Drug Addiction Treatment
Drug addiction treatment needs to be readily available to those
in need. If treatment is not readily available in their geographical
location, then many abusers will be lost to addiction. Since no
single drug treatment program works for everyone, multiple programs
need to be available, so that one can choose which program will
work best for them.
Eye on Addiction
Drug treatment programs also need to address other life issues
outside of the addiction problem. Medical, psychological, social,
vocational and legal problems also need to be addressed in order
to assure long-term results. Because a person's addiction recovery
process does not typically follow a linear course, drug treatment
plans need to be modified frequently to coincide with the individuals
changing needs. Changes in medication, parenting tips or short-term
family therapy for example may be needed during specific periods
Drug treatment programs also need to take into account a person's
gender, age, ethnicity and culture in order to be effectively
targeted and customized to fulfilling as many needs as possible.
People with drug addictions need to stay in treatment long enough
for it to be effective in the long-term. Many, however, will drop
out prematurely. Research has indicated that for most people,
3-months are the minimum threshold for effective treatment and
longer treatment yields even better long-term success percentages.
Addiction facilities need to find ways to keep drug dependent
individuals engaged long enough for treatment to be successful.
Individual and/or group
counseling is necessary in order for treatment to be effective.
In therapy sessions, drug dependent persons discuss craving and
withdrawal symptoms and how to effectively deal with them, dealing
with peer pressure, resisting drugs, constructive activities to
replace drug use, ways to improve interpersonal relationships
and better functioning within families and the community.
Medications can be helpful in drug treatment. Medications
such as methadone, levo-alpha-acetylmethadol (LAAM) are helpful
for those with heroin or other opiate addictions and naltrexone
(Vivitrex) can be useful as well, plus naltrexone can be useful
for those with co-existing alcohol dependence problems as
well. Co-existing mental disorders also need to be treatment
with medication and therapy in order to assure a possible
drug treatment outcome.
According to research, treatment does not have to be voluntary
to be effective. Sanctions from the courts, an employer or
family members is often enough to significantly increase entry
and retention rates into treatment and provide a successful
outcome. Drug testing during drug treatment can also serve
as a deterrent to continuing drug use and as a way of monitoring
and providing feedback for successful treatment.
Drug treatment often involves
setbacks. The course for any individual's treatment
will not likely be a linear one and setbacks or relapses are to
be expected. Plans should be made in advance for such occurrences
and strategies should be formed on how to deal with these episodes.
For more information on addiction treatment see the National
Institute on Drug Abuse website including a free downloadable
PDF booklet, "Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment."