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. Substance dependency is also a relapsing illness. Relapse means going back after some time, to using the substance one had stopped using.
The road to substance dependency starts with voluntarily using substances. However, the mental strength to decide whether to use drugs or not is eroded with time. The need to obtain and consume the drug becomes a driving force. This is mainly because of the effects of long-term substance exposure on the functioning of the brain. The portion of the human brain that controls human behaviour, learning and memory, and reward and motivation are negatively influenced by addiction.
Addiction is a sickness that influences both the mind and conduct.
Is Drug Addiction Treatable?
It could, but through a complicated process. Drug dependency is a long-time illness from which it is not possible to quit at will and remain clean. To come back to their old lives and overcome drug addiction totally, many addicts will require repeated or prolonged care periods.
The addicts must be assisted to achieve certain things through the treatment for addiction, and they include:
Stop taking drugs
be profitable in the family, at work and in the public arena
Principles Behind Effective Treatment
Ongoing scientific research since the 1970s has shown that the following basic principles should be the basis of any effective course of treatment:
Addiction is a complicated, chronic disease that affects the brain and behaviour, but it is treatable.
There is no particular treatment that is fitting for all.
Treatment should be made available to people whenever they need it.
To be successful, the treatment plan should not focus on the addiction only but the whole person.
It's important to remain in treatment long enough.
The most frequently used forms of treatment are counselling and other behavioural therapies.
When medications are administered in conjunction with behavioural therapies, they form a valuable part of the treatment.
Treatment procedures must be measured frequently and altered to fit the patient's evolving needs.
Some other associated mental problems must be taken care of by treatments.
The first step during treatment involves detoxification that is overseen by medical personnel.
Patients do not necessarily enrol for treatment by choice.
When in treatment, possible drug use must be constantly monitored.
Patients in treatment should be tested for a variety of infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and tuberculosis and also receive education about how to reduce the risk of getting thee illnesses.
How Is Drug Addiction Treated?
There are several steps to effective treatment:
detox (the process when the body cleanses itself of a substance)
Medicine (for opioid, tobacco, or liquor enslavement)
Making sure that coexisting mental health issues like depression or anxiety are evaluated and treated
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.
During the rehabilitation, both physical and psychological issues are treated. The follow-up can compromise family- or community-based recovery support systems.
How Are Medications Used In Drug Addiction Treatment?
Meds can be utilized to oversee withdrawal manifestations, anticipate backslide and treat comorbid conditions.
Withdrawal During the detoxification process, medication helps suppress the physical reactions. Detoxification is not in itself "treatment," rather just the initial phase all the while. Patients who only go through detoxification and don't have any additional treatment typically relapse back into drug use. 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. Medication is available for the treatment of tobacco (nicotine), alcohol and opioid (prescription pain relievers and heroin) dependency. Scientists are busy to develop other medications to treat cannabis (marijuana) and stimulant (methamphetamine and cocaine) dependency. It's really common for addicts to use more than one drug and they will need treatment for each substance.
Behavioural Therapies - How Are They Employed To Treat Drug Dependency?
Behavioural therapies assist a patient to:
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
Treatment is available to patients in many different types of locations which use various methods.
Outpatient treatment is an option where a wide range of programs are available for patients who continue to visit behavioural health professionals regularly. Personal or group drug counselling or both of them are included in majority of the programs.
Treatments available in some of these treatment sessions address psychological issues like:
cognitive-behavioural therapy, which helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs
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 interviewing, which takes full advantage of the patient's readiness to change and willingness to enter treatment
Motivational incentives, which uses positive reinforcement to encourage continued abstinence
Treatment is at times strenuous initially, where a patient attends many outpatient sessions weekly. After the intensive treatment is complete, patients move on to regular outpatient treatment to help maintain their recovery by continuing to meet weekly but for fewer hours.
Residential/inpatient treatment can also be extremely successful, particularly for patients with more serious issues (including co-occurring conditions). Residential treatment facilities are licensed to offer safe housing and medical attention plus around the clock structured and intensive care. 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:
Therapeutic communities which are exceedingly organised programs in which patients stay at a home, normally for 6 to 12 months. The whole community, everyone from the staff to the patients in recovery, act as agents of change, helping to change every patient's attitude, understanding, and behaviour toward drug use.
Also available are short blood cleansing programmes offered at the residential facilities to rid the body of drugs and set the foundation for a longer treatment programme.
There are also recovery housing services aimed at giving a patient a place to stay in the short term as they recuperate from treatment in other establishments. The recovery housing programme provides a bridge for the patients between the long term inpatient facility and re-joining the society; patients are helped to prepare for life on the outside by enabling them to look for jobs and learn how to take care and budget their money.
Challenges Of Re-Entry
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.