • motivational interviewing, that makes the most of a person's willingness to alter their behaviour and start treatment
  • Motivational impetuses (possibility management), which utilizes uplifting feedback to support restraint from medications

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.


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. 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.


The following are some examples of residential treatment settings are

  • 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.
  • Shorter-term residential treatment, where detoxification is done and the patient prepared for community based treatment through preliminary intensive counselling.
  • There are also recovery housing services aimed at giving a patient a place to stay in the short term as they recuperate from treatment in other establishments. People can move onto independent life through recovery housing - it assists them for example to learn financial management or job hunting, while linking them to community based support groups.

Challenges Of Re-Entering Society

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.