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Drug Addiction Treatment

Also called substance use disorder, drug addiction is a serious disease that, if left untreated, can negatively affect several areas of a person’s life. 

While it’s possible to treat substance use disorder, delayed drug addiction treatment increases the chances of negative outcomes such as job loss, broken relationships, mental illnesses, and even worse, death due to either overdose or recklessness (when intoxicated). 

The good news is that substance abuse can be treated, no matter how serious! 

However, to boost the chances of successful drug addiction treatment, it’s crucial to enroll in a licensed alcohol and drug rehab with a solid reputation for proper treatment. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the FDA-approved drug addiction treatment methods that are used to treat addiction. 

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What Are The Risk Factors Of Addiction?

Anyone can become addicted to drugs, regardless of education level or social status. However, some factors can contribute to substance use disorder, as explained below: 

Genetics: An individual’s genetic makeup can increase the risk of drug abuse. As such, people with a family history of drug addiction are more predisposed to substance abuse than those whose parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents didn’t struggle with addiction.

Environment: Surroundings play a huge role in determining whether an individual develops a substance abuse disorder or not. For instance, stressful environments, physical abuse, peer pressure, and early exposure can increase the chances of developing drug abuse problems. 

Access: Access to drugs increases the chances of substance abuse. For instance, people with easy access to hard drugs are likely to develop addiction compared to those that don’t. The same applies to prescription drugs and alcohol. 

Age: Teenagers that start abusing drugs are at an increased risk of developing chronic addiction as parts of the brain that control decisions and judgment are yet to develop fully. Moreover, teenagers addicted to drugs are likely to have severe drug problems in the future compared to those who use drugs as adults. 

What Are The Symptoms of Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction symptoms tend to vary depending on the addiction. Here are some common drug abuse symptoms to be on the lookout for: 

Changes in physical appearance: An individual struggling with substance abuse is likely to look unkempt or ungroomed due to self-neglect. Instead of focusing on personal hygiene, an addict prefers to focus more on accessing the drug. 

Misplaced priorities: You’ll know a loved one is addicted if they start misplacing their priorities. For instance, a previous hard worker will stop prioritizing school or work activities at the expense of substance abuse. 

Isolation: If you’re seeing less of a loved one and they come back confused or intoxicated, chances are they’re struggling with addiction. Addicts will also deny that they have substance use disorders and might respond aggressively when approached about the issue. 

How Is Drug Addiction Treated? 

Drug addiction treatment involves a lot of methods that vary depending on the type of addiction. Let’s look at some of the common substance abuse treatment services.


Detoxification is usually the first step in addiction treatment and involves flushing out the substance from the body while managing withdrawal symptoms. 

In most cases, a drug addiction treatment center will use medications to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms, especially when detoxing from alcohol and opiates. 

Detox alone is not enough to treat addiction as it doesn’t resolve the underlying behavioral causes of addiction. As such, it is usually combined with a variety of behavioral therapies. 

And while some people might prefer detoxing at home, doing so is ill-advised, especially when looking to recover from serious, long-term addictions that can come with severe withdrawal symptoms.

Instead, it is advisable to enroll in a medically-assisted detox program that will be conducted by licensed experts while receiving 24/7 supervision. 

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is a crucial part of addiction treatment that helps address the actual problem that leads to addiction. There are several types of behavioral therapies used in addiction treatment, as explained below. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is commonly used to treat a wide variety of addictions as it helps identify negative patterns that lead to addictive behavior. CBT also helps patients identify triggers and develop positive coping skills. 

Contingency Management (CM): Contingency management therapy is popular in treating narcotics, tobacco, and alcohol addiction and involves reinforcing positive behavior with tangible rewards. 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): DBT teaches patients how to regulate their emotions and reduce self-destructive behaviors. DBT focuses on 4 main skill sets- distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulations, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT): REBT assists patients to identify, challenge and replace potentially destructive thoughts and emotions with healthier, sustainable thoughts. 

Support Groups

Support groups like the 12-step programs seek to promote lifelong sobriety by engaging patients in recovery programs based on acceptance of the addiction and reliance on a higher power. Popular examples of 12-step groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). 

Another commonly used support group is SMART Recovery, which offers a different, non-spiritual approach to addiction treatment. SMART Recovery helps patients develop positive coping mechanisms by increasing their self-belief, which ensures they remain motivated to stay true to their recovery goals. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment 

Medication may also be part of your addiction treatment plan, especially when dealing with long-term addiction. After conducting thorough tests, your care team will determine the most suitable medications to treat your condition. 

Medication-assisted treatments are approved for the following drugs: 

Alcohol: There are three main FDA-approved drugs used to treat alcohol abuse, manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. These drugs include naltrexone, disulfiram (Antabuse), and acamprosate. 

Opioids: Some of the FDA-approved drugs used to treat opioid addiction and manage cravings include methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine. 

Tobacco: Your doctor might prescribe varenicline (Chantix) or bupropion (Wellbutrin) to help ease cravings. and overcome the substance use disorder. A nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, or spray might also help control cravings. 

Get Help Today

Don't go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you're facing. Get in touch with one today.

Make a Call

The Takeaway 

Although drug use usually starts as a casual behavior, it can quickly progress into a potentially destructive habit, especially if the addiction isn’t treated early enough. 

Fortunately, there are several ways to treat addiction, which usually vary depending on the type of addiction. 

To boost the chances of successful recovery, it is advisable to enroll in a licensed rehab where a professional will assess your unique needs before recommending the appropriate treatment methods. 

Contact a rehab center today to kick-start treatment and break the chains of addiction. 

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