What is Drug Abuse?
Many drugs or substances that are abused are also addictive. They cause cravings and a continued desire to use them despite negative consequences. Drug abuse often leads to addiction. Addiction is a brain disease. The drugs affect the brain, making it hard to stop quit drugs. So the first step to drug abuse treatment is seeing the problem and deciding to get help.
It can be said that drug abuse or addictions are not problems of morality or willpower. Addiction is a complex and powerful disease. People who are struggling with drug abuse cannot simply quit, even if they want to. The drugs or substances change the brain in a way that makes quitting mentally and physically difficult. Drug abuse treatment often requires lifelong care and therapy.
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Tips on How to Overcome Drug Abuse
It’s also natural to feel conflicted about giving up your substance of choice, even when you know it’s causing difficulties and problems in your life. Recovery requires motivation, time, and support, but by making a commitment to change, you can overcome your addiction and regain control of your life. It starts by thinking about change. Learn about drug abuse treatment and how it can help you start to regain your life back. Here are some tips that might help you overcome drug abuse.
- Always keep track of your drug use, including how much and when you use it. It will give you a better sense of the role the addiction is acting in your life.
- List the pros and cons of stopping, as well as the benefits and cost of continuing your drug use.
- Examine the things that are important to you, such as your kids, your partner, your career, your pet, or your health. How does drug use affect those things?
- Ask a trusted person about their feelings on your drug use.
- Ask yourself if there’s anything blocking you from changing. What could help you make the change?
Can Drug Abuse and Addiction be Prevented?
Drug abuse and addiction are preventable. Prevention programs involving schools, families, communities, and the media, even social media may prevent or reduce drug abuse and addiction. These programs include education and outreach to make people understand the risks of drug use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) |1|, evidence-based interventions for drug abuse use can save society money in medical costs and help individuals remain productive members of society.
A Guide to Drug Abuse Treatment Services
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) |2|, primary care physicians need to be familiar with available drug abuse treatment resources for their clients who have been diagnosed with substance abuse or dependence disorders. The physician’s responsibility to the client does not end with the clients’ entry into the drug abuse treatment facility. Rather, the physician may become a collaborative part of the treatment team, or, minimally, continue to treat the patient’s medical conditions during the specialized treatment, encourage continuing participation in the program, and schedule follow-up visits after treatment termination to monitor progress and help prevent relapse.
Understanding the specialized drug abuse treatment system, however, can be a challenging task. No single definition of drug abuse treatment exists, and no standard terminology describes different dimensions and elements of treatment. For example, describing a facility providing inpatient care or ambulatory services defines only one aspect (although an important one).
The specialized drug abuse treatment system differs around the country, with each city or State having its own specialties. Minnesota, for instance, is well known for its array of private and public alcoholism facilities, mostly modeled on the fixed-length inpatient rehab programs initially established by the Hazelden Foundation and the Johnson Institute |3| which subscribe to a strong Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) orientation. Moreover, California and Florida also offer several community-based social model public sector programs that emphasize a 12-Step, holistic, and self-help approach as a foundation for life-long recovery.
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What are the Common Drug Abuse Treatment Options?
Treatment options for drug abuse depend on several factors, including the length and severity of use, the type of addictive disorder, and its effects on the user.
Several drug abuse treatment options are available, and most people experiencing drug abuse and addiction will receive a combination of treatment approaches. None of the treatments for addictive disorders work for every person. Drug abuse treatment should be individualized.
Common interventions or programs might involve a combination of inpatient and outpatient programs, MAT or medication-assisted treatment, psychological counseling, and self-help groups.
Detox or Detoxification
Detox or medically assisted detox is usually the first step in treatment |4|. It involves removing the drugs from the body and limiting withdrawal symptoms. If an individual is addicted to more than one drug, they will often need medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms for each. Detoxing alone or at home is dangerous and can be life-threatening. In medical detox, the person is supervised by trained health professionals who will check and monitor symptoms and ensure that the person remains safe while withdrawing from alcohol or drugs.
