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Defining Drug Addiction

Drug dependence is an unrelenting illness that presents in obsessive, or out of control drive to access the drug at any cost even when one is aware of the danger and long lasting harm effects on their brain. The harmful habits of people suffering from drug addiction come as a result of these changes inside the brain. Addiction to drugs is a disease that can throw people into relapse too. Relapse is returning to a habit of drug use after a serious attempt to stop using.


The way to drug dependence starts with the wilful act of using drugs. However, as time passes, an individual's ability to decide not to use drugs weakens. The desire to search for and make use of drugs will now rely on a very huge urge. 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.

Dependency is an illness that affects behaviour and the brain.


Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?

It isn't easy, but, yes, drug addiction is treatable. Since dependency is a chronic illness, individuals cannot just quit using the substances for a day or two and be cured of it. Most users require repeated or long-term care to quit using it altogether and get their lives back.


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Dependency treatment must assist the individual to achieve the following

  • Stop taking drugs
  • Remaining drug-free
  • Be a productive member of society, in the family, and at work

Principles Of Effective Treatment

In light of logical research since the mid-1970s, the accompanying key standards ought to frame the premise of any compelling treatment program

  • 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.
  • Treatment needs to be readily available.
  • Treatment deals with more than just drug use, addressing all of the patient's needs.
  • It is extremely important to remain under treatment for a very long period of time.
  • The most frequently used forms of treatment are counselling and other behavioural therapies.
  • Medications are regularly an imperative component of treatment, particularly when consolidated with behavioural therapies.
  • A treatment plan must be evaluated frequently and adapted to suit the changing requirements of the patient.
  • Mental illnesses associated with drug dependency need to be treated too.
  • The cleansing administered by medical personnel is the beginning step of the journey.
  • Patients do not necessarily enrol for treatment by choice.
  • Drug usage amid treatment must be observed constantly.
  • 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.

How Drug Dependency Is Treated?

Effective treatment comprises many steps

  • Detoxification (the way a body is cleaned of toxins and drug residue)
  • behavioural counselling
  • medication (for tobacco, alcohol or opioid dependency)
  • Diagnosis and management mental illness associated with drug addiction such as hopelessness and nervousness
  • lifelong follow-up in an attempt to prevent relapsing

A scope of care with a custom-made treatment program and follow-up choices can be pivotal for achievement.


Treatment ought to incorporate both therapeutic and emotional well-being 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?

Meds can be utilized to oversee withdrawal manifestations, anticipate backslide and treat comorbid conditions.

  • Withdrawal During a detox, medication can assist in suppressing withdrawal symptoms. Cleansing the body is not the same as treatment, it only the beginning of the journey. Patient who doesn't get any further treatment after detoxification as a rule resumes their drug usage. The SAMHSA, 2014 study has shown that about 80% of detox programmes use prescription drugs.
  • Relapse Prevention A patient can make use of medication to assist in re-establishing normal brain function and reducing cravings. Alcohol addiction, tobacco (nicotine) and opioid (heroin, prescription pain relievers) have medications for their treatments. Scientists are busy to develop other medications to treat cannabis (marijuana) and stimulant (methamphetamine and cocaine) dependency. Treatment for every substance they have ever abused will be necessary for those that use multiple drugs.

How Are Behavioural Therapies Used To Treat Drug Addiction?

Behavioural treatments aid patients

  • change his/her behaviour and attitude related to the substance use
  • develop life skills that are healthy
  • carry on with other kinds of treatment, like medication

A patient can get treatment in several different environments using different approaches.

Outpatient treatment is an option where a wide range of programs are available for patients who continue to visit behavioural health professionals regularly. The greater parts of the projects include individual or group drug advising, or both.


Different types of behavioural therapy are dished out by these programs, and they include

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy, which teaches patients how to recognize, avoid, and deal with any situation that will make them more likely to use drugs
  • Multidimensional family treatment created for young people with drug abuse issues and their families which addresses a scope of impacts on their drug mishandle designs and is intended to enhance general family working
  • Motivational interviewing has been used to prepare a patient to accept their problem and wants to change their actions by seeking help
  • Motivational incentives, which uses positive reinforcement to encourage continued abstinence

Treatment is once in awhile escalated at to begin with, where patients go to numerous outpatient sessions every week. After the completion of the in-depth treatment, a patient moves to frequent outpatient treatment, which does not meet as regularly and for fewer hours every week to assist with maintaining his/her recovery.


Inpatient or private treatment can likewise be extremely compelling, particularly for those with more serious issues (including co-happening conditions). Authorised residential treatment centre offers 24-hour organized and proper care, including safe lodging and medicinal consideration. Inpatient treatment facilities can use many therapeutic approaches and are usually working toward assisting the patient after treatment to maintain a drug free, crime free lifestyle.


The following are some examples of residential treatment settings are

  • 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.
  • Recuperation lodging gives regulated, brief-span housing for patients, regularly taking after different sorts of inpatient or residential management. Recovery housing is a great way to help people treatment go back to having an independent life while still having support with things like managing finances, finding employment, and locating support services.

Difficulties Of Re-Passage

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. It's basic for those in treatment, particularly those treated at an inpatient centre or jail, to figure out how to identify, ignore and adapt to triggers they are probably going to be presented to after treatment.