Can Drug Addiction Be Treated Successfully?
Drug addiction is treatable as research has led to methods that help people stop using drugs and return to productive lives, known as recovery. Similar to treating other chronic diseases, like heart disease or asthma, drug addiction treatment doesn’t cure but helps manage the condition, allowing individuals to regain control of their lives.
Substance use disorder (SUD) is a complex problem with varying levels, from mild to severe addiction. It’s treatable, and seeking help early is crucial if you suspect you or your loved one is developing SUD.
Research indicates that for opioid addiction (to pain relievers, heroin, or fentanyl), medication combined with behavioral therapy is often the initial treatment. Medications are also used for alcohol and nicotine addiction. While medications aid in drug detoxification, it’s essential to mention that detox alone is insufficient for recovery. Additional treatment is necessary to prevent relapse. For stimulants or cannabis addiction, behavioral therapies are the primary treatment, tailored to address individual patterns and related medical, mental, and social issues.
At We Level Up New Jersey, we understand the challenges of substance use disorders and offer specialized drug and alcohol detox programs to help manage and overcome them. Our center is staffed with qualified and trained professionals in drug addiction and mental health, providing comprehensive treatment in a safe and supportive environment. Call today for your free no-hassle evaluation.
Understanding Substance Use Disorder Diagnosis
Diagnosing drug addiction, medically known as substance use disorder, involves a detailed evaluation, usually by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed alcohol and drug counselor. While blood, urine, or lab tests can assess drug use, they aren’t diagnostic for addiction. The diagnosis is typically based on criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) by the American Psychiatric Association, and these tests may be used for treatment monitoring.
Drug Addiction Treatment Program
While drug addiction doesn’t have a cure, there are treatment options to help overcome it and stay drug-free. The treatment chosen depends on the specific drug and any related medical or mental health conditions. A comprehensive approach, using medical and behavioral therapies, is often used to address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.
Long-term follow-up is also crucial to prevent relapse and ensure lasting recovery. Staying connected with healthcare professionals and support networks is vital for navigating the challenges of recovery and building a fulfilling, substance-free life.
Drug addiction treatment programs typically provide the following:
- Individual, group, or family therapy sessions.
- Priority on understanding addiction, achieving drug-free living, and preventing relapse.
- Various levels of care and settings, including detox, residential, and inpatient programs, are tailored to individual needs.
Drug Withdrawal Treatments
Detoxification, or “detox,” aims to help you safely and swiftly stop taking an addictive drug. Depending on the situation, withdrawal therapy can occur on an inpatient basis or may require admission to a hospital or residential treatment center. The approach to detox varies based on the category of drugs involved, such as depressants, stimulants, or opioids. It may include gradually reducing the drug dose or using temporary substitutes like methadone, buprenorphine, or a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone.
Opioid Overdose Treatment
If someone has an opioid overdose, naloxone can be given by emergency responders or, in some states, by anyone witnessing the overdose. Naloxone reverses the effects of opioid drugs, and there are now nasal spray and injectable forms available, although they can be costly. Regardless of the method, seeking immediate medical care is crucial after administering naloxone.
Medication Assisted Treatment
After talking with your healthcare provider, they might suggest medication as part of your drug addiction treatment. While these medicines don’t cure addiction, they can support your recovery by decreasing cravings and helping prevent relapse. Medications used for treating opioid addiction may include buprenorphine, methadone, naltrexone, or a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone.
Medications are crucial in treating other drug addictions as they can aid with co-occurring disorders and withdrawal symptoms. Tailored to address the dual challenges of addiction and mental health issues, these drugs manage symptoms like anxiety and depression, fostering a supportive environment for recovery. During withdrawal, medications are used to ease physical discomfort and psychological challenges, whether it’s handling cravings, mitigating withdrawal effects, or addressing underlying mental health concerns.
The strategic use of medications is vital in a holistic approach to drug addiction treatment, playing a pivotal role in an individual’s journey toward lasting recovery.
Drug Addiction and Behavior Therapy
In a drug addiction treatment program, behavior therapy, a type of psychotherapy, can be conducted by a psychologist or psychiatrist, or you may receive counseling from a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Therapy and counseling can be conducted individually, with family members, or in a group setting. The therapist or counselor is equipped to:
- Assist in developing coping mechanisms for drug cravings.
- Provide strategies to avoid drugs and prevent relapse.
- Offer guidance on handling a relapse if it occurs.
