Elements of Effective Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a complex, but treatable disease. Abusing drugs or alcohol alters the brain functions and the effects tend to linger even after ceasing to use the substance. It can have a gripping impact on the addict leaving him or her in a terrible state, with only sustained treatment being the sole remedy.

Detox treatment helps addicts in quitting and overcoming compulsive drug seeking tendency and bring about long-term sobriety. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings with different tenure and techniques. Drug addiction treatment could be medications, behavioral therapies and sometimes a combination of both. There are a variety of evidence-based programs to treat addiction and it depends a lot on the individual.

Let’s take a look at the factors that make an addiction treatment effective and long-term:

Treatment should be easily available

Early intervention is the key and addiction treatment should be easily accessible. If an addict is unable to find an appropriate detox treatment early on, chances are that the addiction will deteriorate requiring more complex treatment procedures in the future. Finding a reputable detox center in the vicinity is paramount. Whether it is the rapid detox centers or the conventional rehab facilities, seeking treatment at the earliest is most important.

A good treatment program is all-encompassing

In order to be effective, an addiction treatment approach cannot be lopsided. It has to address more than just the drug abuse. An effective addiction treatment program considers any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems of the addict.

Completing the de-addiction treatment

“Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical,” according to the Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment (third edition), a research-based guide released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). “Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment,” it says.

All-round support for the addict

The NIDA guideline says, “Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. Sanctions or enticements from family, employment settings, and/or the criminal justice system can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.” Encouraging the addict and bringing him or her to the treatment level is the first important step, the rest will definitely follow suit.

Treatment of dual diagnosis

Sometimes an addict might be suffering from a co-occurring mental condition as well. Treating only the addiction without intervening the mental condition would not yield the desired outcome. Most relapses are a resultant outcome of this negligence. “Because drug abuse and addiction – both of which are mental disorders – often co-occur with other mental illnesses, patients presenting with one condition should be assessed for the other(s),” according to the NIDA guideline.

Doctors’ discretion

It is the call of the doctors and treatment specialists to decide on the treatment procedure by studying individual profiles of the addicts. Whether it is behavioral therapy, including individual, family, and group counseling, or medication, the treating doctors are the best judge of the condition.

Medications are also an important element of drug treatment for many patients and are usually combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies. Some of the most commonly administered medicines include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.