Treatments and attitudes toward addiction vary widely among different countries. In the US and developing countries, the goal of commissioners of treatment for drug dependence is generally total abstinence from all drugs. Other countries, particularly in Europe, argue the aims of treatment for drug dependence are more complex, with treatment aims including reduction in use to the point that drug use no longer interferes with normal activities such as work and family commitments; shifting the addict away from more dangerous routes of drug administration such as injecting to safer routes such as oral administration; reduction in crime committed by drug addicts; and treatment of other comorbid conditions such as AIDS, hepatitis and mental health disorders. These kinds of outcomes can be achieved without eliminating drug use completely. Drug treatment programs in Europe often report more favorable outcomes than those in the US because the criteria for measuring success are functional rather than abstinence-based.[24][25][26] The supporters of programs with total abstinence from drugs as a goal believe that enabling further drug use means prolonged drug use and risks an increase in addiction and complications from addiction.[27]
After occasional use comes alcohol abuse. This stage involves more frequent use of alcohol and you may be drinking more than the recommended amount on a regular basis. You might start drinking for more than just social reasons. Maybe you are drinking alcohol to make you feel better or different. You might be using it to boost your confidence or to alleviate feelings of stress or anxiety. This can lead to a cycle of abuse and an emotional attachment to alcohol.
Addiction medications make the recovery process easier by easing the cravings and side effects associated with withdrawal. In the advanced stages of recovery, some people continue to take these medications in order to maintain their sobriety. Addiction medication should be taken only under a doctor’s supervision. These drugs can have serious side effects, including physical dependence and tolerance. Ironically, the medications used to treat opiate addiction have addictive properties themselves.

Once used as a diagnostic label, substance abuse typically refers to behavioral patterns of drug use that involve impairment and physical and mental distress. Some people may use the term “drug abuse” to reference a marked physical and mental dependence on drugs. Today, drug abuse typically refers to misusing substances, not necessarily being addicted to them. However, drug abuse can often lead to a physical dependence or addiction associated with a focus on obtaining and using drugs and severe withdrawal symptoms.


One of many recovery methods are 12-step recovery programs, with prominent examples including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Drug Addicts Anonymous[29] and Pills Anonymous. They are commonly known and used for a variety of addictions for the individual addicted and the family of the individual. Substance-abuse rehabilitation (rehab) centers offer a residential treatment program for some of the more seriously addicted, in order to isolate the patient from drugs and interactions with other users and dealers. Outpatient clinics usually offer a combination of individual counseling and group counseling. Frequently, a physician or psychiatrist will prescribe medications in order to help patients cope with the side effects of their addiction. Medications can help immensely with anxiety and insomnia, can treat underlying mental disorders (cf. self-medication hypothesis, Khantzian 1997) such as depression, and can help reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptomology when withdrawing from physiologically addictive drugs. Some examples are using benzodiazepines for alcohol detoxification, which prevents delirium tremens and complications; using a slow taper of benzodiazepines or a taper of phenobarbital, sometimes including another antiepileptic agent such as gabapentin, pregabalin, or valproate, for withdrawal from barbiturates or benzodiazepines; using drugs such as baclofen to reduce cravings and propensity for relapse amongst addicts to any drug, especially effective in stimulant users, and alcoholics (in which it is nearly as effective as benzodiazepines in preventing complications); using clonidine, an alpha-agonist, and loperamide for opioid detoxification, for first-time users or those who wish to attempt an abstinence-based recovery (90% of opioid users relapse to active addiction within eight months or are multiple relapse patients); or replacing an opioid that is interfering with or destructive to a user's life, such as illicitly-obtained heroin, dilaudid, or oxycodone, with an opioid that can be administered legally, reduces or eliminates drug cravings, and does not produce a high, such as methadone or buprenorphine – opioid replacement therapy – which is the gold standard for treatment of opioid dependence in developed countries, reducing the risk and cost to both user and society more effectively than any other treatment modality (for opioid dependence), and shows the best short-term and long-term gains for the user, with the greatest longevity, least risk of fatality, greatest quality of life, and lowest risk of relapse and legal issues including arrest and incarceration.[citation needed]

Co-occurring conditions require specialised treatments that can safely address both aspects of a dual diagnosis. Doctors and therapists work to create effective but flexible treatment plans that account for both conditions without treating one at the expense of the other. The delicate balance necessary to achieve a positive outcome suggests that residential treatment is the better option for dealing with dual diagnosis scenarios.


