Overview – Drug Addiction Treatment
Living in good health with a clear mind is essential for our happiness. Substances that initially provide entertainment or a quick escape can rob us of this ability. If this is the case for you or your loved one, you are not alone. Millions of people are struggling to escape the grip of substance abuse. Moreover, there have been significant developments in drug addiction treatment in recent years. Injection or implant treatments, as well as psychotherapy, have become effective tools for overcoming addiction.
Drug addiction treatment includes different applications. Such as individual and group psychotherapy sessions, psychological diagnostic tests, drug tests, outpatient rehabilitation programs, or detoxification. Your doctors apply these methods according to your characteristics and the drugs that are troubling you.
Why is it done?
Drug addiction is not a personality flaw. It is a health problem. It affects your brain and behavior. Therefore, you cannot control the use of the drug. Substances that are accepted by society, also fall into this category. Such as alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana. If someone you care about is an addict, you should consider encouraging him/her to get help.
Also, you may suspect drug abuse in your family or someone close to you. In this case, it is useful to consider the following signs:
Problems at work or school: Frequent absences from school or work. A sudden disinterest in work or school. A decline in grades, or job performance.
Physical health issues: Lack of energy and motivation. Weight gain or red eyes.
Neglecting appearance: Neglecting personal care. Indifference to clothes.
Behavior changes: Major changes in behavior in family and friendship relationships. Signs of overprotecting private space.
Financial problems: Asking for a loan out of the blue, sometimes without a proper reason. Money or valuables start to disappear from your home.
Drug addiction symptoms include:
- The need to use the drug regularly. Every day, even multiple times a day.
- The need to use drugs block all other thoughts.
- Developing tolerance to the drug over time. Consuming more doses to feel the same effect.
- Using a drug for longer periods and in higher doses than you intended.
- Keeping a certain amount of the drug at all times.
- Spending money on drugs, even in the absence of money.
- Not fulfilling responsibilities. Reducing social activities to use drugs.
- Continuing to use drugs knowing the psychological and physical harm.
- Doing things you wouldn’t normally do to get the drug. Like theft.
- Driving or doing other risky activities while under the influence of drugs.
- Spending significant time obtaining, using, and recovering from the drug.
- Failure to quit drugs.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms in attempts to quit.
When you detect any of these symptoms in yourself, you should understand that you are no longer in control of your drug use and you must seek help. The sooner you intervene in the situation, the more likely you are to make a long-term improvement.
Staging an Intervention
People struggling with drug addiction often do not even admit that they are in a struggle. They may be reluctant to seek help. Also, they do not consider their addiction as a problem. In this case, the person’s family and friends can arrange an intervention by getting help from experts in drug addiction treatment. Therefore, it is possible to motivate and encourage the patient who denies treatment.
Intervention should be planned carefully by family and friends and with professional help. Or you can ask a specialist in intervention to moderate the meeting. You can invite more than family and friends to the intervention. Also, co-workers or people who care about the patient’s drug addiction might be helpful as well.
During the intervention, speak directly to the person you love and care about. Explain the consequences of drug addiction, how it affects you. Then, ask him/her to accept treatment.
About Drug Addiction Treatment
Just like with any chronic disease, there is no cure for drug addiction. Moreover, mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety often accompany drug addiction. But with various treatment methods, you can overcome addiction and lead a clean and healthy life. The type of treatment depends on the drug the patient is abusing and the associated health or mental disorder. Long-term continuation of treatment is important to prevent relapse.
Your doctors will perform detailed examinations and tests before determining the appropriate treatment. The goal is to plan the safest and most comfortable treatment program for you:
- The internal medicine specialist and neurologist perform a comprehensive physical and medical evaluation.
- The psychiatrist and psychologist conduct a comprehensive assessment of psychological needs and risks.
- Doctors monitor a patient’s substance use with urine, blood, or breath tests.
- Then, doctors plan the treatment of the patient.
Detoxification is also called “detox” or withdrawal therapy. The goal is to stop drug consumption safely and quickly. In some cases, it may be safe to seek outpatient withdrawal therapy. Others may need hospitalization or a residential treatment center.
Different drugs – such as depressants, stimulants, or opioids – have different side effects during withdrawal. Thus, different approaches are required, depending on the type of drug. During detox, doctors may drastically reduce the dose of the drug taken. Or replace it with another drug such as methadone, buprenorphine, or a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone.
Drug addiction requires tailored treatments for the symptoms and underlying causes of the disease. There are several methods of psychotherapy for drug addiction treatment:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Doctors can use CBT to treat many different types of drug addiction. People are having CBT recognize their maladaptive behavior and learn to change it. With this therapy, you can gain coping skills, identify risky situations and take action, and prevent relapse. Moreover, CBT is useful because it can be applied in conjunction with other treatment methods. The skills you learn with CBT continue to benefit long after the initial therapy. It is also effective in treating mental or physical illnesses that occur with drug addiction.
It replaces people’s negative thinking habits with positive ones.
Contingency Management (CM)
CM is effective at encouraging or reinforcing sobriety. It is a form of psychotherapy that doctors use to treat many types of drug addiction, such as alcohol, opioids, marijuana, or stimulants.
When the patient exhibits desired behaviors such as staying sober, they are rewarded and motivated materially in this treatment. The most important benefit of CM is that it leads to the elimination of the two biggest problems related to treatment. Discontinuation of treatment and relapse.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
In this psychotherapy method, the aim is to eliminate the patient’s indecision and to adopt the treatment. The biggest benefit of MI is that the patient motivates themselves and creates their change plans after the sessions. Thus, the patient feels he/she has control over the treatment.
Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT is useful for treating serious personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder. However, DBT is an adaptable method to many drug addiction treatment cases. It is effective in reducing the patient’s craving and helping them to avoid situations or opportunities that may cause relapse. In addition, DBT can enable you to stop actions that reinforce drug abuse.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
Helps you to better understand your thoughts and develop better habits. It allows you to think more positively and rationally and gain healthy emotions.
The basic principle of REBT is that rational thinking comes from within the person, not from the outside. It teaches you to look for the reason you feel happy or unhappy.
Our doctors can apply psychotherapy individually, in groups, or with family, according to your needs. The success of the treatment primarily depends on the patient’s commitment and dedication to the treatment. In addition, the performance of the therapist and other treatment teams and the type of therapy applied are effective factors.
Until now, doctors gave drugs as tablets, dragees or capsules to be taken orally as a single daily dose for drug treatment. However, studies have shown that drug and treatment compliance is very low in drug addiction treatment. Just as in chronic diseases. Therefore, long-term drugs are being developed for these types of diseases. Implants used in drug addiction treatment are one of them.
Your doctor places the implant under your skin, which has a lifespan of 2-2.5 months. The drug released from the implant blocks receptors where the addictive drug normally settles. However, not every patient is eligible for these implants. The implants are suitable for patients who are motivated to be treated and can take the process in harmony with the hospital team. The applications have yielded very positive results so far.
Before the implant is inserted, the patient must be hospitalized for 7-10 days and the blood must be cleaned. In addition, during the follow-up process, the psychiatrist determines whether the patient is suitable for using the implant. If the patient is eligible for treatment, the surgeon places the implant in the lower abdomen with a minor surgical procedure. Then, the doctors keep the patient under observation for 24 hours against the risk of infection.
There are different types of implants depending on the substance the patient is having trouble with. “Disulfiram” implants are suitable for alcohol-dependent patients and “naltrexone” implants are suitable for heroin-addicted patients. A patient who has a disulfiram implant will have alcohol poisoning in a short time if he/she drinks. Thus, implant therapy is quite a deterrent.
Lastly, implants need to be changed every 2-2.5 months. Under normal conditions, implant treatment takes about 1 year.
Read more about implant treatment »
Art and Workshop Therapy
It is a psychotherapy method that encourages creativity and expression. Especially for patients who have difficulties in expressing themselves. You do not need to have any artistic skills or experience to participate. Art therapists will guide you through the use of materials and facilitate your creativity. The goal of therapy is not to create works of art, but to enable you to discover new ways of expressing your feelings and thoughts. Also, coming to life with colors, dance, and music helps keep you motivated for change.
The sooner you start drug treatment, the better results you will get. Do not hesitate if you or a loved one wants to be free of drug addiction. Get rid of this scourge that consumes your mind and body day by day. Answer your doctor’s questions honestly, keeping your health in mind. Life is worth living without depression or anxiety.
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