Author: James Anderson

Recovery Is Possible for Everyone: Understanding Treatment of Substance Use Disorders Feature Topics Drug Overdose

addiction treatment

An overdose happens when the person uses enough of a drug to produce uncomfortable feelings, life-threatening symptoms, or death. Find treatment programs in your state that treat recent onset of serious mental illnesses. If you think you have a SUD, consider reaching out to a trusted healthcare professional for an evaluation and to discuss your treatment options.

Addiction can significantly impact your health, relationships and overall quality of life. Withdrawing from drugs should be done under the guidance of a medical professional to ensure safety. You may not be able to eliminate every trigger, but in the early stages of recovery it’s best to avoid triggers to help prevent cravings and relapse. Triggers can be any person, place, or thing that sparks the craving for using. Common triggers include places you’ve done drugs, friends you’ve used with, and anything else that brings up memories of your drug use. 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

  1. Over 20 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder in 2018.
  2. Your provider may want to do a physical exam and may request blood and urine tests.
  3. Alcohol use disorder is the most common substance addiction in the United States, followed by nicotine and marijuana.
  4. These guidelines help evaluate a patient’s clinical needs and situation to match them with the right level of care, in the most appropriate available setting.
  5. It competes with the reinforcing effects of the addictive substance, therefore increasing the chances abstinence will be maintained.

Whatever the method of delivery, seek immediate medical care after using naloxone. If you feel that you are not “connecting” with your counselor, consider finding a new counselor instead of abandoning treatment. An individual will sometimes embark on a 6-to-12-month rehabilitation program in a dedicated facility. Following this, they may live in supervised housing while they readjust to managing finances and finding employment. People who are struggle with other types of addiction can find out about self-help groups in their community either by an internet search or by asking a doctor or nurse for information.

Treatment for substance use disorder can be inpatient or outpatient and is unique to each individual. Withdrawal from different categories of drugs — such as depressants, stimulants or opioids — produces different side effects and requires different approaches. Detox may involve gradually reducing the dose of the drug or temporarily substituting other substances, such as methadone, buprenorphine, or a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. The goal of detoxification, also called “detox” or withdrawal therapy, is to enable you to stop taking the addicting drug as quickly and safely as possible.

Support groups or self-help groups can be part of in-patient programs or available for free use in the community. Well-known support groups include narcotics anonymous (NA), alcoholics anonymous (AA), and SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training). Additionally, 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 subsequent treatment generally leads to resumption of drug use. One study of treatment facilities found that almost 80% of people undergoing therapy for cessation received medications. Research suggests the success of MET may depend on the type of substance used.


Much of your time may have been spent thinking about the drug, seeking it out, using, and recovering. When appropriate, your doctor will prescribe medications to address the physical withdrawal symptoms and help you feel more comfortable throughout this process. Regardless of the reason, substance use becomes less of a choice over time. Long-term exposure leads to changes in brain function, and the person is no longer in control. SUD affects the parts of the brain involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and control over behavior.

In one study, 60% of people with cocaine use dependence who underwent CBT along with prescription medication provided cocaine-free toxicology screens a year after their treatment. Different types of behavioral therapy and counseling can also support treatment, helping to deprogram certain behaviors and circumstances related to drug use. The DSM-5 doesn’t currently include other behavioral addictions due to a lack of research on them. Drug addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), is when someone continues using a drug despite harmful consequences to their daily functioning, relationships, or health. Using drugs can change brain structure and functioning, particularly in areas involved in reward, stress, and self-control. These changes make it harder for people to stop using even when they really want to.

Addiction doesn’t happen from having a lack of willpower or as a result of making bad decisions. Follow-up care or continuing care is also recommended, which includes ongoing community- or family-based recovery support systems. Roughly half of all adults being treated for substance use disorders in the United States participated in self-help groups in 2017. Different types of medications may be useful at different stages of treatment to help a patient stop abusing drugs, stay in treatment, and avoid relapse. Find treatment programs in your state that treat addiction and dependence on opioids. Before going through treatment for cessation, the drug may have been a top priority in your life.

addiction treatment

SAMHSA explains that family and friends who are supportive of recovery can help someone change because they can reinforce new behaviors and provide positive incentives to continue with treatment. Stopping drug use is just one part of a long and complex recovery process. When people enter treatment, addiction has often caused serious consequences in their lives, possibly disrupting their health and how they function in their family lives, at work, and in the community. Treatment for SUD generally happens either in an inpatient or outpatient setting. It involves a form of talk or behavioral therapy and sometimes medication.

Treatment and Recovery Options

With treatment, many people manage addiction and live full, healthy lives. But recovering from substance use disorders and behavioral addictions isn’t easy. Supportive friends, family members and healthcare providers play an essential role in effective treatment as well. If you or someone you know is living with addiction, you may feel overwhelmed and out of control. With professional medical treatment and commitment, millions of people have overcome substance use disorders and behavioral addictions to live happy, healthy lives. SUD is a treatable, chronic disease that can affect people of any race, gender, income level, or social class.

Substances send massive surges of dopamine through your brain, too, as well as certain activities, like having sex or spending money. Addiction is a chronic (lifelong) condition that involves compulsive seeking and taking of a substance or performing of an activity despite negative or harmful consequences. Still, some research indicates that it may improve symptoms of PTSD to a greater degree than those of SUD. Plus, it may be most effective when combined with other treatment options.

Treatment options for addiction depend on several factors, including the type of addictive disorder, the length and severity of use, and its effects on the individual. Medication can be an effective part of a larger treatment plan for people who have nicotine use disorder, alcohol use disorder, or opioid use disorder. They can be used to help control drug cravings, relieve symptoms of withdrawal, and to help prevent relapses. Bear in mind that stopping taking drugs is only one part of recovery from addiction.

addiction treatment

Strategies that help people stay in treatment and follow their recovery plan are essential. Along with medical and mental health treatments, the following are steps you can take to help overcome substance use disorder. Although there’s no cure for drug addiction, treatment options can help you overcome an addiction and stay drug-free. Your treatment depends on the drug used and any related medical or mental health disorders you may have. Counseling gets at the core of why someone began using alcohol or drugs, and what they can do to make lasting changes.

How are addictions diagnosed?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, these groups that were often out of reach to many are now available online around the clock through video meetings. Such groups are not considered part of a formal treatment plan, but they are considered as useful in conjunction with professional treatment. Lofexidine was the first medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid withdrawals. Compared to a placebo (a pill with no therapeutic value), it significantly reduces symptoms of withdrawal and may cause less of a drop in blood pressure than similar agents.

Research has shown that peer-delivered recovery support services, including 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), can be beneficial for people recovering from SUD. Guided Self-Change (GSC) is a brief cognitive-behavioral and motivational approach first developed for people with alcohol use disorder and then expanded to treat other types of substance use. Outpatient counseling– Helps people understand addiction, their triggers, and their reasons for using drugs. This form of treatment can be done at a doctor’s office or via telehealth appointment.