Drug Abuse and Dependence (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Treatment for drug abuse or dependence usually includes group therapy, one or more types of counseling, and drug education. A 12-step program is often part of treatment and continues afterward as part of your recovery.
Treatment doesn't just deal with drugs. It helps you take control of your life so you don't have to depend on drugs. You'll learn good reasons to quit drugs. Staying drug-free is a lifelong process that takes commitment and effort.
You might start with your family doctor, or your doctor may recommend that you enter a treatment facility. A friend could bring you to a self-help group, such as Narcotics Anonymous, or you might walk into a clinic that deals with drug abuse.
You may have a treatment team to help you. This team may include a psychologist or psychiatrist, counselors, doctors, social workers, nurses, and a case manager. A case manager helps plan and manage your treatment.
You may be asked questions about your drug use, health problems, work, and living situation. Be open and honest to get the best treatment possible. Your team may write a plan, which includes your treatment goals and ways to reach those goals. This helps you stay on track.
Your doctor may decide you need medical care to manage withdrawal symptoms when you first quit using drugs. This is sometimes called detoxification, or detox.
People who are dependent on drugs often have to go to a hospital or treatment facility. Detox usually is done under the care of a doctor, because withdrawal can be dangerous without medical care. A doctor may prescribe medicines to help with withdrawal symptoms.
Treatment for a drug problem usually involves one or more types of therapy.
Treatment usually includes going to a support group, such as going to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings. Your family members might also want to attend a support group such as Nar-Anon.
You may take medicines to help you quit or to help you overcome withdrawal symptoms. Medicines often are used for addiction to opiate drugs like heroin or certain painkillers. Medicines that can help you include methadone (such as Dolophine) or Naltrexone (such as ReVia). For more information, see Medications.
Treatment programs can be outpatient, inpatient, or residential. They offer similar therapies. Your treatment team can help you decide which type of program is best for you.
Some treatment programs give rewards, called vouchers, when you stay off drugs. The rewards may get bigger when you go for a long time without drugs.
Many programs give regular drug tests while you go through treatment. Knowing that you will be tested can make you more likely to resist your cravings.
What to think about
People with drug problems often have other problems. They may need other treatments, or other resources may be available to help them with the drug problem.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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