Treatments For Addiction

A person with an addiction seeks drugs and alcohol compulsively and uncontrollably despite knowing the harmful consequences of such behavior. People with such addictions often relapse where they return back to the drugs or alcohol after attempting to stop.

What Causes Drug Addiction?

The first intake of drugs and alcohol is usually voluntary. However, with continued use, your brain undergoes some changes prompting it to need drugs or alcohol to operate normally. As a result, you will develop a craving for drugs and alcohol with time. Also, you will suffer a lot of distress if you attempt to quit.

What Are The Treatments For Addiction?

Yes, there are treatments available for drug and alcohol addiction. However, it’s not a simple process. No matter how strong-willed you might be, you can’t quit taking drugs and alcohol for a few days and hope to be completely cured. You need repeated or long-term care to recover your life after an addiction.

Note that, not every treatment is right for everyone suffering an addiction. However, the best type of drug or alcohol addiction treatment should address all your needs.

Some of the treatments used for drug and alcohol addiction include;

  • Behavioral counseling
  • Medication
  • Medical devices and applications used to treat addiction withdrawal symptoms.
  • Evaluation and treatment for any mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.
  • Long-term follow-up to prevent relapsing.

Medications And Devices Used For Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment

These are used to treat withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapsing and treat any conditions that occur because of the addiction treatment.

1.   Withdrawal

During the detoxification process, medications and devices are used to suppress the symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal. Detoxification is the first step in drug and alcohol addiction treatment. If you don’t receive further treatment after detoxification, you are likely going to relapse.

Some of the medications and devices used include:

  • NSS-2 Bridge which is used to reduce opioid withdrawal systems. It is placed behind the ear to send electrical pulses to the brain for stimulation.
  • Lofexidine is a non-opioid used to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.
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Preventing Relapses

Medication can be used to allow normal brain function after continued drug and alcohol abuse. It is also used to decrease cravings. The medication is available for the treatment of opioid addiction, tobacco and alcohol addiction. Researchers are still developing other types of medication to treat cocaine, methamphetamine, and cannabis addiction.

  • Some of the medications used to treat opioid addiction include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. They are used to treat withdrawal symptoms and relieve cravings. These medications are used to allow patients to open up to behavioral therapy.
  •  For treatment of tobacco or nicotine addiction, there are replacement therapies such as spray, patch, lozenges and gum. There are also prescription medications such as bupropion and varenicline. They are used to prevent relapsing but are effective when used together with behavioral treatments.
  • For alcohol addiction, some of the medications used include naltrexone, acamprosate and disulfiram. They are used to treat withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapsing.
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Co-occurring Conditions

As mentioned, you are likely going to suffer some conditions during the drug and alcohol addiction treatment. These include depression and anxiety. You will receive medication to treat these conditions too.

Behavioral Therapies For Treating Addiction

With behavioral therapies used during addiction treatment help in the following ways.

  • They will be used to modify your attitudes or behaviors associated with drug and alcohol abuse.
  • They can increase healthy life skills allowing you to cope.
  • They can be used together with other forms of treatment such as medication.

There are different types of behavioral programs for people with addiction issues. These include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy where you can recognize your addiction, avoid it, and cope with the situations likely to cause drug or alcohol addiction.
  • Family therapy for young adults with drug and alcohol abuse problems to promote a healthy and functioning family.
  • Motivational interviewing and incentives allowing people suffering from addictions to change their behavior and start addiction treatment.


The basis of addiction treatment is to help you stop using drugs, remain drug-free and become productive at home, at work, and in society overall. Successful addiction treatment involves detoxification, behavioral counseling, use of medication, treatment of mental health issues including depression and anxiety as well as long-term follow up to prevent any relapse.

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