Counseling and Behavioral Therapies
After detox, this is the most common form of treatment.
Therapy might happen on a one-to-one, group, or family basis depending on the needs of the person. It is normally intensive at the outset of treatment, with the number of sessions continuously reducing over time as symptoms improve. Different types of therapy include:
- This therapy helps individuals recognize and change ways of thinking that have associations with drug use.
Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy
- This therapy is designed to help improve family function around an adolescent or teen with a substance-related disorder.
- This therapy maximizes an individual’s willingness to change and make adjustments to behaviors.
- This is therapy uses motivational incentives that encourage abstinence through positive reinforcement.
Therapy and counseling for drug abuse treatment aim to help people change attitudes and behaviors around using drugs, as well as strengthening life skills and supporting other treatments.
These forms of treatments and therapies are individualized and can also be applied to focus on the underlying cause of the addictive disorder, such as psychiatric disorders, in addition to behaviors characteristic of the addiction.
Medications for Drug Abuse Treatment
Medication may be part of your drug abuse treatment plan. Your care team figures out the best medications for you. Medication-assisted treatments are available for:
- Methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone are FDA-approved for the treatment of Opiate Use Disorder.
- Three FDA-approved drugs include naltrexone, acamprosate and disulfiram (Antabuse).
- A nicotine patch, spray, gum or lozenge can help. Or your doctor might prescribe bupropion (Wellbutrin) or varenicline (Chantix).
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Types of Drug Abuse Treatment Programs
Residential or Inpatient Treatment
- Residential or Inpatient treatment involves living at a facility and getting away from work, friends, family, and addiction triggers while undergoing intensive treatment. Residential and inpatient treatment can last from a few days to several months.
Day Treatment/Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
- Partial hospitalization is for individuals who require ongoing medical monitoring but wish to still live at home and have a stable living environment. These treatment programs usually meet at a treatment center for 7 to 8 hours during the day, then you return home at night.
- Not a live-in treatment program, these outpatient programs can be scheduled around work or school. The individual is treated during the day or evening but don’t stay overnight. The major focus is relapse prevention.
Sober Living Communities
- Living in a sober house normally follows an intensive treatment program such as residential treatment. The individual lives with other recovering addicts in a safe, supportive, and drug-free environment. Sober living facilities are useful if the individual has nowhere to go or they are worried that returning home too soon will lead to relapse.
We Level Up NJ Treatment center can help with inpatient therapy programs exclusively. Depending on the extent of secondary behavioral disorders such as addiction we can first help assess your condition and thereafter guide you to suitable treatment options. We do not provide outpatient and PHP services at this time. Call to learn more.
Drug abuse treatment is designed to help addicted individuals end compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can occur in several settings, take many different forms, and last for different lengths. However, because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, short-term, one-time treatment is usually insufficient. 
For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and regular monitoring.
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Find the Right Treatment Plan at We Level Up NJ
During your rehabilitation, the staff from our drug abuse treatment center will help you identify what caused your drug abuse disorder and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with drugs, get them the safest help they need and deserve. Our team at We Level Up NJ specializes in creating an ideal environment and providing effective therapies to help individuals who struggle with drug abuse. We will develop a personalized drug abuse treatment plan and lead you to recovery. Get started today!
We Level Up treatment center can help with inpatient therapy programs exclusively. Depending on the extent of secondary behavioral disorders such as addiction we can first help assess your condition and thereafter guide you to suitable treatment options. We do not provide outpatient and PHP services at this time. Call to learn more.
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Begin with a free call to an addiction & behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.
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|1| NIDA – https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/preventing-drug-misuse-addiction-best-strategy
|2| |3| – NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64815/
|4| NIDA – https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction
|5| Step by Step to Drug Abuse Treatment – Level Up West Palm Beach