What's substance Dependency?
Drug dependence is an unrelenting illness that presents in obsessive, or out of control drive to access the drug at any cost even when one is aware of the danger and long lasting harm effects on their brain. Some people whose brain functions have been altered by drugs display some anti-social mannerisms. Drug dependency is a degenerative illness. Relapsing is when a person starts to use drugs again after he/she attempted to quit.
Addiction starts when the decision to take drugs is first made. However, as time passes, an individual's ability to decide not to use drugs weakens. Looking for and using the substance becomes uncontrollable. This unrelenting craving results from the effects of the drug on the brain over time. Dependency affects regions of the brain that are involved in learning and memory; motivation and reward; and command over behaviour.
Addiction influences both behaviour and the brain.
Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?
There is, but it is a long journey. Since addiction is a chronic illness, curing it is not as easy as simply stopping the drugs for a few days. Many of those under treatment need it over a long time or for the rest of their lives.
The addicts must be assisted to achieve certain things through the treatment for addiction, and they include:
- stop using the substances
- remain drug-free
- be a productive member at work, in society and in the family
Principles Behind Effective Treatment
These principles must be involved, if any efficient treatment program must be arrived at, as opined by several scientific researches since mid-1970s:
- Dependence is a complex yet treatable sickness that influences brain capacity and behaviour.
- No cure-all treatment plan fits everybody.
- Easy access to rehab is of utmost importance.
- Treatment deals with more than just drug use, addressing all of the patient's needs.
- It is crucial to remain in treatment for a long enough amount of time.
- The most common forms of treatment are behaviour therapies like counselling.
- When medications are administered in conjunction with behavioural therapies, they form a valuable part of the treatment.
- As the patient's needs change, the treatment plan must be adapted to fit the requirements.
- Treatment should deal with other potential mental disorders.
- The cleansing administered by medical personnel is the beginning step of the journey.
- Treatment doesn't require being voluntary to be successful.
- When in treatment, possible drug use must be constantly monitored.
- The treatment programs must ensure that patients are tested for tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, and other infectious ailments, while they should also be informed about the best way to avoid contacting those.
How Drug Dependency Is Treated?
Different steps are involved in effective treatments:
- detoxification (the process through which drug is expelled from the body)
- Behavioural advising
- Medicine (for opioid, tobacco, or liquor enslavement)
- assessment and treatment for co-happening psychological well-being issues, for example, depression and anxiety
- Relapse prevention through long-term check-ups
Using a wide range of treatments tailored to the needs of the patient is a key to success.
Depending on the level of need, mental health services should be added to the medical aspect of any treatment. Follow-up care may comprise group or family-based recuperation supportive networks.
How Are Medications Used In Drug Addiction Treatment?
Managing withdrawal symptoms, preventing relapse, and treating coexisting conditions are accomplished through medication use.
- Withdrawal During rehab, taking some prescription drugs assists in reducing withdrawal reactions. Detoxing from the drug is not the only necessary treatment, merely the first step in the process. Patient who doesn't get any further treatment after detoxification as a rule resumes their drug usage. The SAMHSA, 2014 study has shown that about 80% of detox programmes use prescription drugs.
- Preventing Relapse Medications can help manage cravings and help patients re-establish normal brain activity. Medications are accessible for management of opioid (heroin, prescription pain relievers), tobacco (nicotine), and alcohol dependence. Researchers are creating different solutions to manage stimulant (cocaine, methamphetamine) and cannabis (marijuana) dependence A person who uses more than one substance, which is really typical, require treatment for every substance he/she uses.
How Are Behavioural Therapies Used To Treat Drug Addiction?
Psychotherapy assists addicts to:
- Change their conducts and practices linked with drug usage
- Adopt healthier psychosocial competency
- Continue with varying forms of treatment like medication
The settings upon which patents can access their treatments and the approaches used varies.
Outpatient treatment is an option where a wide range of programs are available for patients who continue to visit behavioural health professionals regularly. The majority of the programmes incorporate group or one-to-one substance counselling or both these forms.
Other forms of behavioural therapy available in these program include:
- cognitive-behavioural therapy, that assists a patient to identify, steer clear of, and deal with the circumstances in which he/she is most probable to resort to substances
- multidimensional family therapy-devised for teenagers with substance dependency issues as well as their families-which looks at a series of influences on their substance abuse patterns and is created to better family functioning in general
- motivational interviewing, that makes the most of a person's willingness to alter their behaviour and start treatment
- Motivational incentives, which uses positive reinforcement to encourage continued abstinence
At first, treatment can be as intensive as multiple outpatient sessions every week. With the detox behind them, the patient is then able to start standard treatment regime coming in for therapy a few hours weekly to make sure they do not relapse.
Residential/inpatient treatment can also be extremely successful, particularly for patients with more serious issues (including co-occurring conditions). 24-hour planned and organised care system, coupled with proper medical care and safe housing are given in residential treatment facilities that are licensed. An inpatient treatment facility can make use of different therapeutic approaches and they are usually aimed at assisting patients to lead a substance-free, crime-free life after completing the treatment.
The following are some examples of residential treatment settings are:
- Rigidly structured programs where patients remain inpatient for 6 to 12 months are called therapeutic communities. The whole community, everyone from the staff to the patients in recovery, act as agents of change, helping to change every patient's attitude, understanding, and behaviour toward drug use.
- Residential treatment that is shorter term usually focuses on detoxification and beginning focused therapy in preparation for follow up in a community based setting.
- Recovery housing that offers supervised, short-term accommodation for a patient, frequently after other kinds of inpatient/residential treatment. The recovery housing programme provides a bridge for the patients between the long term inpatient facility and re-joining the society; patients are helped to prepare for life on the outside by enabling them to look for jobs and learn how to take care and budget their money.
Challenges Of Re-Entry
Habitual intake of drugs alters the normal functions of the brain, and various things can cause one to have a burning desire to take the drugs. For everyone in treatment, but especially for those in an inpatient program or prison, it's essential to learn how to recognize, avoid, and handle any triggers they may encounter after treatment.