Common Questions About Addiction Treatment

 Can addiction be treated?

Yes, addiction is a treatable disorder. Research on the science of addiction and the treatment of substance use disorders has led to the development of research-based methods which help people to stop using drugs and continue productive lives, also known as recovery.

Can addiction be cured?

Like other chronic diseases like asthma or heart disease, treatment for drug addiction is not a cure. However, addiction can be successfully managed. Treatment lets people counteract the addiction’s disruptive effects on their brain and behavior and regain control of their lives.

Does relapse to drug use mean the treatment has failed?

Definitely not. The chronic nature of addiction means that for some people, relapse or a return to drug use after an attempt to stop can be part of the process, but newer treatments are designed to aid in relapse prevention. Relapse rates for drug use are similar to rates for other chronic medical illnesses. If people stop following their medical treatment plan, they will likely relapse.

Treatment of chronic illnesses involves changing deeply-rooted behaviors and relapse does not mean treatment has failed according to Jade-recovery addiction treatment. When a person recovering from an addiction relapses, it indicates that the person needs to speak with their doctor to resume treatment, change it, or try another treatment.  While relapse is a normal part of recovery, for a few drugs, it can be fatal and dangerous. If a person uses as much of the drug as they did before quitting, they could easily overdose because their bodies are no longer adapted to their commercial containers previous level of drug exposure. An overdose happens when the person uses enough of a drug to create uncomfortable sensations, life-threatening signs or death.

What are the principles behind an effective treatment?

Research shows that when you treat addictions to opioids, prescription pain relievers or drugs like heroin and fentanyl, medication should be the Priority first line of treatment. Medication is usually combined with some kind of behavioral therapy or counseling. Medications are also available to help treat addiction to alcohol and nicotine.

In addition, medications are used to help people detoxify from drugs, although detoxification is not the same as treatment and is not sufficient to help a person recover. Detoxification alone without treatment generally leads to relapse of drug use. For people with addiction to drugs like stimulants or cannabis, no medications are presently available to help in treatment, so treatment consists of behavioral therapies. Treatment must be adjusted to address every patient’s drug use patterns as well as drug-related medical, mental as well as social problems. Discoveries in science lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of drug use.

What devices and medications help treat drug addiction?

Different kinds of medications could be useful at different stages of treatment to help a patient stop drug abuse, stay in treatment, and prevent relapse. The first stage is treating withdrawal. When patients first stop using drugs, they could experience several physical and emotional symptoms, such as restlessness or sleeplessness, and also depression, anxiety, as well as other mental health conditions. Particular treatment medications and devices reduce the symptoms, which makes it easier to stop the use of drugs.

The second stage is staying treatment. A few treatment medications as well as mobile applications are used to help the brain adapt slowly to the absence of the drug. The treatments act slowly to stop drug cravings and have a calming effect on body systems. They could help patients focus on counseling as well as other psychotherapies related to the drug treatment.

The last stage is the prevention of relapse. Science has taught us that stress cues linked to the use of drugs like people, places, things and moods and contact with drugs are the most common triggers for relapse. Scientists have been developing therapies to disrupt these triggers to help patients in recovery.

How do the best treatment programs help patients in their recovery from addiction?

Stopping the use of drugs is just a single part of a complex and long recovery process. When people go to treatment, addiction has often caused serious consequences in their lives, possibly disrupting health as well as how they function in their family lives, at work and in the community.

Because addiction could affect so many facets of the life of an individual, treatment must address the needs of the whole person in order to be successful. Counselors could select from a menu of services that meet the particular mental, medical, occupational, social, legal and family needs of their patients to aid in the recovery.