Drugs addiction represents a chronic brain disorder caused by some individual problems, characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behaviors, and high rates of relapse. The cycle of euphoria, crash, and craving , occurring multiple times per day – leads to a cycle of addiction and behavioral disruption, in order to stop the crash and reinstate the euphoria.
There are many addictive drugs, and treatments can differ, depending on the type of drug and the characteristics of the patient.The main program includes a combination of therapies: behavioral therapy (counseling, cognitive therapy, or psychotherapy) and medications.
-Medical detoxification for heroin withdrawal;
-Long-term residential programs;
-Partial hospitalization; -Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP);
-Counseling (Individual, Group, Couple or Family Therapy);
-Methodone Maintenance Clinic.
Social support groups:
Another way for creating a strong support system for the abuser is to make him join some Self-help programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), in order to restore his self-acceptance and self-esteem, by taking the responsibility for his lifestyle through the development of self-knowledge, behavioral changes, and coping techniques. It’s about a combination of medical, psychiatric, and social help.
The main program of these support groups is focused on sharing experiences, learning social and coping skills and gaining courage throw a positive, therapeutic relationship with the other abusers that succeded. The only condition is about the desire of the addicted person to give up drugs and start a new life, knowing also the underlying emotional causes of the addiction.
The session developed through this program includes some essential steps: admitting there is a problem, looking for help, an honest self-examination, confidential self-disclosure, helping other drug addicts who want to recover, motivation to change drug-using behavior and admitting powerlessness over the addiction.Why can’t drug addicts quit on their own?
Nearly all the abusers have the conviction that they can stop using drugs anytime, without using a treatment. Unfortunately, most of these attempts have as a result the compulsion to use drugs due to the difficulty an individual to treat by himself under the pressure of the psychological stress from work or family problems, social cues or the environment (such as encountering
streets, objects, or even smells associated with drug use). The active participation for more than 90 days( or a different length of time depending the individual chronic disorder) is a must in order to reach some good outcomes. It is also needed a transition to continuing care or "aftercare" following the patient’s completion of formal treatment.
The first step includes the withdrawal from painkillers and anti-anxiety medications, stopping the use of opioids( heroin, vicodin and oxycontin), by recuring a detoxification (detox) program, in order to clean the drugs from the body.I t can be assisted by medical intervention, if it’s necessary( emergency room, free clinic, or detox facility, in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms), followed by an Intensive Outpatient Program.
According to NIDA Public Information Office, depending of the drug combinations, withdrawal symptoms can include:
– Agitation, insomnia, anxiety, depression, anger, cravings, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, shakes, irritability, muscle pain( when it was used cocaine); -Extreme fatigue, disturbed sleeping patterns, irritability, restlessness, intense hunger, moderate to severe depression, anxiety, angry outbursts, lack of motivation, mental confusion, psychotic reactions, depression, intense cravings for the drug. (Methamphetamine);
-Watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, sweating, chills, stomach cramps, shakes, feeling jittery, irritability, panic, tremors, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, dilated pupils, goose bumps, rapid heart beat, high blood pressure, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches and pains.(heroin)
Cravings, fatigue, hot/cold sweats, heart palpitations, joint and muscle pain, vomiting, nausea, uncontrollable coughing, diarrhea, insomnia, watery eyes, excessive yawning, depression.( Oxycontin);
-Restlessness, muscle pain, bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes, goose bumps, involuntary leg movements, watery eyes, runny nose , loss of appetite, irritability, panic, nausea, chills, sweating.(Vicodin);
– Sleeplessness, irritability, anxiety, feeling shaky, headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, rapid heartbeat, sweating, agitation, and in extreme cases seizures.(Benzodiazepine (Anti-anxiety medications).
Behavioral therapies strategies are conceived in order to teach the people that suffer from mental health, occupational, health, or social problems about the side effects of drugs, about the ways to avoid drugs and prevent relapse, and help them deal with relapse if it occurs, learning them about how to make behavioral changes to deal with their cravings. For those that are addicted, the severity of addiction itself places them at a higher risk for AIDS or other infectious diseases, significant changes in brain function that persist long after the individual stops using drugs, serious mental illness, severe cocaine or crack use, and criminal involvement.
Most of the therapies used in maintenance treatment include treatment medications, such as methadone, LAAM, and naltrexone, nicotine preparations (patches, gum, nasal spray), bupropion, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or neuroleptics( used for individuals that are suffering by co-occurring mental disorders).
Methadone and LAAM are safe and effective medications and not heroin substitutes as they wear off much more slowly than heroin, without creating a sudden crash, avoiding the exposure of the brain and body to the marked fluctuations seen with heroin use( medical abnormalities and behavioral destabilization).
Choosing a drug abuse treatmentprogram The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers an extensive listing of drug treatment facilities by location through its Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator (see Related Links, below). SAMHSA also operates a helpline: (800) 662-HELP (4357) with help in English and Spanish, or TDD at (800) 487-4889.
-Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT); -Selected NIDA Educational Resources on Drug Addiction Treatment; -The National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
Promotional Link: Various medication and drug addiction treatment options are available in rehabilitation facilities.