Addiction treatment is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment is usually not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and regular monitoring by a caring and experienced physician at an addiction treatment center.
Substance abuse costs our Nation over $600 billion annually and treatment can help reduce these costs. Drug addiction treatment has been shown to reduce associated health and social costs by far more than the cost of the treatment itself. Treatment is also much less expensive than its alternatives, such as incarcerating addicted persons. For example, the average cost for 1 full year of buprenorphine maintenance treatment is approximately $4,700 per patient, whereas 1 full year of imprisonment costs approximately $24,000 per person.
Like other chronic diseases, addiction can be managed successfully. Drug addiction treatment and alcohol addiction treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on the brain and behavior and to regain control of their lives. The chronic nature of the disease means that relapsing to drug abuse is not only possible but also likely, with symptom recurrence rates similar to those for other well-characterized chronic medical illnesses—such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma that also have both physiological and behavioral components.
Unfortunately, when relapse occurs many deem treatment a failure. This is not the case: Successful treatment for addiction typically requires continual evaluation and modification as appropriate, similar to the approach taken for other chronic diseases. For example, when a patient is receiving active treatment for hypertension and symptoms decrease, treatment is deemed successful, even though symptoms may recur when treatment is discontinued. For the addicted individual, lapses to drug abuse do not indicate failure—rather, they signify that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted, or that alternate treatment is needed
There are a variety of evidence-based approaches to treating addiction. Drug addiction treatment can include behavioral therapy such as group/individual therapy, art therapy, medications, and in most cases, both. The specific type of addiction treatment or combination of treatments will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs and, often, on the types of drugs they were using.
Addiction treatment at Right Path Treatment Centers includes a combination of medications and behavioral therapies.
Treatment medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone (including a new long-acting formulation), are available for individuals addicted to opioids, while nicotine preparations (nicotine patches, nicotine gum, nicotine lozenges, and nasal spray) and medications are available for smoking cessation. Disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone are medications available for treating alcohol dependence, which commonly co-occurs with other drug addictions, including addiction to prescription medications.
Treatments for prescription drug abuse tend to be similar to those for illicit drugs that affect the same brain systems. For example, buprenorphine, used to treat heroin or addiction, can also be used to treat addiction to opioid pain medications. Addiction to prescription stimulants, which affect the same brain systems as illicit stimulants like cocaine, can be treated with behavioral therapies, as there are not yet medications for treating addiction to these types of drugs.
Addiction Counseling, or behavorial therapy, can be helpful for people of all ages, from different backgrounds, and in various stages of life. For anyone suffering from addiction, in particular, psychotherapy plays a pivotal role in long-term recovery. Successful and holistic addiction treatment involves addressing genetic and environmental causes of addiction along with the mental and physical side effects that arise. By forming a close relationship built on trust and free of judgment, a counselor can offer you support, resources, and guidance through your recovery journey.
Finally, people who are addicted to drugs often suffer from other health (e.g., depression, HIV), occupational, legal, familial, and social problems that should be addressed concurrently. The best programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet an individual patient’s needs. Psychoactive medications, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety agents, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic medications, may be critical for treatment success when patients have co-occurring mental disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder), bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. In addition, most people with severe addiction abuse multiple drugs and require treatment for all substances abused.
Good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length.
Individuals progress through addiction treatment at various rates, so there is no predetermined length of treatment. However, research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length. Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment such as Right Path, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining higher success rates. For methadone maintenance, 12 months is considered the minimum, and some opioid-addicted individuals continue to benefit from methadone maintenance for many years.
If you are worried that you or a loved one may have an addiction and you are unsure of what steps you should take, call Right Path Treatment Center at (757) 321-0795 or make an appointment online and we will recommend treatment options that will work for you and your loved one.