Most people who struggle with drug addiction undergo changes in their brain function and behavior. So it is not unusual for these individuals to experience significant damage to their physical and mental health over time. Medical and mental health research show that drug addiction is treatable and many people with the condition would like to break free from the habit. However, current health statistics indicate that relapse among individuals with drug addiction is very common.
While drug addiction is treatable, treatment is rarely simple. This is because addiction is chronic and it will not disappear if people stop using drugs for a couple of days. In many cases, people require long term care in order to eliminate their dependence on drugs. Effective care aims to accomplish three goals:
- Help the individual to stop taking drugs
- Help the individual to remain drug free
- Help the individual to function well at home, at work, and in society
It is important to note that there is no standard drug treatment that will work for everyone. Different people have different circumstances that may require different treatment methods. Effective treatment addresses all of the patient’s needs (in addition to his or her drug use) and continues for as long as the individual requires it. Working with licensed medical and mental care providers can greatly improve the effectiveness of treatment and reduce the likelihood of relapse.
What Treatment Methods are Used for Drug Addiction?
Several treatment options are available for people with drug addiction. Perhaps the most commonly used methods are counseling and behavioral therapies. Medication is often administered in conjunction with behavioral therapy as it helps to restore normal brain function and decrease cravings. Patients are also assessed for comorbid mental health concerns such as anxiety or depression.
As the patient’s needs may change over time, it is important that his or her treatment plan is reviewed and adjusted to ensure that all current needs are being met. Any permitted drug use during treatment should be monitored closely. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of talk therapy that is often utilized in the treatment plan as it very effective at addressing mood issues and helping the patient to recognize and avoid situations that may lead to drug use. The patient may also be taught positive coping skills to deal with current and future challenges in a healthy way.
What if People with Drug Addiction Do Not Want Treatment?
It is essential to understand that treatment does not have to be voluntary in order to be effective. If a person you love is at risk of hurting himself or other people, it may be necessary to place him into treatment even if it is against his will. As mentioned before, many people with drug addiction have impaired brain function, so your loved one may not understand what is in his best interests. Once any needed emergency care has been rendered, therapeutic interventions such as medication or a range of behavioral therapies may be included in the basic treatment plan.