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Addiction Treatment

<Addiction treatment  is a crucial part of recovery for any individuals fighting addiction and its attendant mental health disorders. This complicated process is further compounded by the task of finding the right institution. Substance abuse treatment together with moderate or serious physiological conditions require the right atmosphere for effective treatment.

Addiction Treatment

Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment  is more effective when the staff are both knowledgeable and compassionate. Before settling for an institution of care, one needs to thoroughly run a search for the best  addiction treatment  center. Treatment and recovery information is available online.  Such information may include:

  • Interventions for Drug and Alcohol programs
  • Facilities for drug and alcohol detox programs
  • Physiological conditions and Addictive behaviors
  • Symptoms signs and Hazards of addiction
  • An Overview of Legal and Illegal drugs
  • Alcoholic or addicted person’s Partner or Family Support
  • Drug and alcohol treatment programs

Drug addiction is a complicated illness accompanied by an intense drug craving that can often be uncontrollable. The illness is characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive even in the light of devastating repercussions and consequences. Granted, drug addiction usually starts with taking drugs willingly.

The person’s ability to choose not to use drugs then becomes compromised. It then becomes compulsive for them to seek and use drugs. Such effects emanate from prolonged exposure to drugs on the functions of the brain. Multiple brain circuit functions of the brain are affected by addiction.

These include circuits responsible for motivation and reward. Other circuits are responsible for memory and learning and the control of behavior through inhibitions. Addiction treatment is not simple. This is because drug abuse enshrouds multiple dimensions which disrupts an individual’s life in several aspects.

Effective addiction treatment programs are usually multi-component. These usually target the different aspects of addiction and its consequences. Substance abuse treatment is designed to aid the individual to stop drug use and maintain a drug-free lifestyle. It is aimed at making the individual achieve productive functioning in the society, family and occupation.

A person can’t simply stop using drugs for a few days and get cured because addiction is a chronic disease. Sustained abstinence and addiction treatment recovery needs repeated or sustained periods of care. In many instances addiction goes untreated.

Effective Addiction Treatment Principles

Beginning in the mid 1970s, scientifically proven  addiction treating  programs have been developed. These help to stop drug use, avoid relapse and assist patients recover their lives successfully. Based upon this evidence, key principles have been formulated to form the basis of effective addiction treatment programs.

  • Addiction treatmentshould be readily accessible.

    Addiction Treatment

    Addiction Treatment

  • No particular treatment suites the needs of everyone.
  • Effective addiction treatment caters for multiple needs of the individual not just the drug problem.
  • It is vital for patients to remain in the treatment program for an adequate period.
  • Though addiction is a complex disease that affects the brain functions and behavior, it is treatable.
  • The most common forms of  substances abuse programs involve counseling individually or in a group and other behavioral therapies.
  • When combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies medications form an important element for patients in  addiction treatment.
  • Other mental health disorders usually afflict many drug addicted individuals.
  • To meet the changing needs of an individual it is necessary that his/her treatment and services plan be assessed regularly and modified accordingly.
  • Addiction treatment need not be necessarily voluntary to be effective.
  • Because medically assisted detox is just the first stage in addiction treatment,  by itself it does little to alter the long-term drug problem.
  • Because lapses do occur, drug use during treatment should be monitored closely.
  • Addiction treatment  programs should screen for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis hepatitis B and C, and other infectious diseases presence. To help the patients modify or alter their behaviors to minimize the risks of contracting or even spreading these infectious diseases, they should be provided with targeted risk reduction counseling services.

Medication in Addiction Treatment

Different aspects of  addiction treatment can be aided by medications. There are medications that aid in suppressing symptoms of withdrawal during detoxification. Patients that undergo medically assisted detox without receiving any further treatment exhibit patterns of drug abuse similar to patients that received no treatment.

Addiction Treatment

Addiction Treatment

Treatment medications are useful in reestablishing normal brain function and minimizing cravings while preventing relapse. Opioid medications are available for (morphine, heroin) tobacco (nicotine) and alcohol addiction. Other medication under development include stimulant (cocaine, methamphetamine) and cannabis (marijuana) addiction.