- Discuss employment, legal matters, and relationships with family and friends as related to drug addiction treatment.
- Involve family members in developing improved communication skills and providing support.
- Address any other mental health conditions.
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Common Medications Used in Drug Addiction Treatment and Withdrawal Management Chart
Using specific medications to treat drug addiction is effective, but it only works well with careful medical supervision. Addiction is complex, and people react differently to treatment, so healthcare professionals closely monitor patients to ensure the best results. This supervision allows for precise adjustments to medication doses, dealing with possible side effects, and tailoring treatment to each patient’s needs. It’s a crucial safety measure, preventing risks linked to medication misuse and enabling quick action in case of unexpected issues. This teamwork between healthcare providers and patients is essential for maximizing the benefits of medications in a thorough and personalized addiction treatment plan.
|Opioid maintenance therapy to reduce withdrawal symptoms
|Risk of respiratory depression; monitor for QT prolongation
|Oral, usually daily
|Opioid partial agonist to reduce cravings and withdrawal
|Potential for misuse; assess for dependence
|Sublingual or buccal, daily or as an implant
|Blocks opioid receptors and reduces cravings
|Ensure the patient is opioid-free for at least 7-10 days; assess for hepatotoxicity risks.
|Oral (daily or monthly injection)
|Aversive treatment for alcohol dependence as it inhibits acetaldehyde metabolism.
|Avoid alcohol-containing products; monitor liver function
Various medications prove beneficial at different stages of treatment to aid patients in ceasing drug abuse, remaining committed to treatment, and averting relapse.
- Treating Withdrawal: Upon discontinuing drug use, individuals often encounter a range of physical and emotional symptoms, such as restlessness, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Specific medications and devices are employed to alleviate these symptoms, facilitating a smoother transition away from drug use.
- Staying in Treatment: Certain medications help the brain gradually adapt to the absence of drugs. These treatments work slowly, reducing drug cravings and providing a calming influence on the body’s systems. By mitigating these cravings, patients can better engage in counseling and other psychotherapies integral to their drug treatment.
- Preventing Relapse: Scientific understanding has highlighted that stress cues associated with drug use, including people, places, things, and moods, along with direct contact with drugs, are primary triggers for relapse. Researchers have been developing therapies to disrupt these triggers, aiding patients in maintaining their recovery journey.
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The Importance of Ongoing Treatment for Drug Addiction
Continuing treatment for drug addiction, also known as aftercare, is crucial for lasting recovery and reducing the risk of relapse. Since addiction is a complex and ongoing challenge, consistent therapy helps address underlying issues, develop coping skills, and reinforce positive changes in behavior. This ongoing approach not only helps individuals stay away from substance use but also contributes to overall well-being, supporting the gradual rebuilding of a healthy and fulfilling life beyond addiction.
Aftercare programs offer:
- Consistent Therapy: Regular counseling sessions to address underlying issues and develop coping skills.
- Behavioral Changes: Continuous interventions to reinforce positive changes in behavior.
- Support and Guidance: Ongoing support from healthcare professionals for accountability and guidance.
- Holistic Well-being: Various approaches, including group therapy and medication management, to promote overall well-being.
- Relapse Prevention: Focus on mitigating the risk of relapse through continuous therapeutic efforts.
- Rebuilding Life: A gradual process aiding individuals in rebuilding a healthy and fulfilling life beyond addiction.
Does Relapse to Drug Use Mean Treatment Has Failed?
Addiction is a lasting condition, and for some, going back to drug use (relapse) can happen, but new drug addiction treatments aim to prevent relapse. The relapse rates for drug use are comparable to other chronic illnesses, emphasizing the importance of sticking to the treatment plan to avoid relapse.
The relapse rate of 40-60% in substance use disorder aligns closely with the relapse rates observed in other chronic medical conditions, such as hypertension (50-70%) and asthma (50-70%).
Treating chronic diseases involves changing ingrained behaviors. It implies that relapse doesn’t signify treatment failure. If someone recovering from addiction relapses, it means they should talk to their doctor to resume, adjust, or explore a new treatment.
While relapse is usual in recovery, it can be risky or even fatal for certain drugs. Using the same amount as before quitting may lead to an overdose since the body is no longer accustomed to that level of drug exposure. An overdose can cause severe discomfort, life-threatening symptoms, or death.
How Do Behavioral Therapies Treat Drug Addiction?
