Substance use disorder is a medical condition where a person’s dependence upon potentially harmful drugs increases beyond controllable levels. These substances may include synthetic drugs such as fentanyl, opioids, alcohol, and other forms of potent compounds that hinder the day to day life of the abuser.
If you are suffering from substance use disorder or know someone who is suffering from this condition, this article is for you. Here you’ll find some of the most effective treatment options to help cope with the condition.
So, without any further ado, let’s dig right into the treatment options that you have.
Detoxification is usually the initial step towards de-addiction. In some cases, where the patient’s dependency on the drug is controllable, detox therapy alone can prove to be helpful. Whereas for people who are highly addicted to substances and de-addiction may affect their daily routine, other therapies may be used in combination with the detox therapy.
Usually, detox therapy involves three steps- evaluation, stabilization, and treatment.
The therapist would first require to identify the types of substances that are present in the patient’s blood. Following an evaluation, the therapist may guide the patient through the detox process and also suggest remedies for withdrawal symptoms. Once the addict is stabilized, the therapist commences with the detoxification process. In most of the cases, the detoxification is carried out without any medication.
The idea behind this therapy is to rid the body of the addict from the substances. This is to enhance the ability of the active receptors in the brain to cope with the absence of the substance stimuli. Thus, reducing the chances of cravings for the addict, and improving their chances of recovery.
Counseling & Behaviour Therapy
Counseling is one of the most sought after treatments for substance de-addiction. The patient may be subjected to either one-on-one sessions or group sessions, depending upon the symptoms. Gradually, the frequency of the sessions is reduced once the symptoms start to fade away.
The usual therapy session involves an intensive onset of treatment. The program is intentionally designed to help people recognize behavioral issues that trigger the craving for substance use. Subsequently, as the symptoms improve, the patient is motivated to change their thought process and encourage the willingness to quit substance abuse.
Recognizing the issues with the behavior of the addict helps identify the key problem areas. Which eventually, helps to devise a treatment plan. The therapy may also involve medication in addition to the group or individual sessions to help the patient cope with the cravings.
As already mentioned, medications may be used in various treatment programs in combination with cognitive and behavioral therapy and other forms of treatment. These medicines aim at blocking the receptors in the brain which interact with certain compounds that stimulate cravings.
An additional benefit of using medications while de-addiction is the prevention of relapse of the patient during the treatment. Usually, the patients are prescribed oral pills but it is important to understand that there are better alternatives available, as well. For example, there are transdermal patches, as explained in this article- https://www.iamnotthebabysitter.com/different-advantages-offered-by-transdermal-therapeutic-system/, which are easy to use and longer-lasting as compared to the oral medicines. The primary objective of these medicines is to supply the body with alternate stimuli in addition to blockage.
Drugs that are usually administered for de-addiction through skin patches include fentanyl, buprenorphine, nicotine, ensam, etc. Though most of these drugs are derivatives of the same substance, yet they differ in the amount administered and the way they interact with the body.
The aforementioned treatments are effective for short-term substance abuse. But for patients with years of dependence on the substances, more effective therapy is needed. These programs essentially focus on the long-term abstinence of drugs, thus leaving very little scope for relapse.
Rehabilitation programs, usually provide round the clock care to the patient. Focusing on improving the thought process and enabling the patient to develop a willingness to quit drugs. For example, people who are addicted to opium and its derivatives are usually referred to rehabilitation programs.
There are primarily three types of services that these programs offer- short-term residential treatment, where the patient is provided with sessions and medicines along with encouraging the patient to go for a detox therapy. Therapeutic communities, lasting from 6 to 12 months, where the patient would live within their residence and dedicated staff or caretaker is provided for round the clock sessions. And finally, the third type, where the patient is made to reside in a facility and provided with the highest level of care during the treatment. It is noteworthy that the third type of treatment may last from a few months to several years, depending upon the symptom recovery that the patient reflects.
People suffering from low to mild addiction symptoms are usually encouraged to join group therapies. Alcoholics are the most commonly referred people to attend group therapies. During the treatment, the patient is encouraged to share their experiences with other patients, suffering from a similar disorder.
The objective is to encourage a change in the thought process of the patient by stimulating emotional triggers. Therefore, encouraging the patient to follow de-addiction on their own.
There are numerous non-government organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous that host community-based de-addiction programs.
Substance use disorder is a complex condition requiring a lot of time to cope with the cravings for substances. However, it is the type of substance and the severity of addiction that decides the type of treatment to be followed.
As already mentioned, the treatment often begins with detoxification, but may not be limited to that only. Different types of therapies can bring about different results in the patient. But, in the end, it is the willingness of the patient itself that decides the success of the treatment.
So, now that you know the different options that you have, it should be easier for you to start your journey to a better life. Having said that, it is important to understand that consulting a doctor before enrolling for any of the treatments is necessary for the best results.