Substance Abuse and Drug Addiction Treatment

Drug/ Substance abuse can be termed to refer to a form of chronic ailment characterized by uncontrollable drug-seeking and use despite complications occurring and consequences. Drug addiction is highly associated with relapse.

Despite the urge to intake drugs, drug rehab facilities can treat addiction through repeated care offered by professional clinicians in rehab facilities. By engaging in substance abuse treatment, the addict is aided to;

  • Be productive in society and the family
  • Stay drug-free
  • Stop using drugs

How one becomes a drug addict

Drug/substance abuse begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs. Over time, with the consumption of the substance continuing, a person’s ability not to intake becomes compromised. Taking drugs now becomes uncontrollable.

Compulsive usage of drugs for the long term affects brain functionality. More so, despite complications arising, the urge for intake rises to control behavioral changes.

Treatments for Drug Addiction

Behavioral Counseling

Inpatients and Outpatient behavioral counseling is programmed to offer various therapies to help recovering addicts;

  • Increase healthy life skills
  • Modify their mindset, attitudes, and behaviors related to substance abuse
  • Persist with other forms of treatment

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: The treatment therapy offered in drug rehabilitation centers helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations that may ultimately lead to drug usage.

Motivational Interviewing: This entails determining the addicts’ readiness to change their behavior and enter treatment.

Multidimensional family therapy: The therapy addresses a range of influences and drug use patterns. It is designed to improve family coexistence.

Contingency management/Motivational Incentives: This form of therapy focuses on positive reinforcement to encourage abstinence from drugs.

Therapeutic Communities: They are highly structured programs within inpatient drug treatment facilities. The patients remain at the residence for about 6 to 12 months. Treatment staff in the facilities influence the addict’s behavioral change concerning drug use.

Medication and Devices

They are used to managing withdrawal symptoms, treating co-occurring conditions, easing detoxification, and preventing relapse.


Medications are imperative in suppressing withdrawal symptoms. SAMHSA, 2014 is one of the medications primarily used in detoxification. NSS-2 Bridge is an example of an electronic stimulation device used to reduce withdrawal symptoms in opioids.

Co-occurring conditions

Rehab centers can use medical prescriptions to treat mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Mental health conditions may influence and contribute to individual drug addiction.

Relapse prevention

Drug rehabilitation centers integrate medications to aid decrease cravings and re-establish normal brain function. Medication treatment entails different prescriptions depending on the drugs abused. Examples of prescriptions made for various substances include;

  • Alcohol: Approved medications include Acamprosate (Campral) and Disulfiram (Antabuse).
  • Opioids: Use medications like Methadone (Dolophine, Metahdose), Buprenorphine (Subutex, suboxone), and Naltrexone (Vivitrol). The medicines help patients reduce drug cravings.
  • Tobacco: Nicotine is replaced with products like patches, lozenges, and spray. Clinicians can use prescriptions like Varenicline and Bupropion to help prevent relapse.

Signs of Drug/ Alcohol Abuse

  • Failure to meet obligations at work, school, and socially
  • Physical injuries
  • Drug-related complications and illnesses
  • Drug-related legal problems
  • Preoccupied with drug activities leading to diminished interest in other activities
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Impulsivity
  • Relationship hurdles with family and intimate partners

Signs of substance/drug dependence

  • Requiring the substance throughout the day
  • Disintegrating from other activities and failing to meet obligations
  • Increased need to intake more of the substance to reach the desired state
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptomson failure to consume the drug
  • Feeling unable to quit or maintain abstinence from drugs
  • Hiding use from friends and family
  • Repeated relapse
  • Binging for many hours/days


The road toward sobriety and drug addiction recovery begins when the addict has the urge to abstain from substance intake. The best treatment program should meet the individual patient’s needs and provide substantial services that enhance recovery.

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