Addiction Treatment (Drugs and Alcohol)

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Drug Addiction Treatment

Drug Therapy

Preparing for drug addiction treatment, whether for yourself or for someone you care for, is a challenging prospect. Knowing what choices are available, and what the likely process will be like, can help. Because of the deep compulsion of addiction and the many social, emotional and physical elements in recovery, a strong preparation is necessary to gain the best possible results.

The Elements Involved:

  • What kinds of drug therapies are used?
  • What is treatment like?
  • Will medications be used in treatment?
  • What are the odds of lasting recovery?

Kinds of Drug Therapies

Most drug addiction treatments are blended therapies, drawing on a wide range of different approaches over the course of recovery. Early stages are heavily involved in medical aspects of addiction and withdrawal, dealing with methods of coping with the nausea, pain, convulsions, fevers, and other physical responses to terminating drug use. Once the primary period of withdrawal has been passed, therapy will move on to medical maintenance, often involving drug substitution treatments, along with medications to continue to deal with stress, discomfort, and any underlying medical issues contributing to the problems of recovery. At this point long-term personal counseling will begin, often including group and family counseling. Training and vocational counseling may be needed, and a long-term plan for a lifetime of follow-through can be expected.

Experiencing Drug Addiction Treatment

The first stages of treatment are reliably stressful, unpleasant, and often physically grueling. Withdrawal from any addictive substance triggers active resistance in the body of the addict, along with intense emotional and physical stress and craving. During this phase of treatment, those helping and supporting the addict must be firm, and resolute – a form of kindness often unappreciated by the sufferer. Later stages become less immediately difficult, but no stage of recovery is simple. Counselors, therapists, and even fellow addicts and friends and family members are likely to tell uncomfortable truths and equally likely to hold to high and unwavering standards. This is necessary, but addicts should be prepared for the difficulty and for the demands involved.

What about Medications?

Some forms of addiction are treated with replacement therapies. Others are not. Decisions regarding medication will, ultimately, be in the hands of doctors and medical psychologist and psychiatrists specializing in addictive treatments. A range of considerations will be taken into account, including the underlying health of the addict and the likeliest complications. The number of possible medications is substantial, ranging from medications intended to serve as surrogates for the addictive drug, to medications to reduce stress, maintain physical health, and fight the symptoms of withdrawal.
Medications used in drug addiction therapy aren’t themselves addictive, nor do they ever really replace the addictive drug. They merely serve as supports during the process of recovery, and can help make the difference between a successful attempt and a failure.

Likelihood of Success

Even with the best of treatments, a fully successful recovery is far from certain. Statistics vary from drug to drug and depend also on the addict and the circumstances, but a rough estimate of 20% who remain drug free without long-term follow-up and 40% who succeed with follow-up is common. The odds facing an addict are extreme, though individual factors can alter the outcome. The one sure fact is that no one recovers without first quitting, and quitting is easier and more likely to succeed with medical and counseling support.

Getting Help

The best approach to recovery is to find a sound, secure drug addiction therapy program you can trust. That’s best accomplished through referrals, personal exploration, and ultimately through interviews with potential care givers. Finding the information you need can be managed in a number of ways. Federal, state, and county services are one route to information. Your own doctor or medical clinic may be of use. Referral services can provide reliable and insightful information for those without other resources.

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