Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Effective Treatment Approaches For Drug Addiction

Drug rehabilitation involves various psychotherapeutic and medical processes for the treatment of addiction to psychoactive substances including alcohol, street drugs like heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines, and prescription drugs. Several treatment approaches are outlined by NIDA (The National Institute of Drug Abuse) based on reliable data collected over the past forty years. The general intent is to improve the odds of treatment success by helping addicts to confront the facts of their dependence, end their substance abuse, lower the risk of relapse, and help them rebuild their lives. Treatment approaches include counseling by experts, sharing experiences with other addicts in group therapy, family and community therapy, and medication for mental disorders like depression and mood disorders.


Why is Therapy so Important?

Drug addiction is a multi-faceted problem, but it can be treated effectively. The successful cessation of any type of drug addiction is a major accomplishment that enables addicts to avoid the physical, social, financial, and legal consequences of addiction, especially those caused by extreme drug abuse. For most addicts detox in a rehabilitation center is only the beginning of a life-long battle against relapse, particularly for those with opioid addiction.

Many drug rehabilitation programs address psychological dependence by attempting to introduce patients to new ways of interacting in a drug-free environment. For example, patients are urged to avoid interaction with others who are using addictive substances. Addicts are encouraged to attend 12-Step programs that not only help them abstain from drug and alcohol use but help them to examine themselves and change habits that may be related to their addictions. In most programs, it is emphasized that drug recovery is an ongoing life-long process without no prospect of culmination. Attempts at moderation are considered unsustainable and usually lead to a relapse.

Types of Treatment for Drug Addiction

The chemical structure of the brain impacted by drug abuse remains long after a person has stopped using. This increases the risk of relapse and emphasizes the importance of integrated therapies in the treatment of addiction. An effective treatment program addresses multiple needs rather than the addiction alone. Scientific research has shown that medically assisted alcohol and drug detoxification is ineffective on its own as a treatment for addiction. NIDA has recommended that detoxification is followed by medication where appropriate, as well as relapse prevention and behavioral therapy. The effective methodology must include physical as well as mental health services and be followed up with options such as counseling and family or community-based support systems. Whatever the approach, patient motivation has been shown to be an important factor in the successful treatment of addictions.

Types of treatments for addiction include:

– CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
– REBT (Rational Behavior therapy)
– CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training)
– DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy
– Contingent Management
– Motivational Interviewing
– Multidimensional Family Therapy
– EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy)
– Integrative Approach
– Matrix Model
– Person-Centred Therapy

These are just some of the numerous treatment approaches for drug addiction that are available.


Counseling forms an important part of any addiction treatment program including behavior therapy, family counseling, individual counseling, and other approaches that help addicts recover from addiction and stay clean. Psychotherapy is used to treat associated mental problems that often contribute to drug abuse. Social and psychological factors are powerful stimuli for drug abuse relapse and include sudden life stresses, cues from visiting a familiar neighborhood, social interaction with users, and many more. These are factors that can create an almost irresistible urge to start using again.

Counseling helps addicts learn how to better cope with stresses without resorting to drugs. There are many counseling therapies and no one method has been established as better than another as there is no single approach that is appropriate for everyone with addiction problems. The most effective program will be tailored to the particular addiction and needs of the individual.
When attempting to find the right treatment program it is important to learn more about the different types of therapy available.


Treatments for those addicted to prescription drugs tend to be similar because the same brain systems are affected. Medication for the treatment of those addicted to prescription opioids includes buprenorphine and methadone. Medication forms an important part of treatment and can help address any mental aspects underlying drug abuse.

Individual and Group Therapy

Both individual and group therapy are important aspects of a treatment program. Individual therapy is helpful in identifying co-existing conditions such as depression, bipolar, and other mental health disorders that may require treatment in their own right. Group therapy both supports and challenges addicts as they are confronted with peers who are part of the recovery program.

Outpatient or Residential Treatment

Residential treatment is more successful as it separates the addict from people and places that encouraged drug abuse and enhances opportunities for learning new skills and habits for sober living. While residential treatment can be highly effective in the short-term, there is a higher risk of relapse when the addict returns to an environment where drug use is within easy reach. That is why it is essential to have an effective, integrated, drug addiction treatment program in place with ongoing counseling and support from professionals as well as family and friends.


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