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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 alterations in the brain can cause dangerous behaviour in a person who uses drugs. Drug dependency is a degenerative illness. Relapse is the reoccurrence to drug use after an endeavour to stop.


Using drugs out of one's volition is the road that leads to drug addiction. After some time, a man's capacity to pick not to do as such becomes compromised. Looking for and taking the drugs gets to be distinctly compulsive. The increased length of time that the person's brain relies on drugs to function is the cause of this. The parts of the brain that control reward and motivation, learning and memory, and self control are all significantly affected by addiction.

Addiction influences both behaviour and the brain.


Can Substance Dependency Be Treated?

Yes, yet it's not simple. Drug dependency is a long-time illness from which it is not possible to quit at will and remain clean. Most patients need long haul or rehashed care to quit utilizing totally and recoup their lives.


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Dependency treatment must assist the individual to achieve the following

  • quit utilising drugs
  • abstain from drugs
  • be a productive member at work, in society and in the family

Principles Behind Effective Treatment

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

  • Dependency is an intricate, but treatable illness which affects the functioning of the brain and behaviour.
  • There is no one treatment that will work for everyone.
  • Easy access to rehab is of utmost importance.
  • Viable treatment addresses the greater part of the patient's needs, not only his or her drug intake.
  • It is crucial to remain in treatment for a long enough amount 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.
  • To make sure the user's most current requirements are met, there is a need for continuous evaluations and adjustments to the treatment regime.
  • Mental illnesses associated with drug dependency need to be treated too.
  • The first stage, medically assisted detoxification, is only the beginning of treatment.
  • Treatment doesn't require being voluntary to be successful.
  • Substance use during treatment should be observed constantly.
  • Treatment projects ought to test patients for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and different chronic infections in addition show them about strides they can go for broke of these illnesses.

What Steps Are Involved In Treating Addiction?

Effective treatment comprises many steps

  • detoxification (the process through which drug is expelled from the body)
  • Psychological therapist
  • medication for addictions to opioids, tobacco, or alcohol
  • evaluation and treatment for mental health issues like anxiety and depression that co-occur with addiction
  • lifelong follow-up in an attempt to prevent relapsing

A variety of care with a customised treatment programme and follow-up options can be key to being successful.


Treatment ought to incorporate both therapeutic and emotional well-being services as required. The follow-up can compromise family- or community-based recovery support systems.


How Are Medications Used In Drug Addiction 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. Detoxification is just the very first step in the process and not "treatment" in itself. Patients normally go back to the use of drugs if their treatment is not continued after detoxification. The SAMHSA, 2014 study has shown that about 80% of detox programmes use prescription drugs.
  • Preventing Relapse 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. Drugs that can counter the effects of enhancing (uppers) like (cocaine, crystal meth) and cannabis (marijuana) are being developed by scientists. A person who uses more than one substance, which is really typical, require treatment for every substance he/she uses.

How Drug Addiction Is Treated Using Behavioural Therapies

Patients are helped by behavioural therapy with

  • Change their behaviour toward and the way the think about their drug use
  • increase wholesome life skills
  • Continue with varying forms of treatment like medication

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

Outpatient behavioural treatment incorporates a wide assortment of projects for patients who visit a behavioural health counsellor on a fixed schedule. The majority of the programmes incorporate group or one-to-one substance counselling or both these forms.


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

  • 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 in which not just the patient but also his/her family is involved able to sort out a lot of things and help the whole family cope with the changes and heal together
  • Motivational meeting, which capitalizes on individual's' status to change their conduct and enter treatment
  • motivational incentives (contingency management), where abstinence from drugs is rewarded and motivated with positive reinforcements

Treatment is at times strenuous initially, where a patient attends many outpatient sessions weekly. 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.


Inpatient or private treatment can likewise be extremely compelling, particularly for those with more serious issues (including co-happening conditions). A licensed inpatient treatment centre provides round-the-clock, structured and comprehensive care, that includes safe accommodation as well as medical attention. Several approaches to therapies that are mainly designed to assist the patients to achieve a life that is free of drugs and crime after treatment are applied by residential treatment facilities.


Residential treatment setting samples

  • In the period it takes for the patient to recover, usually six to twelve months, the patient becomes a member of the community at the therapeutic facility. The entire community, comprising treatment employees and patients in recovery, act as essential agents of change, affecting the patient's understanding, attitude, as well as conduct linked with substance use.
  • Shorter-term residential treatment, where detoxification is done and the patient prepared for community based treatment through preliminary intensive counselling.
  • Recovery housing that offers supervised, short-term accommodation for a patient, frequently after other kinds of inpatient/residential treatment. 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

Because drug abuse changes the way the brain functions, a lot of things can trigger drug cravings. Those undergoing treatment, especially in prison or inpatient facilities will find it very useful, as they will understand the best way to handle and overcome the triggers that will face them after recovery.