Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction

Drug Treatment Program vs Substitution therapy

There is a lot of views about the nature of addiction, mechanisms of development and the ways to stop this disease. Often these views are opposite. For example, supporters of substitution therapy convincingly argue that all the attempts to leave the drugs are unsuccessful, that sooner or later they all fail, that to achieve long term stable remission is unlikely. Thus the only way to keep the situation under control is to give the patients the same drug, but chemically modified and in minimum “safe” doses. However, this goal is elusive. Very often drugs for substitution therapy become a subject for abuse. The patients, instead of taking the prescribed drugs orally, inject them intravenously. They tend  to take not the  minimum dose, which supposed to protect them from withdrawal, but much higher dose, from which they  can get "high".  Due to all kinds of prescription drug abuse: unnecessary high doses, frequent overdoses, combinations with street drugs, inadequate monitoring, substitution programs are under constant and harsh criticism both from the experts and  from the patients themselves.Drug Treatment Program vs Substitution therapy

 

Drug addiction treatment programs

Drug addiction treatment programs focused on a complete rejection of drugs, on a «drug free life» are  promising from medical perspective and attractive to  patients  and their families. Motivated people, who are tired of drugs, with close support of loved ones are often enthusiastic to start  with drug detoxification. But within the very short period of time  it becomes clear that the problem is not only in physical dependence.  The path to drug free life is much more lengthy and arduous. Depression, remaining craving for drugs, dysfunctional friends, contacts with active drug users, use of other psycho active substances or just banal boredom and desire to “entertain yourself” - the  factors which  lead a former drug addict to relapse. Loss of confidence, need to start all over again, re-treatment costs  cause disappointment, resentment and despair.

However, situation is not  so sad. Drug addiction is not a life sentence. And  opposite to examples of treatment failures, there are many more examples of successful drug addiction treatment programs, when people have  overcome their addiction problems for good and they don’t want to remember those  miserable years of drug abuse. They are much less likely to talk about it, they don’t look back in time, they look ahead, they want live for future. So that is why you cant see many of them on internet forums where  their success somehow has always  been criticized and questioned.  But for them it isn’t already important.

Principles of the drug addiction treatment program

Numerous facts and scientific evidence indicate that  even in case of 10 or even 20 year of drug abuse after cessation of using the drugs either with the help of treatment or without it  there are no irreversible changes in the brain of an addict  registered and normal life without drugs is possible.

It is very important to set clear objectives before starting the treatment. This is the most important moment.

 

Steps of the addiction treatment 

Clear, the real purpose is the first step towards building an adequate addiction treatment program.

Comprehensive program is not only a pharmacological support,  but also a well-organized time, the circle of friends who are not on drugs, the avoidance of provocative situations, good  relations with  relatives. This is the second step of the addiction treatment program.

The third step is consistent, continuous  execution of the treatment plan. There must be clear understanding, assurance that eventually  you will be a free, successful man who every morning rejoices a new day, but not the one who every morning  fussily scrolls options in his head where to find drugs.

There are four constituents for successful treatment, according to NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse. USA):

  • Complexity of treatment
  • Availability of treatment
  • Duration of treatment
  • Individually based treatment

Built on these principles program, including detoxification, treatment against drug craving, initial psychiatric stabilization,  anti-relapse treatment,  rehabilitation, reintegration provides  positive result even in the most challenging cases.

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