Treatment and Therapy Options for Drug Addiction

There are various types of drug and alcohol addiction treatment in the U.S. designed to help people regain control over their health and their lives. Drug addiction is a disease and a chronic behavioral disorder that usually requires long-term dedication and treatment to recover from. Recovering from an addiction requires support, dedication, and determination. Short term treatment usually isn’t enough to kick a strong addiction. One attempt at treatment isn’t always enough either. Even relapses are considered part of the recovery process, even though they often feel like failure instead of another stepping stone on the path to sobriety.

Addiction treatment isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are dozens of approaches to addiction treatment, especially when individualized treatment plans are brought into the mix. Drug addiction treatment can include detoxification, various combinations of therapy programs, medically assisted treatment, and post-rehab support programs, among other treatment options. The specific types of treatment offered depends on the rehab center and the needs of the individual patient. Someone who’s addicted to alcohol will need a different treatment approach than someone addicted to cocaine.

Medically Assisted Addiction Treatment

Drug addiction treatment medications help control and stabilize the body when going through with detox program or period of withdrawal symptoms. Some of the common medications used in these programs include methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine, which are primarily used for those overcoming an opiate addiction. Varenicline and bupropion are commonly used to help overcome tobacco addictions, the latter of which can also be used as an anti-anxiety/depressant, which can benefit dual diagnosis patients. Naltrexone can also be used to help overcome alcohol dependence, as can acamprosate and disulfiram. These medications are sometimes needed in combination with each other depending on the addictions and mental health issues present in a given patient.

Treatments for addictions to substances that directly impact brain function and the nervous system are often similar, thus the medications that can be used to treat them may overlap. Behavioral therapies are also beneficial when used in conjunction with these medications since they can help break the patterns and cycles that encourage drug use. There are some substances that do not yet have a medication designed to combat their withdrawal symptoms, thus medical supervision and behavioral therapy are the only available options for overcoming them.


Drug Addiction Therapy Options

Different types and levels of therapy can encourage people to take their rehab treatment more seriously. Therapy also helps people learn healthy coping methods for resisting their drug cravings, as well as better ways to approach stress management. Many therapy programs will offer strategies and advice to both guide patients through their time in rehab, as well as providing them support after completing their treatment program. Behavioral therapy can also help people improve their communication skills, mend relationships with their loved ones, and help them employ healthier behaviors amongst their families when they return from rehab.

Depending on the rehab treatment center, different therapy options will be available to you during rehab. Individual and group therapy options are often part of a standard rehab program. Individual therapy sessions with a counselor can give you the private, one-on-one time to talk and get to the root of whatever troubles led to your addiction, while group therapy sessions offer support and solidarity amongst other recovering drug abusers. Patients can provide encouragement and distract each other from cravings or temptations, promoting a drug-free lifestyle within the group.

That said, in some situations group therapy isn’t always the first step. There are the occasional outliers who aren’t ready for group therapy sessions and who may poison the atmosphere for others by promoting the habits everyone is trying to overcome – intentionally or unintentionally. In most cases, counselors and therapists are trained in noticing these situations and dealing with them accordingly.

Since everyone is different, and addiction manifests differently regardless of the substance used, some individuals will need a combination of therapies and medication in order for treatment to be effective, while others may not. In most cases, a combination of the two approaches in most effective.

Because they work on different aspects of addiction, combinations of behavioral therapies and medications (when available) generally appear to be more effective than either approach used alone.

Find the Drug Addiction Treatment You Deserve Today

The best addiction treatment programs offer a combination of various rehab services that allow them to meet their patients’ needs. Patients with co-occuring mental health and  behavioral health disorders may need care centered heavily on a psychological approach to addiction treatment, while those with a milder addiction may only need to get over their physical dependency and learn better stress management skills in order to stay clean long term. The type and severity of an addiction often dictates how intense rehab treatment will need to be in order to overcome it, meaning patients with multiple addictions or who have been addiction to at least one substance for a long period of time will likely need more intensive treatment than someone who hasn’t had an addiction for as long.

Regardless of your situation, we can help you find the drug and alcohol rehab treatment center that’s right for you. Call us today to take the first step towards getting your life back.


Do Abuse-Deterrent Features on Painkillers Really Work?

embedaThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved new labeling for Embeda (morphine sulfate and naltrexone hydrochloride). The new labeling includes the claim that the drug has properties expected to reduce abuse when the product is crushed.

Embeda abuse-deterrent properties are expected to reduce, but not completely prevent, misuse of the drug when tampered with. When the capsule is taken properly, only the morphine contained in the drug is released. However, if the structure of the tablet is manipulated, or crushed, the naltrexone is released blocking some of the euphoric effects of the morphine. Naltrexone can also bring on withdrawal symptoms in opioid dependent people.

Sharon Hertz, MD, acting director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Addiction Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says that the science behind the development of abuse-deterrent properties for prescription opioids continues to evolve, but will not completely correct the problem of prescription opioid abuse. “But they [abuse-deterrent properties] can be a part of a comprehensive approach to combat the very serious problem of prescription drug abuse in the United States,” Hertz said.

Embeda extended release is an opioid analgesic used to treat severe pain. Patients taking Embeda found alternative treatments to be ineffective, and have pain that is severe enough to require daily, around the clock, long term opioid treatment. Abuse or misuse of Embeda can cause an overdose which may lead to death. The fear of abuse stems from the morphine base, which of course is a highly addictive opiate.

Interestingly, despite the PR and marketing hype of the approval of the abuse-deterrent labeling, a snapshot of the Embeda website clearly states, “There is no evidence that the naltrexone in Embeda reduces the abuse liability of [the drug].”

The FDA’s release includes the statement, “When swallowed intact, however, Embeda can still be abused or misused because the naltrexone is not expected to substantially block the euphoric effects of the morphine.”

While Pfizer and some chronic pain patients may disagree, most addiction treatment and prevention experts would probably say that another extended release prescription opioid on the market only increases the chances of someone becoming dependent on the drugs.