How Does Drug Rehabilitation Treatment Work?


Written by Jayant Row in Addiction
Viewed by 78 readers since 03-29-2009

Drug rehabilitation is the medical or psychological cum medical treatment of a patient who is dependent on drugs, those that are either obtained by prescription or from the street (like in the case of cocaine, heroin and other amphetamines). The idea of the treatment is to see that the patient stops using the drug or drugs and is saved psychological, physical and social consequences, which can also affect him financially, or get him into trouble with the law, as many of these drugs are illegal.

Drug addiction is considered a brain disease that is treatable. The addiction itself leads to a craving and a constant need to seek the drug even though the addict will face many adverse consequences of health. It becomes chronic and addicts are very prone to relapses, even when they have abstained from the drug for a long time. So it requires continuous treatment and monitoring so that the time between the relapses is increased and the severity of the addiction is diminished. It is a fact that such drug addicts can lead normal productive lives, even while under treatment.

Initially the object of the drug rehabilitation treatment is to reduce the drug abuse, so that the patient is able to function normally, and is able to face society and keep the medical effects of the drug under control so that complications do not occur. People in treatment for drug addiction need to change their lifestyle and behavior so that they can cope with their dependency on the drug. Treatments can vary depending on the severity of the addiction and recovery is helped with the presence of a support system within the patient’s family or social circle or voluntary groups that do exist in almost all countries.

There is a debate whether drug addiction should be treated so that the abstinence becomes total or should be treatment that helps in reducing the dependence to such an extent that normal life is then easily possible. The second alternative has been said to have a fair amount of success especially in Europe.

It is also becoming increasingly common for doctors to see drug addiction as a behavior lapse rather than a disease and therapies are being put in place to make the drug rehabilitation treatment to relate to the changes in feelings and behavior in a drug addict and treat it accordingly with the right psychological and psychiatric help. These therapists recognize that some individuals may respond better if they are faced with the possibility that they have to learn to control and limit the use of the drug, rather than eliminating it completely. Individual and group counseling methods are much in vogue in these therapies.

Doctors have tried out replacement drugs as a part of the drug rehabilitation treatment. The idea is that administering of such substitute drugs lowers the addict’s dependence on the original drug, and then these substitute drugs can be gradually reduced in dosage once the dependence on the original drug is removed.

Alternative therapies such as acupuncture are also being tried out by some medical practitioners, though success rates are not fully documented and the safety of the therapy is a question. Other alternative therapies are acupressure, laser therapy and electrostimulation.


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