Therapies for drug addiction help individuals change their attitudes and behaviors toward drug use, enabling them to cope better with stress and triggers and reducing the risk of relapse. These therapies can also boost the effectiveness of medications and support individuals in staying in treatment for longer.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT therapy for addiction aims to assist patients in recognizing, avoiding, and coping with situations that may lead to drug use.
- Contingency Management: This type of psychotherapy employs positive reinforcement, offering rewards for remaining drug-free, attending counseling sessions, or adhering to treatment medication plans.
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy: This therapy utilizes strategies to capitalize on individuals’ readiness to change behavior and enter treatment.
- Family Therapy and Counseling: Family therapy supports individuals, especially young people, with drug use problems, addressing influences on drug use patterns and improving overall family functioning.
- 12-Step Program: Twelve-step facilitation (TSF) is an individual therapy that prepares individuals for engagement in 12-step mutual support programs, emphasizing themes of acceptance, surrender, and active involvement in recovery.
If your loved one denies the need for drug addiction treatment, intervention services can also help. Professionals guide families in persuading the resistant individual through a carefully planned conversation, aiming to break through denial and open the path to recovery.
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The First Step to Overcoming Drug Addiction
The initial step in overcoming drug addiction involves acknowledging the problem and recognizing the need for change. It often requires a courageous decision to seek help through self-reflection or reaching out to supportive individuals. This crucial first step opens the door to a journey of recovery, where individuals can access professional treatment, adopt healthier coping mechanisms, and build a support network to navigate the challenges of breaking free from addiction and embracing the realization that change is possible. This step marks the beginning of a transformative process towards a life free from the grip of drug addiction.
Tips for Finding the Best Drug Addiction Treatment Near You
- Research and Assess Treatment Centers: Research and assess drug addiction treatment centers near you. Look for facilities with experienced and licensed professionals, evidence-based treatment methods, and a focus on individualized care. Check online reviews, testimonials, and accreditation to gauge the center’s reputation and success rates.
- Consider Treatment Approaches: Evaluate the treatment approaches offered by each center. The best programs often provide a combination of behavioral therapies, counseling, and, if needed, medication-assisted treatment. Assess whether the facility addresses co-occurring mental health issues, as comprehensive care takes into account both addiction and underlying factors contributing to it.
- Verify Insurance Coverage and Accessibility: Check whether the treatment center accepts your insurance to alleviate financial concerns. Also, consider the center’s accessibility, location, transportation, and family involvement. Opting for a program that aligns with your financial capabilities and practical needs can contribute to a smoother and more sustainable recovery journey.
Seeking drug addiction treatment outside your location may also be necessary for various reasons. Specialized treatment centers with renowned expertise may be located in distant areas, offering tailored programs that are highly effective. Also, a change of environment can provide individuals with a fresh start, removing them from triggering situations and allowing for a more focused and immersive approach to recovery.
Do you have questions about substance use disorder or drug addiction treatment in general? Call our helpline 24/7.
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We Level Up New Jersey Drug Addiction Treatment
Begin your transformative journey towards recovery with We Level Up New Jersey’s comprehensive drug addiction treatment. Our dedicated team of professionals is committed to guiding you through a personalized and evidence-based approach, ensuring you receive the highest quality care.
Drug addiction is undoubtedly challenging, but remember, you don’t have to face it alone. Reach out for support—whether from friends, family, or professional help—to navigate this difficult journey. The right support network makes recovery possible and a shared triumph over adversity.
We provide science-based treatment programs, including the following:
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Our state-of-the-art facility provides a supportive environment for your recovery, offering a range of treatment options, including individual and group therapy sessions. Whether you’re seeking detox, residential, or inpatient programs, we tailor our services to meet your needs.
If you or someone you know is dealing with substance use disorders, We Level Up NJ detox center provides personalized care with a team of experienced professionals. Begin your journey towards better health by taking the first step towards healing. Get help. Call We Level Up NJ now. Each call is free and confidential.
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Search We Level Up NJ Drug Addiction Treatment, Detox, Mental Health Topics, & Resources
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- Gray C, Argaez C. Residential Treatment for Substance Use Disorder: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2019 Jan 4. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541232/
- Find Help and Treatment – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- SAMHSA Announces National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Results Detailing Mental Illness and Substance Use Levels in 2021 – US Department of Health and Human Services (.gov)
- Addiction – Healthy People 2030 Available from: https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/browse-objectives/addiction
- Substance Use Treatment For Veterans – Veterans Affairs (.gov)
- Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors – US Bureau of Labor Statistics (.gov)
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- Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders – National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)