Treatments for Addiction

Treatment for any type of addiction needs to be personalized and will differ from case to case. There is no single treatment applicable for all types of addictions and addictive behavior. Effective treatment of addictions must also address all the needs of the individual and not just his addiction. Common types of treatment include:

  • Medical Treatment or Detoxification: In cases where the substance abuse is severe, the addict will require medical detoxification to manage the withdrawal symptoms associated with discontinuing the drugs or alcohol. Medical detoxification is only the first step in the treatment of long term substance abuse and needs to be followed up with therapy, counseling and behavior modification if a relapse is to be prevented.
  • Some addiction treatments include the use of drugs and medications in combination with therapies and counseling. In many cases, substance abuse or addictions are accompanied by psychiatric or mental disorders. In such situations, drugs are an important component of therapy and recovery.
  • Behavior therapy, counseling and support groups help the addict to better cope with and resist addiction by building coping skills, by replacing activities related to their addiction with more constructive pursuits, and helping rebuild old relationships and form new ones.
  • Any type of addiction treatment recognizes the important role played by family, friends, and colleagues in an addict’s life. Therapy for the family and involvement of loved ones in the recovery process is an important part of a treatment program. Group therapy sessions allow the addict and his family to share and understand as well as offer support and encouragement.
  • In-patient residential treatment programs may be needed for severe cases of addiction. These centers or ‘rehabs’ offer a safe atmosphere and a supportive environment to detox and make the most of the intensive therapy and counseling available.
The reality of the situation is that where addiction is concerned, most people need a combination of approaches and treatments to successfully overcome the problem. It may even take several attempts before a person can quit his addictive behavior for good and develop a healthier lifestyle. Success of treatment for addiction also depends on the addict’s willingness to change, the severity of the addiction, the physical and mental health of the addict, the amount of social support and encouragement, and his financial circumstances. 
Frequently asked questions
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