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. Addiction to drugs is a disease that can throw people into relapse too. Relapse is a situation where the person goes back to drug use after making efforts to overcome addiction.
Using drugs out of one's volition is the road that leads to drug addiction. However, the mental strength to decide whether to use drugs or not is eroded with time. The desire to search for and make use of drugs will now rely on a very huge urge. This unrelenting craving results from the effects of the drug on the brain over time. The portion of the human brain that controls human behaviour, learning and memory, and reward and motivation are negatively influenced by addiction.
Addiction influences both behaviour and the brain.
Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?
It isn't easy, but, yes, drug addiction is treatable. Drug dependency is a long-time illness from which it is not possible to quit at will and remain clean. Many of those under treatment need it over a long time or for the rest of their lives.
Rehabilitation from drug use should result in the patient:
Stop taking drugs
be a productive member at work, in society and in the family
Values Of Successful Rehabilitation
These values have been observed since some scientific research was done in the mid-70s as the foundation for a successful recovery plan:
Dependency is an intricate, but treatable illness which affects the functioning of the brain and behaviour.
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 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.
A crucial part of treatment is medication, particularly when combined with behavioural therapy.
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 first stage, medically assisted detoxification, is only the beginning of treatment.
The treatment does not rely on the volition of the patient to yield positive fruits.
Substance use during treatment should be observed constantly.
The treatment programs must ensure that patients are tested for tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, and other infectious ailments, while they should also be informed about the best way to avoid contacting those.
How Drug Dependency Is Treated?
There are several steps to effective treatment:
detox (the process when the body cleanses itself of a substance)
medication (for tobacco, alcohol or opioid dependency)
Making sure that coexisting mental health issues like depression or anxiety are evaluated and treated
long-term after treatment care to avoid relapse
Success could be achieved through different types of care that come with customised treatment method and follow-up options.
Depending on the level of need, mental health services should be added to the medical aspect of any treatment. 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?
The treatment of co-occurring health issues, avoidance of relapse and amelioration of the withdrawal symptoms are some of the cases where medications are needed.
Withdrawal The withdrawal symptoms that are witnessed when detox is done could be alleviated with medications. Detoxing from the drug is not the only necessary treatment, merely the first step in the process. Those who stop at detox will most likely relapse into drug abuse again. According to a study, 80% of detoxifications used medications (SAMHSA, 2014).
Preventing A Relapse A patient can make use of medication to assist in re-establishing normal brain function and reducing cravings. Various medicines are used for narcotics (pain killers), tobacco (nicotine) and alcohol dependency. Drugs that can counter the effects of enhancing (uppers) like (cocaine, crystal meth) and cannabis (marijuana) are being developed by scientists. 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?
Patients are assisted by behavioural therapies to:
change his/her behaviour and attitude related to the substance use
Learn to exercise healthy life skills
Endure with different types of treatment, for example, medication
Treatment is available to patients in many different types of locations which use various methods.
In an outpatient treatment programme, the recovering addict attends therapy sessions on appointed times. There are therapy sessions that a patient is alone with the counsellor and others that utilise group therapy, sometimes a patient may attend both types.
These programmes usually provide types of behavioural therapy 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 interviewing, that makes the most of a person's willingness to alter their behaviour and start treatment
Motivational impetuses (possibility management), which utilizes uplifting feedback to support restraint from medications
sometimes, intensive treatments that involve several outpatient sessions every week is given at first. 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.
For people with problems of high severity (plus co-occurring disorders), residential or inpatient programs will have better effects. 24-hour planned and organised care system, coupled with proper medical care and safe housing are given in residential treatment facilities that are licensed. 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.
Some examples of inpatient treatment environments are:
A therapeutic community that is a very structured programme in which a patient stays at a residence, usually for 6 months to a year. The whole group, including treatment staff and those in recuperation, approach as key specialists of progress, affecting the patient's states of mind, comprehension and practices related with drug utilisation.
Shorter-term residential treatment, which ordinarily concentrates on detoxification and also giving early extensive counselling and readiness for treatment in a community based setting.
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. Recovery housing can assist a person to complete the changeover to an independent life-for example, assisting him/her learn how to tackle finances or look for a job, as well as linking them to the community's support services.
Challenges Of Re-Entry
Drug misuse changes the capacity of the mind and numerous things can "trigger" drug longings inside the brain. Patients at a residential rehab centre or a prison facility when undergoing treatment are taught how to tell what drives them to take drugs, how to avoid and also cope with those things once they re-join society.