Poly-drug users are people with severe addiction problems. These are people who abuse more than one drug. They usually require addiction treatment for all the drugs they abuse.

Opioids: Buprenorphine, Methadone and in few individuals naltrexone are medications that are effective in treating opiate addiction. Methadone and buprenorphine act on the same brain areas targeted by morphine and heroine. They therefore suppress withdrawal symptoms and provide relief to cravings.

Naltrexone blocks off heroin and other opioids effects at their receptor cells. This medicine is only recommended for patients that have undergone detoxification. Compliance issues make naltrexone less accessible compared to other medications.

All addiction treatment medications aid patients to disengage from the drug seeking mode. This mode is usually linked to other criminal tendencies. The medications help patients to be more receptive to behavioral therapies.

Tobacco. Numerous formulations that act as nicotine replacement therapies have been formulated. These include over-the-counter options like the spray, patch, lozenges and gum. Two additional prescription medications that are FDA approved for tobacco addiction are Bupropion and Varenicline. Their mode of operation in the brain is different.

They both aid in relapse prevention in patients trying to quit. Both medications are recommended alongside behavioral therapies. These include both group and individual therapies. Telephone quit lines are also viable alternatives for patients using these prescriptions.

Alcohol: Naltrexone, disulfriram and acamprosate, are 3 FDA approved medications for alcohol dependence treatment. Topiramate is a fourth medication with promising clinical results still in trial. Receptors responsible for the reward effect and alcohol craving are blocked by naltrexone. In heavy drinking cases, it reduces relapse and its effects are strong though not in all cases. Genetic uniqueness in individuals may be the reason behind this.

Acamprosate is believed to minimize protracted withdrawal symptoms. These may include insomnia, restlessness, anxiety and dysphoria. Dysphoria may be characterized by uncomfortable or unpleasant emotional state like irritability, depression and anxiety. In patients with severe dependency, its effects may be more pronounced.

Disufiram Undermines the degradation of alcohol, which leads to the accumulation of acetaldehyde. This eventually results in a much unpleasant reaction when the patient ingests alcohol. This may include nausea, palpitations and flushing. Many patients may have a hard time complying to this medication. Nonetheless, its effectiveness is undeniable in highly motivated patients.

Behavioral Addiction Treatments

Behavioral addiction treatment  assists the patients to participate in their treatment process. It reshapes their attitudes and behaviors linked to drug abuse and also enhances development of healthy life skills. Such treatments can add to the effectiveness of medication treatment and also enable patients to stay on addiction treatment programs for longer. Drug abuse and addiction treatment can be offered in different setting using varied behavioral approaches.

Addiction Treatment

Addiction Treatment

Outpatient behavioral treatment includes an array of programs for patients who pay regular visits to the clinic. Most programs are designed either for group or individual drug counseling. Other behavioral treatments offered at other programs include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy,  This increases patient’s awareness of situations that may increase their likelihood to abuse drugs and empowers them to avoid and cope with them.
  • Multidimensional Family Therapy_ This approach was originally designed for adolescents with problems of drug abuse and their families. The approach addresses a wide range of influences related to their drug abuse problems. It also aimed at improving the overall functioning of the family.
  • Motivational incentives (Contingency management) This approach employs positive reinforcement to encourage drug abstinence.
  • Motivational Interviewing. This capitalizes on the willingness of individuals to alter their behavior and receive treatment.

Residential treatment. These can also have pronounced effect particularly in patients whose problems are more severe. Therapeutic communities (T Cs) for instance are highly structured programs that may have patients in residence for 6 to 12 months. T Cs differentiate basically from other programs due to their use of community.

The treatment staff together with residents in recovery act as an important agents of change on the patients attitudes, behavior and perceptions linked to drug use. Included in T Cs may be patients with  relatively long drug abuse histories and serious criminal tendencies including severely impaired social functioning. T Cs are currently being designed to cater for the needs of pregnant women or mothers. The T Cs main focus is to re-socialize patients into a crime-free and drug-free life.

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