What Is Drug Addiction?
Drug addiction is classified as a chronic disease. It is usually marked by the compulsive need to use drugs regardless of the consequences to health or life. Drug addiction can actually alter brain chemistry over time and lead to long term effects.
People who suffer from drug addiction also relapse, which means they start using again even after they manage to stop. Drug addiction starts when people choose to take a drug, but soon they can no longer control their urges. It becomes compulsive because of the way it alters the brain over time.
Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?
Of course, it can be treated, there is hope. But there is no one cure for everyone. Treatment is different for each person and involves different steps to find success. Recovery itself is a life-long process because the risk for addiction never ends.
Addiction treatment is designed to:
- Stop drug use
- Stay drug-free
- Learn to be productive with family, at work, and in society
What Are The Treatments For Drug Addiction?
There are quite a few options that have been proven to be effective. These options include:
- Behavioral counseling
- Evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental disorders
- Long term follow up to prevent relapsing
Treatment should have medical and mental health services supplied as they are needed. It should be individualized to what each person needs and not the same for everyone.
How Are Behavioral Therapies Used In Treating Drug Addictions?
Behavioral therapy is meant to help patients adjust their attitudes about life and themselves and change behavior toward drug use. It is also meant to increase healthy life skills and coping mechanisms. It should usually be worked in tandem with other types of treatment.
There are many different treatment settings available.
Outpatient treatment is for those whose addiction may not need detoxing. They come for treatment and support but otherwise keep up with day to day life at home and work. They have to touch base and come when required but otherwise live life normally.
Treatment tends to start out as quite intense and as it goes on and the patient proves their dedication it lessens. So at first, they may have to stop by every day, then a few times a week, then once a week. It is adjusted as the patient goes.
Inpatient or residential treatment is when the patient lives at the facility from anyone from 30 to 90 days. This is so they can have round the clock care as they detox from drugs and start to learn what life is like without them. They are usually monitored and learn new skills to help with readjusting to normal life afterward.
No matter what treatment you choose, it is essential to make sure you have it individualized to your needs. This is the best way to succeed in recovery without relapsing. It can be challenging to relearn how to live without drugs, but you are the only person stopping you.