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Drug Abuse: Treatment Approaches

Posted on :  May 1st, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Drug abuse is serious business. It is a chronic disease that can destroy individual people, families, and communities. Drugs abuse is so harmful because of the way different drugs affect the brain and the body. It is a difficult disease to treat and an easy disease to relapse into.

Several Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are several treatment procedures for drug abuse and addiction. But, the treatments are not easy. In some cases, the addiction needs to be treated for long lengths of time, even entire lifetimes. Treatment in all situations requires addicts to stop using drugs so they can be completely free of drugs and get back to being a productive member of society.

There are several considerations when determining the best treatment option for an addict. First, health care professionals need to emphasize that the treatment works on the brain and behavior. They should also make sure the addict understands that not every treatment works the same way for every addict. In order to make treatments work, addicts need to have access to the treatment and that treatment needs to fits the patient’s physical and psychological needs.

Treatment Considerations

Once the treatment is established, there are more considerations. Addicts need to be in treatment long enough to determine its efficacy. The addict also needs to have ample time to work with a counselor on behavioral therapies. Many addicts will have treatments that involve cognitive therapy and pharmacological treatments, because they work together well. Mental disorders should be considered during behavioral therapies. Then, the treatments need to be reassessed after the patient has spent time in it.

Detoxification Needs

For all addicts, the first step is to detoxify under the care of a medical professional. Despite the belief that addicts need to be willing to detox, addicts can be treated even if they have not voluntarily agreed to it. The treatment program does need to be continuously watched by trained medical professionals. Addicts should be check for infectious diseases while they are being treated – this lets healthcare professionals help the addicts learn how to live with diseases if they do have them.

Fighting Withdrawal

One of the issues that happen with detox is withdrawal. There are medications that can help lower the discomfort that comes from withdrawal from an addictive substance. It is important for addicts to remember than the detox step is not treatment, but it is necessary to have before actual treatment can occur.

Preventing Relapse

Medication can also be used to prevent relapse. The brain can suffer from cravings so medication helps dull the cravings to recovering addicts can get back to a regular way of life. There are medications that help fight the craving from opioids, nicotine, and alcohol.

Along with the help from medication, behavioral therapies also decrease the chances for relapse. These therapies help addicts change their behaviors so they can learn how to live without drugs in a healthy way.

Behavioral treatment can come in the form of outpatient treatment where the patient attends sessions at an office. There are also inpatient programs where addicts live in a center and receive a variety of treatments. They learn how to live without drugs under the watchful eyes of medical professionals.

Issues in the Criminal Justice System

Addicts who are involved in the criminal justice system have slightly different treatment. Although the actual treatment tends to be similar in concept, the execution of it is not as successful as the general population’s treatment is. Criminal offenders usually have poor quality treatment, so they often return to drugs when they return to the regular world.

Those in the criminal justice system need to be treated with the same regard as those who are not in the criminal justice system. But, they need a little bit more. Their cognitive behaviors need to address their lives of crime and how they get involved in it. They also need to look at how they can see the consequences of their actions before they decide to live that life again. Treatment decisions should revolve behavioral therapies, medication therapies, and correctional therapies, too. The courts will have to be involved, so the courts need to agree on what decisions the medical professionals make.

If you have any questions or concerns about drug abuse or looking for methadone as a tool for recovery, please contact us at 905-527-2042 or email at

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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