Residential Treatment Centers are available for all patients—men, women or adolescents. With 24/7 support, patients can fully immerse in the recovery process with few distractions for the best outcomes. Length of stay varies based on individual need. After graduating from one of our therapeutic communities, treatment continues at an Outpatient facility best suited to each patient. Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers | The Best Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers for Men
Parents may also inadvertently contribute to children’s alcohol problems, especially if they model bad drinking behaviors. Kids who grow up in homes with a great deal of drinking may come to see the behavior as normal. If their parents drink as a coping mechanism for stress or anxiety, kids may come to do the same. In this case, the genes aren’t at the root of the problem; it’s the behaviors parents model that causes concern.
A growing literature is demonstrating the importance of emotion regulation in the treatment of substance abuse. Considering that nicotine and other psychoactive substances such as cocaine activate similar psycho-pharmacological pathways,[44] an emotion regulation approach may be applicable to a wide array of substance abuse. Proposed models of affect-driven tobacco use have focused on negative reinforcement as the primary driving force for addiction; according to such theories, tobacco is used because it helps one escape from the undesirable effects of nicotine withdrawal or other negative moods.[45] Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), is showing evidence that it is effective in treating substance abuse, including the treatment of poly-substance abuse and cigarette smoking.[46][47] Mindfulness programs that encourage patients to be aware of their own experiences in the present moment and of emotions that arise from thoughts, appear to prevent impulsive/compulsive responses.[45][48] Research also indicates that mindfulness programs can reduce the consumption of substances such as alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, cigarettes and opiates.[48][49][50]
Many treatment plans begin with a detoxification program to help break your body’s physical addiction to alcohol. Detoxification is often performed in an inpatient therapy treatment center or hospital. It typically takes one week to complete. Because the symptoms of physical withdrawal can be dramatic, you may also be given medications to help prevent: Overview of Medical Detox from the Best Drug Rehab Centers (888) 598-0909
Addiction can be either behavioral or substance related. An intense feeling of emotional need or physical craving characterizes them both. Both types of addiction carry a number of other similarities, but behavioral addiction does not possess the same physical symptoms that accompany drug addiction. Experts disagree on the similarities and differences between the symptoms and consequences of the types of addictions.
Medical professionals need to apply many techniques and approaches to help patients with substance related disorders. Using a psychodynamic approach is one of the techniques that psychologists use to solve addiction problems. In psychodynamic therapy, psychologists need to understand the conflicts and the needs of the addicted person, and also need to locate the defects of their ego and defense mechanisms. Using this approach alone has proven to be ineffective in solving addiction problems. Cognitive and behavioral techniques should be integrated with psychodynamic approaches to achieve effective treatment for substance related disorders.[37] Cognitive treatment requires psychologists to think deeply about what is happening in the brain of an addicted person. Cognitive psychologists should zoom in to neural functions of the brain and understand that drugs have been manipulating the dopamine reward center of the brain. From this particular state of thinking, cognitive psychologists need to find ways to change the thought process of the addicted person.[37]
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The AA 12-step approach involves psychosocial techniques used in changing behavior (eg, rewards, social support networks, role models). Each new person is assigned an AA sponsor (a person recovering from alcoholism who supervises and supports the recovery of the new member). The sponsor should be older and should be of the same sex as the patient (opposite sex if the patient is homosexual).
Addiction is an all-consuming disease, using much of an individual’s time, energy and resources. There are many physical, mental and emotional signs of addiction. If you or a loved one are experiencing a combination of these signs, treatment may be a stepping stone for long-term recovery. Looking for signs and symptoms of drug abuse can be the first step toward identifying an addiction: Inside NHS detox centre - Victoria Derbyshire
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