Drug addiction is a chronic disease which is primarily characterized by an uncontrollable or a compulsive urge to seek drugs despite the negative consequences it entails.
Drug addiction changes the chemistry of the brain and the effects last long. Moreover, this change in the chemistry triggers harmful behavior such as lying, cheating, and uncontrollable anger, etc.
Addiction has a significant effect on that part of the brain which is responsible for memory, behavioral control, learning, motivation, and reward.
1. Why addiction recovery is significant
Addiction has an adverse impact on not only the brain but also on the body, which is why addiction recovery is essential for a healthy life. Yes, addiction recovery is possible; however, it is a tough task.
This means that you can’t recover from addiction just by stopping the intake of drugs for a short period. In fact, long-term care is needed to recover from addiction.
2. How treatment takes place
Before moving on to the treatment options, it is vital to understand what the purpose of addiction recovery is. Firstly, it should help the person to stop the use of drugs. Next, it should assist the person to stay away from drugs not only on a short term but also for a long term. Finally, it should aid the person to become productive at work, in the society, and in the family as well.
Treatment takes place in five ways. The first is detoxification. In this step, the body eliminates the drug completely from its system. Then, the second step is behavioral counseling, which focuses on staying calm and not turning back to drugs. The third is medication. This applies mainly for the addiction to tobacco, opioid, and alcohol. Next is the evaluation as well as the treatment for mental issues caused by withdrawal including anxiety and depression. Finally, the last stay is a follow-up to ensure that relapse does not occur.
3. Treatment options available
To make sure that a person successfully recovers from addiction, a specially tailored program along with follow-up options is vital. Treatment for addiction has to include not only mental health services but also medical services as required. There are three primary treatments available, and these are mentioned below.
Medications are used for a number of things. Primarily, they are used to manage withdrawal symptoms in a better manner, to prevent relapse and to treat conditions that co-occur.
Withdrawal occurs during the detoxification stage, and the medications are used to suppress these. Since detoxification is the first step in recovery, people who stop treatment after the detoxification stage once again turn to medications. The truth is that medicines are used in more than 70% of all detoxifications, so that withdrawal symptoms become manageable.
The second primary purpose of medicines is to prevent relapse. People take help from medicines to decrease their cravings for drugs and to re-establish the standard functionality of the brain. Currently, medicines are only available for the treatment of addiction to tobacco, opioid, and alcohol; however, medications are being developed for the treatment of addiction to stimulants and cannabis.
The purpose of behavioral therapies is to help the patients to become healthier and to reverse the behavioral change caused by addiction to various drugs. Behavioral therapies include outpatient behavioral treatment which is a collection of different programs for those people that visit a health counselor on a regular basis. Behavioral therapies most involve such programs where counseling either happens individually, in groups, or sometimes even both.
Residential treatment, which is also known as inpatient treatment, is also quite effective, particularly for people that are severely addicted to drugs and experience co-occurring diseases. Residential treatment, as the name suggests, takes place in residential facilities where 24-hour intensive care is provided such as medical attention and safe housing. The basic purpose of this kind of addiction recovery treatment is to ensure that people live a drug-free lifestyle once their treatment is over.